Individualized Preparedness Plan: Goals vs Themes

by Todd Walker

My day job consists of writing, monitoring, and implementing IEP’s (Individual Education Plans) for my students. Bear with me as I use a bit of teacher-speak. There’s a point to all this concerning preparedness.

One of the goals of the IEP is to find the Least Restrictive Environment for students with special needs. LRE is one of six principles governing how students with disabilities are educated. The unique individual needs of students are addressed in the IEP. The IEP committee takes into account the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and unique needs and places her in her least restrictive environment. This gives her the opportunity to go to school with non-disabled students to the maximum extent that is appropriate (depending on the individual situation).

With this background information, let’s delve into what I wrote about the other day: IPP (Individual Preparedness Plan).

It makes complete sense. We plan for life’s unexpected hiccups and even worse, disasters. There’s insurance for just about any situation or thing imaginable. Coverage is available for things like fire, floods, and a beautiful pair of legs.

Claire Wolfe has a series going over at her blog Freedom Living dealing with Preparedness Priorities. So far she’s got Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V…so far. I want to piggyback (steal the idea) off one of her common sense posts to develop an IPP for my family.

Since going primal, I keep crazy hours. I go to bed shortly after dark and get up at scary (peaceful) hours the next morning. Crank up the Bunn, add Regular Guy coffee (whatever is on sale), check on stuff (email, my blog, Twitter – I try to limit this black-hole activity to 30 minutes), do some reading (jot down notes of interest), run barefoot some mornings, and then write. I’m not really good at the last part but find it helps relieve stress from our present situation. What’s my point in sharing the trivialities of my life?

Pesky individualism…

To demonstrate that we’re all individuals. Each of us has different needs, wants (they’re important too), and possible scenarios which should be taken into account in our preparedness planning.

One of the benefits of writing an individual education plan for my students is, err…, it’s individualized. I look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and possible threats in their learning environment. Then I write their learning goals/objectives for the year.

Pay attention here, please. Here’s a bit of unconventional wisdom. I stopped setting goals for my personal life a few years back. I find them to be very disappointing. Once reached, I’d have to set the bar even higher. It became a drug. I was addicted. Especially when it came to preparedness. Goals ruled my life. Achieving my goals of collecting survival stuff and skills always gave me an exhilarating high. But more often than not, I wouldn’t reach a goal and beat myself down for failing. Dust off the failure and go looking for my next fix.

Goals vs Themes

If total preparedness is your goal, you’ll never reach it. Instead, make preparedness and self-reliance a theme. Themes are different. With a theme, preparedness becomes a life style – not a one time event. I compare my theme to a bicycle rim. Each spoke represents different aspects of preparedness, self-reliance, and freedom. They are all weak by themselves. But they reach critical mass and strength at the center of the rim when they all intersect. The center is where the power is magnified. If on spoke fails, not a huge problem. Those adjacent to it will pick up the slack. (If anyone has graphic design experience, I’d love to see this concept on “paper”. I’d like to use it in my book that I’ve never started).

When I was in business, my goal was to make money. Lots of it. Period. I lost sight of people (which really was not in my nature – but money called). They became just stones to help me climb to the top of ‘financial freedom.’ If my foot dislodged a poor ‘stone’ from the side of the mountain causing them to crash at the base, that was not my concern. What a miserable, arrogant existence.

My life changed. My theme is to love my family, help my neighbor, and be happy. Simple. Themes allow flexibility. Goals don’t. Failure is built-in, even encouraged, if you live thematically (is that even possible?). I’m done ranting.

Tomorrow’s post will cover what you might want to consider when writing your Individual Preparedness Plan.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


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Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Individualized Preparedness Plan: Goals vs Themes

  1. Todd, I found your post quite interesting. I would have loved to have you for a teacher when I was a zombie in school. But if I had, I would have been in that special class for the unfortunate. I turned out to have my own business for many years and had lots of freinds, clients who came in once a month or so for haircuts or beauty needs. Since having a car wreck and acquiring PTSD, I gave up everything and moved to an apt. I lost my friends as they went somewhere else. I am lost. I have been fired from 4 jobs, trying to work part time. Never having anyone guide me from 5 yrs on, I was self reliant. All teachers should take the time to evaluate students and I am sure now there are more who are not there than then I know teachers don’t have that kind of time. I consider myself as autistic or moreso Asberger (sp), at that time. because no one got my attentiona and in school I was searching for who I was. I didn’t need to know about Rip Van Winkle or the Headless Horserman. I wanted to know who I was. I am sure there are children who were abandoned and feel the same way. Like the ones spoke of early on in your post. I wish I could find a way to help with those people, but I have no credentials. I am a Cosmetologist, Esthitician, Instructor. There is a long story behind that as well, but I just wanted you to know of my instance, briefly, that there are those who have and those who have not. You seem to be caring and knowing. Maybe you could give me some indeas on how to survive now. I need work to go on and only have my inner experience and knowledge to give. No papers to hang on the wall that amount to anything of importance. I am an artist with people. My business was more than just hair and the body. I have a knack with others and stumped myself.


  2. Pingback: Individual Preparedness Plan: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats « Survival Sherpa

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