5 Simple Ways to Become More Self-Reliant

Want to be a more self-reliant individual? Here’s five ideas to taking those steps forward.

Acknowledge what you rely on in life

Not everything you rely on is a negative thing, nor can any person become entirely self-reliant in every aspect of their life. We live in a global economy and we’re just human beings – we have vices and needs.

But one step towards become more self-reliant is just acknowledging what you already rely on. Simon Sinek’s Millennials in the Workplace video gets a ton of flak, but one thing I did take away from it: I have become entirely too reliant on my smartphone. I didn’t even realize it until I listened to this outside perspective and noted my own behaviors.

To get some assistance with this step, ask a friend or family member. Ask them if they have noticed what your dependencies are because in all likelihood, you’ll have trouble seeing the forest for the trees. Here are some questions to think on:

  • What do I do when I feel stressed? What’s my first reaction?
  • Is there something I wish I could change in myself but have struggled with for many months or years?
  • Are there foods I wish I could stay away from?
  • What have my past new year’s resolutions been? Have I met them?

Start a food journal

Everyone eats food. Maybe you’ve already noted from the previous step that hey, maybe you rely a little too much on alcohol as a crutch in social settings. Maybe you rely on chocolate at the end of a hard day as a pick-me-up a little too often. Maybe you rely on frozen foods and convenience in lieu of food with substance.

Chances are, you have some bad habits but it’s hard to identify them. Take a serious look at what you’re consuming. One of the great examples in Charles Duhigg’s Power of Habit relates back to this and the importance of starting small, but has noted that food journaling is a keystone habit that affects a lot of other parts of your life.

Meditate

I know. It sucks. It feels counter-intuitive to waste time and it’s very hard to sit still and not think about anything when there’s so much going on around you. But it’s a key part of helping your brain defrag.

Self-reliance comes in a lot of different forms – financial independent, self sustenance in terms of food and everyday necessities, survialism, self improvement and learning…I could go on and on. But to take any step forward externally, you have to manage yourself internally first. This step helps.

It’s really, really hard but it helps.

My therapist suggested using the MP3s on this site and I’ve followed it for years now. I started with the “Three minute breathing” exercise for one week. Then the “Six minute breath awareness” exercise for two weeks

Now I’m on the “Ten minute mindfulness breathing” and I play it from my phone every day in the afternoon. If I don’t meditate for 10 minutes each day, I feel it.

Make a mind map

Experiment with a mind map to identify the areas of your life where you can work on becoming a more independent, healthier person. If financial self-reliance is your goal, this is a powerful tool to use. Check out the overview on Lifehacker. It’s challenging to start, but it’s worth it.

Meditating can help you get to the point where you’ve sorted out your thoughts and what you rely on to bring everything together into a mind map.

Get on Goodreads

Most people want to read more on a regular basis but it’s a challenge. One ofthe easiest ways to a more self-reliant lifestyle is to read more and learn more. The “ROI” of reading is touted by start-up founders and past presidents.

Learning is a lifestyle. It’s one of the typically noted habits of millionairesand it never goes out of style. Consider getting on Goodreads or other sites encouraging reading habits.

Bonus points: check out Coursera. See what’s available. It can be like Pringles for the learners of the world but test the waters – pick a free class and try it out. If you’ve always wanted to learn more about programming, try it. If you’ve always wanted to learn more about nutrition and diet, there’s classes for that too. My favorite class I ever took was “Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life” – did it have anything to do with my career? No. But it was delightful and I learned more about the human body in the process.

Sleep & Exercise

Not at the same time. But these two basic components (along with your diet) affect you more than you think. If you want to become a more independent person, manage some of your basic needs first.

What has helped me has been keeping records of things – it’s a broad, easy step to take. I’ve willingly relied on my Fitbit for many years now in order to become more self reliant in other aspects of my life.

If you’re covering your bases in terms of your diet, your mental health and these two components of your physical health, any goal you have towards become less reliant on a host of different aspects becomes much easier.

What is prepping?

Prepping, or survivalism, is what we do every day of our lives on some scale. We eat, drink, sleep, work to keep a roof over our heads, and repeat.

If you check out Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs, you can see that as humans, we typically want to do more things than just survive:

We’ve built up societies and civilizations to collectively support those lower needs at economies of scale and focus more on supporting the higher ones, the psychological and self-fulfillment ones, more readily.

Survivalism, at its core, asks “What if those sociological structures fall away and we are left on our own? What if a catastrophe happens and we enter a period of uncivilization?” Or, in their terms, “what if shit hits the fan (SHTF)?”

The history

Survivalists, also known as preppers, retreaters, and a slew of other terms over the centuries, are people (either as an individual or as groups) who are readying themselves for dire circumstances. The circumstances can range in origin, from natural disasters to societal collapse to armed conflict, and also in scale, from local discord to international cataclysm.

There are many interpretations of survivalists vs. preppers vs. other terms but for the sake of simplicity, we refer to them all as survivalists.

The survivalism movement began taking traction in the modern world in response to times of heightened global volatility. The Great Depression, the Cold War, oil crises, Y2K, acts of terrorism, environmental disasters – throughout the history of the US, the many difficulties the country has faced has historically resulted in upswells of interest in survivalism and preparation.

For the first time as a society, however, the US is seeing this movement become more mainstream. The Trends Research Institute stated in 2009 the noted rise of the “neo-survivalism” movement,

“When you go back to the last depressing days when we were in a survival mode, the last one the Y2K of course, before the 1970’s, what had happened was you only saw this one element of survivalist, you know, the caricature, the guy with the AK-47 heading to the hills with enough ammunition and pork and beans to ride out the storm.

This is a very different one from that: you’re seeing average people taking smart moves and moving in intelligent directions to prepare for the worst. (…) So survivalism in every way possible. Growing your own, self-sustaining, doing as much as you can to make it as best as you can on your own and it can happen in urban area, sub-urban area or the ex-urbans.

And it also means becoming more and more tightly committed to your neighbors, your neighborhood, working together and understanding that we’re all in this together and that when we help each other out that’s going to be the best way forward.”

That being said, there are several different types of survivalists and preppers out there. Some are hobbyists, some are far more serious. It’d be extraordinarily difficult (and/or expensive) to prepare for every possible crisis scenario on Earth. Survivalists tend to fall into these different categories in terms of the scenarios that are emphasized and prepared for:

  • Natural disaster
    • With varying lengths – brief (ex. tornado, hurricane, wildfire, earthquake, or heavy snowfall regions), prolonged (drought, crop failures), indefinite (volcano, climate change, nuclear winter, meteor impact)
  • Human-made disaster
    • Peak oil, Malthusian/overpopulation, pandemic/epidemic, collapse of civilization, financial disasters
  • Religious
    • Rapture/Tribulation
  • Short-term general safety
    • Safety preparedness, self-defense, medical crisis
  • Wilderness safety
    • The ability to survive in the wilderness for indefinite periods of time and withstand environmental conditions

But it’s worth noting – prepping is kind of whatever you want it to be. You might prep for short-term disasters, long-term disasters, or whatever you might feel that the future holds.

What is ModernPrepping.Life?

For years, I’ve been watching the prepping industry and how it’s evolved. Or not evolved.

There’s a ton of prepping sites out there – prepping being the act of preparing for impending doom in some way, shape or fashion. Preppers are also known as survivalists or retreaters. Or crazies. It’s not been a positive term over the years.

But the fact of the matter is we’re getting closer and closer to the 2 degrees Celsius limit and growing repercussions from hitting this point. And prepping continues to be a very politically and religiously charged hobby for people who live in rural communities, for the most part.

I’m not a survivalist expert. I’m not religious. I’m not political. I just have a vested interest in keeping my family alive over the next several decades and I’m keen on helping others prepare for possible changes over the next few years, too. If anything, my husband and I are more into the Zero Waste movement and being as sustainable now as we possibly can (which ties in a lot with prepping, truth be told) but I’m also a realist – we might be past the point of no return.

So. This site is for the people out there who don’t want to focus on prepping and may not be the typical prepper. A lot of people don’t have homesteads. A lot of people have varied life circumstances and so many prepping sites and communities treat prepping like a job or a very expensive hobby.

Not here. The goal is to help people prepare themselves for big and small disasters but also for people who don’t necessarily live in rural settings. Or have pets. Or might be pregnant. Or disabled. Or live in an apartment. Who knows.

The big thing is this site will never have any politics or proselytizing. Just modern prepping that can fit into your existing lifestyle.

Ideally, there will eventually be a store on this site. It’s important to be clear here: I’d like to provide people with knowledge but also provide useful things that either I’ve tested or my friends or family members have tested that might be helpful in the short-term or long-term. Posts won’t be biased to sell you things, if at all possible. But it’s worth it for you to know that as a reader that there may be a monetary gain on my end.

That being said, I’m super against wasteful consumerism. I want to test things as much as possible before recommending them to anyone else and this is a win-win for me to get to prepare, learn more about preparing, test out items, possibly make my own in the future and also keep them in stock for you. There’s tons of prepper sites out there with broken links galore because they recommend items that will give them a commission but then the item goes out of stock or totally off of Amazon, which feels pointless to me. I want us to have a shop we can control that can always offer the items I’ve tested and support.