Happy New Year! We hope your Christmas holiday was wonderful.

Ready for the New Year?

In our first Survival Scout of 2017, we thought we'd do something special that will help you prepare for the year ahead.

No, it's not a list of resolutions and how to stick to them. It's something much more powerful - and practical - that will boost everyone's level of self-reliance and preparedness.

THE MY PATRIOT SUPPLY
SELF-RELIANCE PLANNER

Whether you've made New Year's Resolutions or not yet, this may be the most important thing you read to start your year off right.

The unfortunate thing about resolutions is that they're perceived as hard to stick to. There's a lot of reasons for that.

First, many people make resolutions that are impossible to achieve. Or they make too many. In this case, folks get overwhelmed. It's hard to make major changes when you feel that way.

Second, people don't make a plan. Anyone even remotely familiar with the preparedness lifestyle knows that this is a bad way to go. Without a plan, resolutions are just wishes.

Finally, most folks don't put the two lessons learned above together. To make a resolution work, you have to break down a big goal into smaller ones that get achieved according to a larger plan. It has to become something that's part of your lifestyle, so you don't get overwhelmed.

With all this in mind, we thought we'd help by doing some of the work for you. Just like the Farmer's Almanacs first written under Benjamin Franklin's pen name Poor Richard, we hope you find this updated concept helpful in planning your year for self-reliance.

So, if you're looking to become more prepared this year and lead a more self-reliant lifestyle, check out the ideas below to build your own plan.

Keep in mind, these are rough guidelines, and each household should make their own plans according to their own needs and goals.

Winter - No Time to Hibernate

During the first few months, you should lay the groundwork for the rest of the year. It's a time for planning, which is what we're doing right now.

This also is a good time to plan your budget, get your taxes in order, pay off any looming debts and so on. Laying a financial foundation to your year is essential to self-reliance.

Start germinating seeds indoors
Plan for Food Independence

In many parts of the country, it's too early to plant anything in a self-reliant garden. But it's never too early to start stocking seeds, or germinating indoors. Winter is also a great time to plan a greenhouse or indoor garden for next year, so you can produce year-round.

Survey Your Food Supply

Winter is a perfect time to take a full inventory of what you have in food storage. Make note of the food you have, its expiration, how long it will sustain you and more. Check for damage or critters, discard and replace.

When it comes to food storage, ask yourself: if a crisis happened right now, what would I wish I had? Some things to consider, is there Some delicious comfort food you're missing? Need more protein? Want more items for barter? Then, supplement your food supply accordingly.

Spring into Action

As winter fades, the world once again comes to life. It's a critical time for anyone living the self-reliant lifestyle - especially if you grow your own food.

Make a home inspection

Many folks are pretty diligent about winterizing their homes, but it's also a good idea to "de-winterize" any place you might shelter in an emergency. Check your home for any damage caused by the winter season. This includes checking in on any "bug out" locations you may have as well. The sooner you find any problems, the better you'll be able to fix them while it's warm in spring and summer.

Ready the Earth

If you're planning to grow your own food, you should be getting seed starts on everything you plan to plant early season. Then, you want to prepare the soil for your seeds. Add compost, aerate, whatever your crops need to grow optimally.

Bulk Up Your Food Supply

One of the best times to add significantly to your food storage plan is during spring (and summer). Warmer weather allows you to find the best (cool, dry) places to store your food, and do so comfortably.

It's easy to forget about stocking up on food if you're also worried about growing it. But remember, we're trying to build a comprehensive plan in small steps here. Don't worry about tackling everything at once.

Optimize Your Summer Self-Reliance

Summer - how I wish it were here already.

Enjoy It

4th of July, trips to the beach, cookouts - it's important to take a breather and just enjoy life. It makes you appreciate how hard you've worked toward self-reliance and preparedness. It also reminds you why you do it. Summer is filled with these opportunities, so seize them.

Time to garden and can
Make the Most of Your Garden While It's Hot

There's nothing like fresh-picked produce from the garden. Early crops will mature even before summer, so be diligent in your picking. Most fruits and vegetables will continue to produce if picked regularly. You'll also want to prune some plants for new growth and take care of any crops that are struggling.

Prepare for Harsher Months Ahead

Take advantage of the warmer weather to ensure you're prepared for fall and winter. Begin to winterize your home and emergency shelters. Take inventory of your food storage - rotate, inspect, discard and replace.

Don't Fall Back - The Year of Self-Reliance is Almost Complete

Fall is a wonderful time, especially if you have a patriot garden. You get to enjoy the bounty of harvest and all its blessings. But fall is also a time when crises tend to strike. We must be prepared for what might happen if civilization were to take a literal fall - at any time of year, but especially in fall. For more on this, check out this past Scout.

Pick, Preserve, Store and Save

To ensure the most bountiful harvest, you have to put in a lot of work. It's worth it, especially if it helps sustain you through the seasons ahead. Pick your fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Make a plan for everything you pick. Eat them fresh. Preserve them by pickling, canning or drying. Then find a good cool, dark and dry place to store your preserved foods. Finally, make sure to save some seeds if you grew heirlooms (you should). Dry and store your saved seeds and you won't have to buy new ones next season.

Winterize your home
Fully Winterize

Clean the gutters, fix any leaks or drafts, have your roof inspected. Just a couple ideas to help prepare your home for winter. Remember, there's no such thing as being over-prepared.

Make One Final Food Storage Inventory

Noticed we mentioned this tip in almost every season? Well, it's important to do, at least four times a year. Check on your food, inspect for damage, discard anything that's spoiled, expired or damaged, and re-stock. Fall is the perfect time to come back to the list you made in winter time and make sure you've acquired everything you need.

Whoo. Going through an entire year of planning in one sitting can be exhausting. But, we're all better off when we properly plan.

I hope you've found this 2017 Self-Reliant Planner helpful. Feel free to return to it any time throughout the year. And of course, if you need any help or have questions about your own plan, feel free to give our preparedness experts a call: 866.229.0927

Have a great day and a productive year, friends!

In Liberty,

Patriot Tom
My Patriot Supply



Read last week's Survival Scout: MERRY CHRISTMAS: THE MEANING BEHIND THE MESSAGE
Or
Read the next Survival Scout: LEARN FROM THOSE WHO'VE COME BEFORE: THE STORY OF PATRIOT LARRY

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