According to a reader poll taken a couple of years ago 57% of readers have less than six months worth of food in storage, with 20% having less than one month. I have to admit, being more than a little stunned by the results of the poll.
How could such a high percentage of readers, of a survival blog (my blog!), have such small amounts of emergency supplies on hand? After giving it some thought I could only come up with one conclusion – Procrastination.
I’m sure some readers will pitch a fit in disagreement. They will argue that it’s not procrastination on their part but lack of funds. In some cases this maybe correct, but for the most part, it’s just an excuse for putting off what they know needs to be done.
Procrastination is the persistent habit of putting off doing things you need (and want) to do. It’s always easier to put off what needs to be done, instead of actually done it. Or so we thank – excuses come easily as we rationalize our self-defeating acts of procrastination. I used to have the same problem.
Why people procrastinate and what to do about it
There are many reasons why people procrastinate when it comes to prepping, but it usually falls within the criteria given below…
Fear - Fear of failure, fear of not knowing where to begin, fear of making a mistake, fear of wasting money – these are the most common origins of fear, leading to procrastination and lack of action.
The cure is to have a plan. Make a list, know what to store, how much and how to store it. Don’t worry about wasting your money, you need to eat right? All you’re doing is buying what you need in advance. Buy, store, eat and replace.
If you decide to store and use basic foods such as wheat, beans, corn and rice you’ll actually save money, be healthier and possibly live longer…
Negative Self-Talk - Our mind can be our worst enemy, defeating us through negative self-talk even before we begin. Most of the time we do this without knowing it. Using phrases such as “I should” and “I have to” automatically sets objections in our mind. No one likes being forced, even by ourselves.
These phrases make prepping feel impelled, instead of something you want to do, leading to resentment, rebellion and inactivity. Instead of telling yourself, “I should start a food storage program – soon” or “I have to start a food storage program – someday,” tell yourself, “I want to start a food storage program – now” or “I choose to start a food storage program – now.”
By using the right words in our self-talk we can make conscious choices, leading to positive results and a stocked pantry.
Looking to the end result - When you’re starting from the beginning everything seems overwhelming – you have to decide what to store, how much, purchase it and store it, rotate and restock. You worry about space, temperature, light and other considerations. This can be overwhelming.
We all started from the beginning – the important thing is to start. Most of us can’t afford everything we need all at once and none of use can acquire all the skills needed in a day. It takes time. Prepping is like putting a puzzle together: One piece at a time.
Perfectionism - Aside from fear, perfectionism is the main cause of procrastination. We want everything to be perfect – if we can’t have the “best”, we wait until it can be afforded. Unfortunately, for most of us we will never be able to afford those items perceived as being the best, so we do nothing.
It doesn’t matter how much you plan, how hard you work or what you do – your plan will never be perfect. Mine isn’t. Remember; perfection is an idea, not a reality.
Sometimes you need to go with a less than perfect plan – buckets of wheat, beans and corn instead of the latest freeze-dried foods - a single-shot break open shotgun instead of super brand X tactical rifle.
Do what you can – now. If you can upgrade later great, if you can’t you’re still be better prepared than 95% of the population. The important thing is to do it now, while you still can. What are you waiting for – get to it.?
What preparedness project have you been procrastinating on? Are you a procrastinating prepper?