13 in 13 Skills Challenge

In episode 1002 I mentioned a program we are soft launching right now and hard launching on Jan 1st 2013.   The program works this way, people commit  to either adding or drastically improving 13 skills in 2013.  The skills can be primitive, traditional, mechanical or even technical.  It is all about restoring the ability to actually do things to our nation.

I would like a cool way for people to track their progress.  A simple profile based website where people can set up their profile, list their skills and just check them off as they get them done.  It needs to be easy to use and easy to manage.  I would like the front to have a list of everyone or perhaps a photo cloud or something.  If anyone knows a word press plugin that will do this let me know.  Or if you know a script that will do this that works too, also if a programmer out there can whip something like this up quickly get in touch with me.

I know we can do this on the forum but a dedicated site seems much cooler!  Also a few people submitted designs for the concept but the best I feel came from Kelly Gendrou at SurvivalGearBags.com here it is…

This is just a comp for now, there may be some tweaks yet to come.  The thought though is we will make version of the graphic with the stars colored in red one by one, each time you complete a skill you can grab a badge with another star colored in for your blog or forum profile or what have you.

Additionally Kelly is working on getting the TSP Gear Shop back in action and we will likely offer this as a moral patch, a decal or both.  While many in the survival community are expecting doomsday on 12-21-12, we are planning for making 2013  a year of personal growth and hope you will join us as part of the challenge.

50 Responses to 13 in 13 Skills Challenge

  1. I like that logo better than the one I sent. Good choice! Congrats Kelly.
    I can’t wait to get started.

  2. Sounds great. I have been doing such a thing in my head and this would be a great motivator to mark my progress.

  3. Really looking forward to this.

  4. Regarding a website solution – as a cub scout volunteer I’ve used google docs to track the progress of each boy’s achievements, then give unit totals so I know how many patches to order at the end of the year etc.

    The problem is, this wouldn’t scale well with a large, dynamic number of people.

    Tracking this data is pretty straight forward, but a meaningful graphical representation of the group’s progress is where the magic must happen.

  5. Duncan MacDuff

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
    – The Notebook of Lazarus Long by Robert A. Heinlein

  6. this sounds like a great idea, i make it my goal to learn a new skill every month already but this would be a great tool

  7. Cannot WAIT to see this get started, I have a couple of skills already that I know I would love to pickup. Additionally want to see the ideas put up by others and see what other skills I might be interested in picking up.

  8. thewarriorhunter

    this is going to be awesome! not only will it help us as individuals to improve ourselves and keep track, but it sounds like we’ll be able to encourage and see other people’s progress as well.

    i would imagine that it is in the works, but i think we should be able to see the other people’s skills that they are developing. someone might list something that i hadn’t thought of but would like to learn, and the door can swing the other way as well.

    also, i am super excited for the TSP gear shop to open back up, i haven’t had a chance to get anything yet and i really want to get some swag to passively advertise the show.

  9. Annually I set goals, every month i review what i need to push harder on. Every 3 months i revisit those goals to verify that they are relevant and realistic.
    In goal planning, i try to break down the tasks into all the little things required, so i can get an idea of when i need to plan those individual tasks, and timelines of execution.
    Put them all in a calendar program, so when you check your agenda, it’s there with everything else. Having reminders is wonderful as well.
    Sunday night, i check to see what the week holds, and verify with the wife that she’s not going to say some last minute “i’ve been telling you for months!” item to do that she didnt actually tell me about, and arrange realistically what i need to get done.

  10. Check out http://wishlistmemberplugins.net/wishlist-checklist, I’ve seen another premium plugin which I bookmarked for future reference which does much the same thing, but I can’t find it.

  11. 2 words……

    Challenge Coin!

  12. Jack,
    What would be cool is to have a place to start building a list of skills to choose from… sorta like the quote by Robert A. Heinlein above. But, break it down to a huge list of skills we can each add to. Then we all can zero in on the 13 we want to work on…

    What would also be fun is if we can create
    “chat room” for each skill so those folks can collaborate during a specific month. Hence, learning a skill would be easier for many if they can add their experience – maybe even have a volunteer leader proficient in a skill to teach and hold the group accountable to steps for improvment… sorry if these ideas were covered on that episode of your podcast but I’m a few espisodes behind!

    Cheers,

    Jake

    • Modern Survival

      We have a TSP chat in the forum. A chat for each skill would be pointless and mostly empty, I am sure many chats can happen in our room and on our zello channel.

      • That makes sense… I guess I was thinking more like a “weekly event” – maybe a weekly conference call (freeconferencecalls.com or a zello ‘meetup’ once per week) so that folks could discuss approach to a new skill, how best to implement etc… come back a week later and discuss progress, setbacks, questions that need answered… maybe that would be a better approach?

        • Modern Survival

          See the thing is do it, I hope dozens of sub groups spin off of this like that. There are tons of free resources like you mention.

    • Check out Zello and Palringo. Both have a “The Survival Podcast Network” channel. The two apps are used hand in hand, and are pretty consistently frequented by extremely knowledgeable people that are all but giddy to share knowledge with others.

  13. Where do we sign up?

    Rook

  14. I would really like a TSP podcast that covers skills that we should all know with links to helpful sites to assist learning. If there is a podcast already please direct me! I really like the idea of having a list of skills to choose from and also being able to see other’s lists.

  15. This sounds like a great program – it’d be nice to see some experienced folks getting a chance to meet students through TSP.

  16. All credit for the design goes to Nicodemus! He has also put together some other great designs you will see in the gear shop soon.

    • Kelly,
      Can you put me in touch with the designer/owner of this logo? I am an assistant principal and would love to modify this logo for a technology project that want to do in 2013. I respect intellectual property and wouldn’t want to alter this without discussing it with the designer.
      Thanks.

  17. I don’t know if this idea has been brought up, but under the skills in the challenge could be a list of references like podcasts, blogs, websites, books, and youtube videos to use for teaching.

  18. Sounds awesome! I can’t wait to take part! How do we judge if we have completed a skill?

  19. This is great. My friends and I have been talking about what skills do we need to start developing. A project like this would be a great ruler, encouragement, and information source! A mobile app version of this would also be nice. This way you could compare your profile/skills with friends or turn new people onto it.

  20. Very cool. I’m in. I’m also on track for the 12/21/2012 goals from last year.

  21. This is so cool! I just shared it with my teens and they are all excited about it as well, and are already brainstorming what skills they might like to learn/improve upon.

  22. Sparky in Maine

    Great idea Jack!! Looking forward to taking part in this, and especially happy because my wife is excited about the idea too!

  23. Last January I decided that I would say yes to the opportunities that came along. I had previously found that I over thought opportunities, and lost out on them as a result.
    It has lead to 3 part time jobs, an expanded garden, meeting some extraordinary people, visiting some places that I never dreamed of (including going to Stampede Days in Calgary, Canada) and learn a few new skills.
    The one new skill you might want to consider is saying ‘Yes’ more often. It can do amazing things for your life.

  24. I think this is a great Idea. I have been thinking about different skills I would like to learn both primitive and technologically advanced, can’t wait!

  25. Jack, Hi.
    Have you got the site programming problem taken care of yet? If not, I believe I can help. I’m a webdesigner and designed my biz’s website http://www.GoldenRetrieverErrands.com and also know a few people who might be able to help If I cannot.
    Don Ricardo
    @DRicardoDesigns

    • Modern Survival

      @Don Ricardo, thank you so much for the offer but the site is now about 50% coded so we have it covered, please stay in touch though who knows what idea I will come up with next.

  26. Problem w/someone else making the list is that I’m a woman & many of the vocal members here are men, so I would suspect the list might play best to their ‘strengths’ & natural talents. I’ve been working up some ideas for the so-called traditional women’s side of things beyond cooking, bearing babies & feeding the chickens.

    How many people here know how to process a fleece, spin it, felt it, weave it, knit it, sewing clothes, making socks, weather proof capes. What about cotton? How many bolts of denim & muslin have you set by for clothing? (Yeah, I know, we’re all going to wear buckskin.) How about paper making, parchment, ink, dyes? Making vinegar, distilling grain alcohol, pressing seed & nut oils. See where I’m going w/this? How many of these things would have ended up on the list? Nah, no lists.

    It would also limit the creative thought process for everyone… exercising the brain cells is a skill a lot of folks would to well to cultivate. As Jack says, THINK!

    • Modern Survival

      @Jane, I don’t think you understand what is being suggested, no one is suggesting that someone make a list and that list be the list and done, I also think you are highly underestimating the female component of the audience.

      The site is about half built already, anyone can add a skill to the list that isn’t already on the list and anyone can see all the skills submitted. Lastly each person sets their own goal for the skill. So I might have “Black Powder Shooting” as a skill but in my case it is all about revolver shooting because I am already pretty experienced with basic black powder with rifles and such but not with a revolver which is a unique skill.

      I think the skill you mention are great for inclusion but again it is about gaining new skills or improving existing ones. So one person may have canning and perhaps simply canning a batch of anything will be enough for them if they have never done so before. Another person with the same skill, canning, may already know the basics and set their goal to learn and process 8 new recipes. Each person sets their own pace and the skills are unlimited.

  27. Jack,
    This is what I was responding to…
    “What would be cool is to have a place to start building a list of skills to choose from… sorta like the quote by Robert A. Heinlein above. But, break it down to a huge list of skills we can each add to. Then we all can zero in on the 13 we want to work on…”

    And the operative word in what I said was vocal…for whatever reason–& I’m not saying it’s anything you’re doing–the posts here, the interviewees, & the call-in shows are predominantly by men. You’ve said you’ve got a lot of women listeners & I believe you, but you don’t have a lot of women speakers. That gives a particular perception bias, right? (Couldn’t help myself, lol) So any list that might be developed as per Jake’s suggestion would necessarily be restrictive.

    I’m very excited about this 13 in 13 idea & I just want to encourage folks to really think outside their ‘prepper’ box…we all know it’s not just about guns & cooking over an open fire, stashing food & solar battery rechargers. There is absolutely no reason for men not to learn how to spin or sew, just like there’s no reason for women not to learn how to shoot or run a chain saw.

    This particular woman has already put sharpening a chain saw chain & replacing a zipper on her 2013 list…

    • Modern Survival

      @Jane frankly I just think you are seeing a problem where there isn’t one, and sorry but I just can see the point as to why.

  28. @Jane
    Maybe I should have said “Then each of us can choose the skills each of us want to work on”

    My pont is eacatly what you offered, skills I “may” be interested in but either don’t know about or forgot about. By building a “what if” list everyone has more options to choose from. By all means, as a woman, add yours too. Jack made it clear that each person has to choose thier OWN skills to improve. The fact you listed some skills I’ve haven’t considered proves the idea has merit, at least for a primer as people evaluate their 13…

  29. Super excited about this! Here are some of the things that I am thinking of:
    Learn Spanish
    Become a better shot with my 10/22
    Get better at my Tai Chi forms
    Master the butchering of rabbits
    Master the hand drill
    Increase my carpentry skills
    Learn to make a new type of basket (I’m thinking splint baskets)
    Increase my knowledge and use of technology in the classroom (I am a middle school teacher)
    Learn to pressure can
    Many more!

  30. Jack.
    I can teach revolver shooting.
    Having spent my formative years (late ’70s) as an Air Force cop, I joke (but it was the Truth!) that I made Las Vegas safe for Democracy with a .38 revolver and 18 rounds.

    Back in the day I could shoot jack rabbits at 20 yards with that. Of course I had to bring my own rounds because Uncle Sugar wanted his rounds back after I returned from deployment babysitting radar equipment over Christmas for 2 weeks in Central Nevada.

    And yes, I ate every one I shot. If one kills it, one has to eat it.
    Now that I am an old fart, I could still teach how to use a revolver to hit the target, not the usual self-defense 10 feet but at 10 yards. I have done it recently with this at the range:
    http://www.ruger.com/products/sp101/specSheets/5720.html
    No brag, just fact.

    The trick is… one can’t be too hungover ;) Other than that, it’s easy.
    [But you'll have to drive to Ohio]

  31. 13 for 2013 and people have already marked goals as complete. Now that is very efficient!

  32. I would love to sign up for something like this. I have realized that I need to expand my skills and I also need to prepare my boys for a “bigger” life than I’m doing now. Bring it on! 13 in 2013!