As a general rule, I don’t do the whole resolution thing at the start of every year. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in evaluating where I’m at and setting some goals for the year.
Since we’re now into 2022, I thought it was a good time to lay down my “big picture” priorities for myself this year, my reasoning for them, and at least some measure of a plan for making them happen.
The plan part is important. To quote one of my prior commanders, “A goal without a plan is a hope, and hope isn’t a valid course of action.”
This particular episode is a little interesting because I’m recording separately as a podcast, but also doing a livestream on it as well. So you’ll find both the audio above and the stream below. If you didn’t get to participate in the stream, join up for the next one! I really like the participation and interaction we get out of these.
So here we go, the five main things I’m focusing on this year. To be honest, I had a bit of trouble trying to document these because there was of course lots of things I want to make happen this year professionally, personally, and with The Everyday Marksman. All of that doesn’t fit into five things, though.
Here they are, in no particular order. I’ll dig into each of these further.
- Handgun shooting
- Learning and skills acquisition
- Physical fitness, with an emphasis on mobility
- Building and enforcing good nutrition habits
- Finding balance of seriousness and fun
The Everyday Marksman is supposed to be about the complete set of skills a prepared and capable citizen would have. I’ve spent a lot of time and [digital] ink talking about rifle marksmanship, precision rifle skills, and more. But only a scant amount talking about handguns.
The reason for that is pretty simple: I’m way less proficient with handguns.
I get reminded of this every time I go to the range to accuracy test a pistol, and have trouble with producing good groups even off of a rest. It could be the gun, for sure, but I know I am just way less stable with my sight picture than I should be.
It’s also not just about pistol accuracy, but the whole set of skills that go into being a Modern Day Gunslinger.
While it’s been some time since I last got to shoot at the range with someone, I can’t help but remember just how much better someone like my friend Justin Fields of Swift Silent Deadly was than me the last time we went.
Aside from the idea that handguns are just something that I don’t think I’m sufficiently skilled at, I also think there’s a serious practical reason. I’ve been saying it here and elsewhere, but something feels wrong, like the fabric that holds things together is getting ever more frayed. We have some pretty blatant violence going on around the country and there isn’t a whole lot being done about it.
When you think about it, you’re far more likely to have a handgun nearby than a rifle in an emergency. Handguns are simply more discrete, and a concealed gun is not going to draw attention the way a rifle and load carrying equipment will.
At this stage of [potential] low intensity conflict, the handgun is the best way to go for personal defense right now.
Learning and Skills Acquisition
This is a broad topic, with a lot of components. This year I’m putting more emphasis on learning new things across the board.
At one level, I’m committing to reading at least one book per month. That doesn’t mean just Everyday Marksman-related topics, but could also be about business or other things. Not to toot my own horn, but one of the reasons I believe The Everyday Marksman has been successful is that I spent a ton of time listening to business and marketing podcasts early on, and I’ve also applied a lot of those lessons to my professional job as well.
Aside from reading, I’m also looking at other skills. This month I’ve been learning a lot about video editing. This will help not only with the new YouTube channel, but other potential future projects as well. I’m also figuring out which handgun courses I want to participate in this year.
Does this mean I’m not going to keep working on rifle skills and such? No, not at all. I still want to pick a match or two and compete again, it’s just not the emphasis.
Physical Fitness, Emphasis Mobility
Time rages on. I get the periodic reminder that some things are harder to recover from with age. For the last year, my main fitness focus was on strength. While I certainly haven’t been consistent enough to see huge gains there, my workouts were primarily built around heavy lifts and not much else.
Right before the end of 2021, I bent over the “wrong way” and caused some serious spasms in my back. I mentioned this in my recent interview with Doc Larsen.
The truth is that I’ve neglected things like flexibility. I don’t do proper warmups, activations, stretching, and cool downs. It was only a matter of time before the heavy lifting got me because of it.
I’ve long said that tactical fitness is about a spectrum of capability, not just strength. So I need to live by that and work on the other areas- even if I really really like the lifting heavy part.
I have an on-again/off-again relationship with healthy eating. While I’m certainly not terribly overweight by societal standards, I’m not where I want to be. In fact, I’ve pretty much maintained the same weight since I was a 20-year old ROTC cadet- I just want to be leaner.
My problem is that I like food. I also like beer, wine, and whiskey.
Part of hitting my mobility goals means leaning down to a level I’ve not been before. I want this for health reasons, given family medical histories, and also aesthetic reasons. Sue me.
I also think this is important because supply chain issues aren’t really getting any better. Eating healthy is going to keep getting harder and harder for people who don’t have ingrained habits about planning, preparing, and sticking to meal plans.
Allison and I both have a lot of experience here, going back to 2010 when we were first introduced to the Primal/Paleo lifestyles. We’ve even gotten some great results from it. For me, though, I just have trouble sticking with it for long periods of time- and then when I “fall off the wagon” it means I am off of the wagon.
For the record, Allison is much more disciplined at this than I, and there’s a lot I can learn from her. Don’t tell her I said that.
We’re on this already with a pretty tight deficit meal plan we’ve modeled after the work of Mike Matthews. We’re committed to doing this strictly for six weeks and then reevaluating where we’re at. I’d like to see this continue through at least six months.
Balancing Fun and Seriousness
Seriously, I need to get out and have some fun with what we’re doing here at The Everyday Marksman. it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the content treadmill of writing, recording, editing, and posting to social media that I forget to actually go have fun with things.
Maybe even be a little silly about it.
The bottom line is that fun is attractive, and we should all want to attract more people to our way of thinking.
There You Have It
There are, of course, some much more specific goals I have for myself. Today I just wanted to cover the broad topic areas, because you’re going to see them impact the content of the site and the direction I take things for a while.
What are your goals looking like?