At one point or another in our preparedness journey we are bound to lose our motivation for prepping. Battling complacency and “prepper burnout” is something just about everyone goes through. Even though it’s completely natural, it’s important we don’t let it drag on for an extended period of time.
While the odds are we have plenty of time to prepare, we just never know when something that turns our lives upside down will happen. The danger of becoming complacent for too long is being caught off guard when disaster strikes.
Why We Get Complacent
There are a number of different things that can lead us to becoming complacent, or just plain getting burned out. As with everything in life, too much of a good (or bad) thing can burn us out.
Because preparedness is a lifetime shift and long term, it can seem at times that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. This can lead us to say “what’s the point?” or “I give up”.
One common reason people become complacent about preparedness is because life happens. While prepping is very important, it’s only one part of the puzzle. Sometimes other issues take precedence over preparedness.
How to Avoid Burnout & Complacency
The 80/20 rule: This basically means 20% of what you do will get you 80% of the results. This rule applies to everything we do in life, and is surprisingly accurate.
If we can focus our attention on the 20% of people and the 20% of tasks that have the biggest impact, we can eliminate some headaches, stress and overwhelm.
Avoid Long Stretches of Doing Nothing: It’s completely normal to need a little time to relax, but we need to be careful that preparedness doesn’t fall off our radar completely.
One week can turn into one month, and one month can turn into one year before we even know it. Even some of the smallest things we do in preparedness can have a big impact, just make sure you are doing something.
Stay Focused: I call this “just in time learning” and it means to start saying no. While there is no end to what we “need” to become better prepared, drinking from the fire hose will not help.
Focus on 1 or 2 things at a time and put some of the other things on the back burner. Don’t allow yourself get overwhelmed by focusing on too much all at once.
Stay organized: Being unorganized will lead you to say “I don’t want to deal with that right now, I’ll do something else”. Doing periodic inventory and rotation will help keep your prepping supplies organized.
When we clean the house everyday it’s much more manageable than if we wait a month. After a few weeks of letting thins go, that small task turns into a large chore.
Stay Healthy: Not only is being healthy important in any sore of disaster situation, your diet will affect, your memory, your attitude and focus.
Being healthy may not be the bug out bags and food storage we hear about all the time, but it is just as important. In a situation where medical help may not be available, being unhealthy will just add to an already bed situation.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help: Getting frustrated because we can’t find an answer can lead us to say “never mind!” There are many prepper groups and forums out there for us to get the answers we need.
This can be intimidating at first, but I have found that preppers are willing to help, and love to share what they have learned.
Make Downtime Part of Your Routine: Let yourself take breaks. Those good ideas come when your mind is rested and relaxed. It seems like the harder we look, the harder something is to find.
Sometimes we get so focused on a task that we lose sight of the bigger picture. If we let something we love become a “job” we will most likely lose our motivation.
Focus on Process Instead of Outcome: This can be a challenge when it comes to prepping because the event is what we are preparing for. It’s important that we keep those SHTF events in mind, but we should break everything down into bite sized pieces.
Planning and goals will help you see your progress. Setting realistic goals will help you stay on track when it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Start Every Day From Scratch: The Latin phrase “Carpe diem” means seize the day, and is a good way to maintain our focus. We can’t change yesterday, and tomorrow is not guaranteed, but we can choose how today unfolds.
If we use everyday to become a little more prepared, you will look back after a year or so and be amazed at how for you have come. Eventually the puzzle pieces will start to fall into place, and that large goal will not seem so daunting.
Continuously Learn and Adapt
Preparedness in general is pretty open ended. We don’t know what might happen, and we don’t know if anything will happen at all. We do know however that something is bound to happen in our lifetime.
This could be something small and personal, or something on a national or global scale. All we can do is what we can do. We should be continually learning about preparedness, and changing our plans as life unfolds.