Resolve to Prepare for the Unknown

Sailing has taught me about being prepared. Every time we leave the safety of the harbor we venture into the unknown. We usually expect a fun pleasant journey, but we are always prepared for the worst, because we know that sometimes the worst will come. Sailors know that expecting the unexpected is the best way to stay safe. I decided this year to rely on some lessons from sailing as I share resolutions for 2022 that I believe might benefit all of us as we journey into the unknown.

Resolve to reduce your debt. Write down your entire family debt on this day and resolve to make that number smaller by year end. Debt is like a having a leak in your boats’ hull. During good weather your bilge pumps may have little trouble keeping up with the problem but when the storm comes you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed by the flood. In a time of trouble when you are least able to bail out the boat you may find yourself sinking quickly. Fix the leaks now while you have time by reducing your debt.

Resolve to learn more. Whatever your career might be, make the decision to improve your abilities in a meaningful way. A sailor never stops learning and is always working to sharpen their skills. Last time we were out I watched Jared, during a very smooth stretch, working on his knots. When the seas are rough, he will be glad he has his knot tying skills down. Make yourself more valuable to society and you will be rewarded for it. This applies to those still employed as well as the already retired. Continue to educate yourself and improve on your talents, and your ability to handle challenges will increase.

Resolve to live within your capabilities. Before embarking on a journey, a sailor checks the weather, including the ocean currents and size and shape of the swells to determine whether the craft he is setting out in is capable of safely navigating the conditions. It’s not so much the condition of the seas, as the abilities of the sailor and the vessel that determine the safety of the journey. Too many people live beyond their financial capabilities and expose themselves to unnecessary risk. Determine your financial capabilities and resolve to live within them.

Resolve to help others. It is the code of the sea that every sailor will render aid to another mariner in a time of trouble. I bought my first boat when I was 17 years old and since then I have often helped others in need, and others have helped me, and we all got home safely. All are benefitted when we care for each other, and the service we give always comes back to us. As you journey into 2022, remember the others sailing along with you, and take care of them. Given the past two years, maybe this resolution will be the most important of all if every one of us would make and keep it.