13 in 13 – New Skills For a New Year

13 in 13 – New Skills For a New Year

The end of a year always brings with it reflection and retrospection of the last twelve months.  What have I done of worth over that time? Did I use my time wisely? What could I have done better? It’s times like these that both allow a person to define who they are and who they want to be.

As 2012 nears to an end, I’ve been spending some time thinking about what I did this year.  Was I good husband? Father? Son? Person? Did I work hard? Did I play hard? In my heart, I know the answer to all of these questions.  However, the important question is not “Who was I last year?” but, rather, “Who is the man I’m going to be next year?”

I’ve decided that 2013 will be a year of learning and growth for me.  The recent effects of Superstorm Sandy and my family’s experience in it – we were without heat or power for about twelve days – has caused me to recently start researching emergency preparedness.  As a husband and father, it is important to me that I am able to both protect and provide for my family, no matter the circumstances.  During my research, I found various sites on the internet related to preparing for the unknowns.  Some of these sites dealt with foreseeable natural disaster scenarios and others were a bit more outlandish (don’t worry, you’re not going to see me on Doomsday Preppers any time soon).  Eventually, my research lead me to a site which I think is a great idea.

13skills.com is a website set up and run by Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast13skills.com defines their site as

a call to develop or drastically improve your personal skills in the coming year. These skills can be any hands on practical skill from ancient skills like flint napping to traditional skills like trapping and hunting or even technical skills like graphic arts or computer programming.

The basic idea being that the user will identify a desired skill set, design a plan of attack to achieve it and then document them process during the course of the year.  The skill sets vary and the definition of “complete” is very open-ended.

I, for instance, have defined thirteen general skills that I want to either learn or become more proficient in during the course of 2013.  My identified skills vary from food-related to outdoors skills to firearms skills.  The overreaching theme, however, will be to learn skills that provide protection and sustainability for myself and my family during times of less than optimal social circumstances (natural disasters, civil unrest, etc). Some will be easier than others, but none will be accomplished in the matter of a few hours.  The concept here is not to ‘try’ the skills, but rather to ingrain them into my knowledge base as much as possible. 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be detailing each one of my skills in a separate post.  Each post will define the skill I plan on learning, a few initial steps towards realizing that skill and the milestone or milestones that I have determine will signify successful acquisition of that skill.  I will utilize MT goals – Measureable and Timed – to achieve these skills.  By simply outlining a when and what objective, I can easily define success or failure.  Posts will be generated on a regular basis afterwards to document process and discuss lessons learned during the learning process.

The tag 13in13 will be used on this blog to document this journey as well as the hashtag #13in13 on Twitter.  Please feel free to follow both of these places to learn more about my journey.

I’m really looking forward to growing my experience and skill set in 2013 and hope you join me for the ride.

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