Belated New Years Resolutions - ITS Tactical

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Belated New Years Resolutions

By The ITS Crew

Hopefully everyone has had a great start to the New Year!

While it’s unbeleivable that nearly a month has past us by, we’d like to throw out ideas for some last minute New Years Resolutions.

We’ve compiled a few of our own, and a few based on an email we received from Neil Strauss’ (author of Emergency) mailing list.  He’s got some great insight, and we always enjoy reading what he sends out.

So, if you’ve yet to make your resolutions, or have forgotten them already, give these a read…

Things You Can Do In One Day To Improve Your Life

  • Register your full name as a web domain if you haven’t yet.  You never know when you’re going to want your personal website.  If www.[yourname].com is already taken, don’t worry – there are  alternatives like hyphenating or choosing a less common  TLDs (or end letters) like .ws or .me.
  • Call your cell phone provider. Ask if you can get a better  calling plan based on your usage. This way you can afford to do the  next item on this list.
  • Subscribe to a newspaper or magazine. Choose a topic that you  don’t know about – be it politics, fashion, culture, or technology  – and sign up for the best periodical covering that topic. Rather  than choosing the most popular magazine, select one that offers  the most in-depth and interesting coverage, like Wired for  technology or Foreign Affairs for politics or Mental Floss for  culture. Yes, you could read it all online, but it’s great to have  a physical magazine to read when you’re on the subway or on an  airplane or waiting in line somewhere.
  • Get a passport if you don’t have one. If yours has expired, get  it renewed now. If you’re in America, you can simply go to most post offices with  two acceptable photos of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a  valid form of photo identification. You can find more information  here. And, for those of you  who’ve read Emergency and qualify for a passport to a second  country (if, for example, you have a parent or grandparent who was  born in Ireland), take advantage of that opportunity now, before  the rules change.
  • Back it up. Most people don’t take the time to do this,  and regret it later. So copy your entire hard drive onto an  external drive immediately; if possible, download a program like  Acronis True Image that will simplify the restoring process and  regularly make backups (or for Mac owners, start using Time  Machine or SuperDuper). Also backup your cellphone, PDA, and  any other personal-information-storing device.
  • Copy your important documents. Make photocopies of your credit  cards, passport, drivers license, social security card, birth  certificate, and other important papers. If you keep a journal or  anything similarly irreplaceable, photocopy that. Keep these in a  safe deposit box, parent’s house, locked file cabinet, or any other  secure location, preferably outside your own house. They’ll be  invaluable in the event of theft, loss, fire, or any other  unplanned incident.
  • Look through your refrigerator and cabinets. Read the labels on  the food. Stop buying anything high in saturated fats, trans fats,  cholesterol, and sodium. And start shopping healthier today. Here’s  a handy free e-book from the government on how to eat healthy.
  • Get business cards. Don’t have a business? It doesn’t matter.  Sites like will send you 250 free ones (though  there’s a shipping fee of under $6). Never hurts to look  professional.
  • Get your free Credit Reports. Check your credit report for identity theft, or any other  misinformation or errors that could harm your financial status and  options. You are entitled to one free check a year at
  • Make an appointment to get a physical checkup. Head off any  potential medical problems that may hinder an active, fun year.  Also recommended: make an appointment with a dentist to get your  teeth cleaned if you haven’t done so in the last six months. You  may also want to call for an eye exam if you haven’t had one in the  last five years.
  • This is not for everyone, but some of you–and you know who you  are–definitely need to do this: Throw out all your socks. Every  last one. Now go buy new pairs that actually match and don’t have  holes in them. You’ll feel like a new man. Remember, get black  socks. White socks are for athletic activities only. I don’t want  to catch any of you guys here wearing white socks in the bars or  clubs!
  • Get prepped: Go sign up for  a local CERT class (or an equivalent if you live outside the U.S.).  It’s free and will teach you the basics of survival and disaster  preparedness so you can be a local hero. Plus you’ll get a nifty  green uniform like in this photo. While you’re there, enter your zip code in the box to find CERT  classes in your area.
  • Buy a suit. (Or a dress if you’re a woman.) But don’t just get  any suit or dress. Get one that’s slightly closer to the size you  want to be this year, whether it be a little bigger or a little  smaller than your current measurements. Try it on every Saturday  morning as a reminder to yourself to get in shape this year;  until, one day, it fits perfectly, and you wear it out and feel  like a million dollars.
  • Decide to actually become a millionaire. You can find out how much money you’ll need to save here. And, afterward, it’s always good to find out what you’re worth.
  • Shoot better. Zombies, aliens, whatever you’d like to be prepared to handle – Find a buddy to train with, Get some professional instruction, or at the very least read some books that will show you methods and drills you can run yourself at the range.
  • Learn a new skill-set. Don’t let life get in the way of learning how to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Research what you want to learn and set aside a pre-designated time to hone that skill every day, or at the least every week.

What are your New Years Resolutions?

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  • Great list!

    I would also suggest getting a passport card while you are at it:

    Never hurts to have another form of government approved ID.

    • Great tip Blake! Those are definitely great to have!

      ~ Bryan

  • Jay Kerr

    I’m in –

    I signed up for CERT in the spring – prioritized a things to do list (man there is soooo much!) and started working out consistently again. Speaking of which – that might be good to add to that list along with physical exam –> get and stay in shape! Never to late to start.

    • Jay,

      Definitely a good one for the list, as far as the contest goes, please add your “I’m in” into the contest post.

    • Jay Kerr

      Yes sir – had it on there, just making sure it’s counted for in all the right places 😉

  • r1p_c0rd

    Some cool ideas, suprisingly (to me…) 5 of the ideas I have recently started work on or made preparations to do. Nice to know I’m on the same page as you guys…

    Thinks for the tips.

  • r1p_c0rd

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention…

    I’m in.

    • r1p_c0rd, you’re welcome for the tips! please add your “I’m in” into the contest post.

  • Nice list,

    anyone know something similar to CERT in Europe (Belgium). I have been looking for a while but haven’t found anything.
    Thanks in advance and thanks for the tips. keep up the good work ITS!

  • code24

    Seriously, what is the deal with Neil Strauss? I haven’t given his book a second glance, becasue I don’t make it a habit of getting survival advice and advice on picking up women from the same source. This guy is a reality TV star, has ghost written books for Jenna Jameson and Marilyn Manson, and refers to himself as “Style”, yet he seems to be respected by some in the tactical and self-reliance community. What am I missing? What are this guy’s credentials?

    • Code24,

      Completely understand your hesitation. I was the same way myself until I decided to just pick up his book one day and start reading it. I’d read some reviews and heard friends talking about it and gave it a shot.
      I’m a big reader, but don’t consider myself someone that can sit down with a book and read it front to back.

      That’s exactly what I did with Emergency though. There’s a wealth of knowledge in that book from many different aspects, a self-reliance one in particular. I definitely gained respect for Neil by the time I was finished because he started off as a bleeding heart liberal and transformed himself into someone that knew not only how to be self-reliant, but who actually put his money where his mouth was.

      Give it a read and let me know what you think. I haven’t read anything else by him, nor do I plan to read the content he’s written that doesn’t interest me, but the more I read about “The Game” the more I’d like to check it out from a “Social Engineering” perspective.

      ~ Bryan

    • code24

      Interesting. I’ll take a look.

      FYI, if you want to learn about social engineering, check out some of the stuff Kevin Mitnick has written.

    • Agreed. Don’t know if you’ve seen our article on his business card yet 🙂

      ~ Bryan

    • Yep “the art of deception” is a good one to start with

    • code24


      Ha! I hadn’t seen that. Nice.

  • After reading the 2 articles last year on getting SCUBA certified, I decided that I wanted in on the action and am currently taking the PADI route at my university. The other great thing is that it fulfills the last requirement I need to finish my Bachelor’s degree. I’m really going to push myself and try and get through the Rescue Diver cert instead of just the basic.

    • That’s awesome!

      Glad you’re doing that, remember it’s all about what you make of it.
      We’ve been working on some diving articles lately and should have something cool coming up here shortly. If you need any diving advice, ask away. You’ve come to the right place 🙂

      ~ Bryan

    • Brockb

      I’ve been certified since I was 14 through PADI and took the advanced a couple years ago. I’m still trying to find time/money to get the Rescue Diver. Good on you for following through! Diving is great.

  • For the “Copy your important documents” I scan all of my documents, attach them to an email and email myself so no matter where in the world I am I can get a copy.

    That saved my ass once when I lost my wallet in Jordan and didn’t know the numbers to any of my credit card companies.

    • Good tip James!

    • what scanner do you use? I’m thinking to buy a snapscan, but it’s rather expensive but I like it’s speed and compact’ness.

  • Terry

    It’s great to see a Tactical site giving some genuine life advice. Too many focus on “door kicking” a little too much and on personal development a little too little.

  • AndrewxAnarchy

    Totally bookmarked!

  • ttomcat: I have a Brother and an HP Scanner, but honestly a scanner is a scanner, don’t spend more that 100 USD

  • Kevin Larkin

    Great list. So simple but so true. Thanks for this.

  • Code24 –

    Don’t be so quick to dismiss Neil Strauss’s Emergency, it is a well written book by someone who was willing to get out of their comfort zone and actually learn something new.

    Yes Neil Strauss is quite famous in the seduction community because of his book “The Game” that he wrote about learning pickup (I remember reading his posts before he wrote that book). I really don’t see how that a problem, he is a writer that writes about his experiences and the experiences of others – that is his job.

    Emergency is a great book that is very honestly written – it also has allot of great general information about everything from tradecraft to wilderness survival and it is entertaining (something most books about similar subjects are not).

    So if you get a chance grab a used copy on Amazon for 5 bucks and check it out – I suspect that you will be pleasantly surprised.

    ~James G

  • TJK

    Great list, added a few to my own resolutions, which (before reading this) were:

    1.- Loose 20 lbs.
    2.- Get ready to run a half marathon
    3.- Shoot 2,5″ groups at 25 yards (i’m a mediocre shooter)
    4.- Get a new gun (not so easy in my country)
    5.- Get a new job that pays double of what I make now.
    6.- Go to the doctor and dentist
    7.- Learn more about stock trading

  • A bit of tweaking… don’t read anything on nutritional data from the government, especially not the FDA, if you followed the food guide pyramid you would be morbidly obese and most likely have developed cancer or heart disease…

    My wife and I are climbing Everest in 2012, we’ll be using Denali this year and next to prep for the expedition…

    Get a kayak, there’s a resolution… and a good one, or even better…




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