It’s already February and I suppose a good 90% of all new years resolutions have come and gone. Personally I’m not a big believer in defining the thing I will start or quit each new year. Instead, every November to December, for the past 4 or 5 years, I start thinking the following: what skills will I focus on learning?
To help with the learning process, I group these skills into a few major groups: self-defense, food, medical, and technical/communications. I decide which of those major groups I want to increase my knowledge in, and I focus on it by breaking it down into three specific skills. Of those three skills I chose a beginner, intermediate, and advanced sub category to work on. I find that by applying this kind of focus, I can really build my skill sets without me becoming too overwhelmed.
As an example, here’s this years goals:
Major Group: technical/communications
American Sign Language. I know some, and want to learn more. I’m building up a library, and videos to help with the basics. I practice the basic alphabet, and common words. I don’t let the beginner skill interfere with intermediate or advanced. Next year, this will move into the intermediate skills category and it will get more attention.
Physical electronics. Building electrical things like intrusion detection systems using Arduinos, increasing my electronics inventory: diodes, resisters, transistors, capacitors, etc. Improving my seriously lacking soldering skills. Building and understanding the conversion between different battery voltages, and various DC based technologies. In time I want to be able to build a solar charger from spare or salvaged parts.
Getting my CW/Morse Code up to a consistent and accurate 20wpm, learn all that’s needed to and then pass my Extra Class ham radio license.
See how they all interrelate? Even the Intermediate and Advanced relate to the Beginner because they are all touching “communications” – yes that’s a stretch with ASL.
I’ve applied the same approach to firearms training, food preservation, etc. Each sub category helps re-enforce each other. Prepping is basically a “learn everything or die” lifestyle. The amount of skills required can be just as massive as the physical logistics needed for SHTF, and this process helps me from getting to scatter-brained.
Some times the subject matter is just so complex that it can take many years to move it out of an “Advanced” stage. Gardening is a lot like that. Other times, I learn the skill faster than I planned, so I increase the focus on the other two skills.
This method has really worked for me. Maybe some of your readers can find value in it. – S.L.