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Lessons Learned From Disaster Management Experts

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Emergency preparedness can teach us life preparedness.

Life Lessons Learned From Disaster Readiness Planning, Part 1

At first thought, you might think that planning and preparing for an emergency or disaster has nothing at all to do with being well prepared for real life, every day challenges, but I’ve found that the very principles employed by experts in the in the fields of emergency response and readiness are the very same ones that help us to be well prepared in other areas of life. Read on a little bit, and see what I’ve found:

Know Why

Before embarking on any important mission, know your motivation for embarking on it. In other words, know your “why”. Knowing why you need to accomplish any mission, whether it’s preparing for a natural disaster or a career or a personal goal, brings the most important things about that mission to the surface; allowing you to keep the important things front and center at all times. It also provides motivation for you to draw upon when you run into difficulty, distraction, drudgery and discouragement.

Here are a few rules to follow when discovering your why (or whys). Clearly define your why. No wishy washy or fuzzy, ill-defined reason will do; this is much too important. Make sure your why is important to you; if it’s not it won’t matter enough when the going gets tough, and the going always gets tough at some point. Finally, memorize your why so you can draw upon it in times of need.

Check out this YouTube video of Michael Jr. about why you should know your why, https://youtu.be/LZe5y2D60YU. He’s hilarious, but he also makes the point perfectly in three minutes.

Set Small Easily Achievable Goals (aka Micro-goals)

When dealing with the general public goals have to be easy, or compliance will tank and nothing will get accomplished. This is because the average person is not a highly motivated, over-achieving, type A, super-freak personality. I’ll confess that I’m not this type of person. That’s why I love micro-goals!

The idea is to make goals that are ridiculously easy to achieve. Make goals that are almost impossible not to achieve; at least in the beginning. Then build on your goals, baby step by baby step. For example, if you want to start jogging to get healthier, don’t decide to run 5 miles your first day. Start with a jog you know you’ll accomplish, such as a trip around the block, or even a walk around the block. You’ll never tell yourself you don’t have enough time or energy to do this. You can’t lose! The next day add a block, or a half a block, or a quarter of a block. Whatever you know you can achieve.

Each goal achieved builds on the previous goal accomplished, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself doing quite well. For more information on micro-goal setting, see the Psychology Today article, “Why goal setting doesn’t work”, by Ray Williams.

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