Late each December, we make a list of resolutions for the coming new year. And if you're anything like me, by March that list has accumulated alternating layers of dust and procrastination like some sort of infernal Guilt Lasagna. Perhaps the mistake we're all making is that our New Year's Resolutions are more of an exercise in masochism than a genuine blueprint for self-improvement. Doing things that are good for us and improve our lives doesn't have to cost hundreds of dollars a year in gym fees or involve a Spartan training schedule. This year, try this list of four New Year's Resolutions that you genuinely won't mind keeping:
1. Take a Concealed-Carry Course You don't have to make a decision about whether or not to carry a concealed firearm right now. However, if you're even wondering whether or not you might like to someday, you should go ahead and sign yourself up for a CCW course. Although the content of the courses changes from state to state, there are a few things you can expect to learn: the parts and nomenclature of handguns, the basics of how they function, the basics of firearm safety and the laws as they relate to self-defense in your area. Aren't all of those good things to know anyway? And if you do decide you'd like to take on the responsibility of carrying a concealed firearm, this will be the first step towards getting your license already out of the way. Here's what one of our regular contributors, Chip Gross, experiencedwhen he got his Ohio CCW.
2. Take a Newbie To the Range When you take a new shooter to the range with you, you're doing so much more than whiling away an afternoon. You're teaching someone how to be safe with a firearm. You're empowering them in the pursuit of their own personal safety. You're demonstrating to them that a lot of what the media has been telling them about guns and how they work is wrong. You're taking away the mystery behind firearms, and replacing it with the kind of knowledge that can only be gained by personal, hands-on experience. If you're able to make the experience fun and successful for them, you may even have yourself a brand-new range buddy. Here are some tips on how to do that.
3. Try a New Shooting Sport If you're like many people who weren't raised around guns and hunting, it's likely you purchased your first firearm for personal defense reasons. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, there are so many wonderful shooting sports out there that can add a whole new dimension, not just to your life as a firearms owner, but to your social life as well. One of the best things about the shooting sports is that you don't have to be big, strong or fast to succeed in them...you could have spent your whole life as "the last kid to get picked for kickball" and still be a dynamo behind the trigger. What's more, you'll soon learn that participating in the shooting sports is a great way to make new friends from all walks of life. Whether it's pistol shooting competitions, rifle shooting competitions, clay games, 3-gun, cowboy action shooting...there's something out there that will work with your personality and your budget. Check out our sister publication, Shooting Sports USA, for some ideas...it's free and NRA membership is not required!
4. Explore America's Wilderness With Your Family The best way to teach your kids to treasure the outdoors is to spend time in it with them. It's not as hard as it sounds; all over America, there are federal lands set aside just for you and your family to enjoy at extremely reasonable prices. Whether it's touring a national monument site, renting a cabin on federal lands, going on a camping trip or taking a drive through the wilderness, there's sure to be something to fit your budget and your family's particular quirks. Click here to see what's out there, and resolve to make a vacation plan before the New Year even begins!
This coming year, set yourself up for success by taking on a resolution list that leaves you feeling better, not worse, than you were before you took pen to paper. It's the easiest way to make sure you have a happy New Year!