Firearm Training & Gear New Years Resolutions?

It is the time of year where over half of American adults will set goals for the new year. I LOVE new years' goals and the opportunity to be reminded to plan ahead and try to improve myself and my situation.

As a responsible gun owner, there are many things you may consider to improve your ability to defend yourself and your loved ones that do not have to cost a fortune (though money helps).

Goals To Consider

Goal Category 1: Upgrade Your Loadout

The Rough Idea & Why This Matters: None of us have a “perfect” loadout. Everyday life gets in the way of carrying the ideal gun, with the ideal amount of ammunition, less lethal options, medical gear, etc. While none of us is perfect it is important that we also don't settle with what we deem to be good enough. We all have room for improving our EDC loadout.

Maybe this year you finally get a quality gun belt?

Some examples of goals you may set:

  • Try a new carry position that will allow for a faster draw or greater weapon retention.
  • Make changes to my clothing choice and wardrobe to allow me to conceal a larger gun
  • Carry a tourniquet or full or abbreviated IFAK
  • Carry a less-lethal option like pepper spray in addition to my firearm
  • Purchase a higher capacity gun, a gun that fits my hands better, is easier to manipulate, shoots cheaper ammo so I can practice more, or whatever thing you probably should consider for your next gun


Goal Category 2: Consistent Learning | Training | Practice

The Rough Idea & Why This Matters: More important than our gear is our knowledge, mindset, and skill level. Wherever you are now you can improve and grow and if you don't continue to train and practice you will lose the skills you have already invested in learning.

Perhaps taking one of our Guardian Pistol Classes is in your future!

Some examples of goals you may set:

  • LEARNING: Subscribe to a credible firearm-related magazine, podcast, blog, or YouTube channel. Turn on notifications if necessary and consume the content as it comes to you.
  • TRAINING: Take a formal class from someone who knows more than you. Consider defensive handgun or carbine, low-light, medical, or whatever you fill will best move you forward on your journey to protecting your life and the lives of your loved ones. Consider augmenting in-person training with video-based training options.
  • PRACTICE: Join a gun club and/or commit to visiting a range on a regular basis that works with your schedule. Purchase ammo in bulk to reduce overall cost and ensure you have enough supply. Schedule time at home on a regular basis to conduct dry fire practice.


Goal Category 3: Support the Second

Why This Matters: The second amendment is under attack and any gun owner who cares about their rights needs to take proactive steps to support our freedoms. We all have a different capacity for supporting this right but we call all do something!

Some examples of goals you may set:

  • Introduce someone new to guns. Perhaps a co-worker, family member, or neighbor. They may be anti-gun or lukewarm today but after your determined efforts and kind hand-holding, they will become the newest supporters of our very important rights to firearms and self-defense.
  • Get educated on current gun control-related topics such as red flag laws, “assault weapon” bans, magazine capacity limitations, mandatory secure storage, and universal background checks. A mentor of mine taught me that to truly understand an issue is to research it so thoroughly that you can debate EITHER side of the argument and win.
  • Contact your local or national representatives and let them know how you feel about specific issues that impact our firearm freedoms
  • Donate to an organization that you have researched and feel is well suited and effective at protecting our 2nd amendment rights


Tips For Making Good Goals

Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, valuable, and timely

If you set a goal to become a “better shot” what in the world does that mean and how will you know if you accomplish your goal? Compare that to a goal to run the “Bill Drill” in under 4 seconds 4 out of 5 times. That is extremely specific and measurable.

As you consider the goals you are going to set as a gun owner make sure they meet the five criteria above.

Schedule The Next Task Required To Reach Your Goal

The single biggest stumbling block to reaching your goal is just doing nothing. Whatever the goal it is critical that you set a time in your schedule in the relatively immediate future to take the first step. The first step might be researching available classes in your area, or calling your instructor or mentor to ask a question about carry position, or finding the best articles to read online about a specific legislative topic.

Whatever the first step is to plan a time to accomplish it. When you complete that first step plan a time to complete the next step and so on.

Make It A Habit and a Hobby

The biggest secret to accomplishing a goal is to build a habit and one of the best ways to build a stronger habit it to find a way to make it enjoyable. The more you truly enjoy and find pleasure in an activity the more you are drawn to do it regularly.

If you don't think going to the gun range and spending 200 rounds in some concentrated drills and practice routines is very enjoyable then you are very unlikely to do it for any period of time.

Please share with me in the comments below what goals you are going to set for becoming a better prepared and committed gun owner!

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.

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