For me, being self-reliant is about personal responsibility and providing for my family. I am tired of corporations and government dictating my health and food choices.

We need, as a country, as communities, and as individuals to develop our own resources. I don’t want to be dependent on some foreign power that may pull the plug at any time.

Farmer carrying basket with fresh organic vegetables

When you can provide for yourself, even in a small way, it gives you a feeling of empowerment. You don’t have to rely on experts to make your decisions for you. We’re here to help you on your journey, though this website, and our mentorship program.

The Japanese concept of “kaizen” translates to “continuous improvement”. It involves taking small steps, every day, to make a process better. We’ve divided these self reliance tips by category to help you get started.

Self Reliant Mindset & Personal Development

  1. Take responsibility: Own up to your actions and decisions, and learn from your mistakes rather than blaming external factors or other people.
  2. Set goals: Define clear goals and create a plan to achieve them, relying on your own efforts and resources.
  3. Practice time management: Learn to prioritize tasks, maximize productivity, and achieve your goals efficiently without relying on external reminders or supervision.
  4. Practice self-discipline: Focus on your goals and follow through with your plans, even when faced with distractions or temptations.
  5. Cultivate self-reliant mindset: Foster a mindset of resilience, adaptability, and self-reliance by reframing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.
  6. Practice self-reflection: Set aside time for introspection and self-reflection to clarify your values, goals, and priorities.
  7. Embrace failure: Failure is an inevitable part of growth and learning. Setbacks are opportunities to refine your skills. Keep records so you can learn from your mistakes.
  8. Practice gratitude: Cultivate a mindset of gratitude for the resources and opportunities available to you. Don’t wait for the world to tell you when to be happy.

Community and Relationships

  1. Develop a support network: No one person can do everything. Cultivate relationships with like-minded individuals who can offer advice or assistance when needed.
  2. Practice mindfulness: Cultivate self-awareness and mindfulness to understand your own needs and emotions better. Build relationships with people who compliment your strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Volunteer: Many hands make light work. Participating in volunteer opportunities can be a good way to meet like-minded people.

Skills & Knowledge Development for Self-Reliance

  1. Become knowledgeable: Stay informed about various topics, from current events to practical skills. This will help you to make well-informed decisions and rely less on others for guidance.
  2. Seek continuous self-improvement: Commit to lifelong learning and personal development. Small changes over time reap dramatic results.
  3. Learn to problem-solve: Develop problem-solving skills to tackle obstacles independently and find creative solutions.
  4. Embrace self-reliant hobbies: Engage in activities like woodworking, hunting, or fishing that encourage self-sufficiency and independence.
  5. Learn to fix things: Acquire basic repair skills for household items, electronics, and appliances to save money on repairs and become more self-reliant.
  6. Develop a personal library: Build a collection of books and resources on various topics of interest. This is more important than ever as online censorship increases.

Financial Independence

  1. Become financially literate: Educate yourself about personal finance, including budgeting, investing, and retirement planning, so you can make informed decisions.
  2. Develop financial independence: Save money, invest wisely, and live within your means.
  3. Learn to trade and barter: Swap with friends and neighbors so you can all have a little more.
  4. Shop used and let others know you are looking for certain items: Many times friends and relatives who are no longer using items are happy to pass them along.
  5. Learn basic car maintenance: Familiarize yourself with basic car maintenance tasks such as changing oil, topping off fluids, or replacing a flat tire.
  6. Invest in self-reliant infrastructure: Add elements like rainwater harvesting systems or permaculture gardens to increase self-sufficiency and reduce reliance on external resources.
  7. Explore alternative energy sources: Investigate renewable energy options such as solar panels or wind turbines to reduce reliance on traditional energy sources and lower utility bills.
  8. Start a side hustle: Generate additional income through a side business or freelancing gig, diversifying your income streams.
  9. Embrace minimalism: Clear out clutter and focus on useful items and meaningful experiences.
  10. Practice resourcefulness: Make the most of what you have by repurposing items, improvising solutions, and finding alternatives when necessary.

Self-Reliance in Daily Life

  1. Create a self-reliant homestead: Establish a self-reliant homestead by growing food, raising animals, and harnessing renewable resources, reducing dependency on external systems for sustenance.
  2. Develop DIY projects: Engage in do-it-yourself projects for home improvement, crafting, or repairs to gain hands-on experience and reduce reliance on professionals for minor tasks.
  3. Grow your own food: Start a vegetable garden or grow herbs indoors to produce your own food and reduce reliance on grocery stores.
  4. Test your soil: Use these simple soil tests to determine the easiest ways to improve your soil quality.
  5. Learn to cook: Master basic cooking techniques and prepare your own meals.Learn to make homemade substitutes for prepackaged items.
  6. Learn to preserve food: Acquire knowledge of food preservation techniques such as canning, pickling, or drying to extend the shelf life of produce and reduce dependency on store-bought goods.
  7. Learn to forage: Familiarize yourself with edible plants and wild foods in your area, enabling you to supplement your diet and connect with nature independently.
  8. Learn how to save seeds: Heirloom and open pollinated seeds will breed true, allowing you to save seeds that grow true to type.
  9. Add small livestock: Chickens and rabbits may be an option even for urban homesteaders.
  10. Learn to sew: Master basic sewing skills to repair clothing and household items, extending their lifespan and reducing reliance on purchasing new items.
  11. Reduce waste: Embrace sustainable practices such as composting, recycling, and reducing consumption to minimize your environmental footprint and promote self-sufficiency.
  12. Learn basic home repairs: Tackling small repair jobs can save a TON of money compared to hiring help.
  13. Become proficient in a trade: Acquire skills in a trade such as plumbing, carpentry, or electrical work to handle household repairs and projects independently.

Health and Wellbeing

  1. Stay active: If you rest, you rust. Regular movement, like daily walking, and the ability to get up off the floor independently improve your odds of living a longer, healthier life.
  2. Practice self-care: Prioritize self-care activities such as meditation, journaling, or hobbies that promote relaxation and well-being, nurturing your physical and mental health.
  3. Spend time in nature: Whether it’s working in your garden or taking a walk in the woods, outside time helps to lower stress levels and improve health.
  4. Master basic home healthcare: Learn basic healthcare skills such as administering first aid, monitoring vital signs, and managing common illnesses.
  5. Reduce dependency on technology: Limit your reliance on technology by practicing activities that don’t require screens, such as reading physical books, drawing, or hiking.

Preparedness

  1. Learn emergency preparedness: Create a comprehensive emergency plan for various scenarios, including natural disasters or power outages.
  2. Develop a survival kit: Prepare a survival kit with essential supplies and knowledge for emergencies, ensuring you can handle unexpected situations and sustain yourself without outside assistance.
  3. Learn basic first aid: Acquire basic first aid skills to handle minor injuries and emergencies, ensuring you can take care of yourself and others in unexpected situations.
  4. Learn a martial art: Study a martial art for self-defense skills, boosting confidence and self-reliance in potentially threatening situations.
  5. Practice self-defense: Take self-defense classes to learn techniques for protecting yourself physically, enhancing your confidence and independence in potentially dangerous situations.

Start with One Thing

Pick one thing off the list and start there. Trying to do everything is a recipe for overload. Don’t delay getting started, waiting for the right conditions. There will always be a reason not to get started.

Here’s an example. To improve the quality of food your family eats, start by replacing a prepackaged food item with a homemade version. Continue until most things you eat are homemade or better quality pre-made.

Eat out less (or not at all). Source your ingredients closer to home, either via CSA, farmer’s market or growing your own. Add more veggies to your family’s meals. Ditch the highly processed snack foods.Buy in bulk and learn how to store foods, or experiment with fermenting or sprouting.

The most important step is getting started.

50 Ways to Become More Self-Reliant

Become More Self-Reliant – Change The Rest of Your Life

Becoming more self reliant is a journey that can last a lifetime. It’s easier to tackle with the right mentors, which is why we created Bona Cresco. Bona Cresco is Latin for “Good Growth”, and is our private membership community.

Bona Cresco

In Bona Cresco, we have forums, courses, and live Q&A sessions to give you the support you need to live a more self reliant life. Save money, take charge of your health, and be more prepared for these turbulent times.

Online censorship, changing search algorithms, and AI generated content have made it harder to find information you can trust. Our core group of “village elders” is made up of friends with decades of real world experience who are ready to help others by sharing their knowledge. We’re building a unique community, and I hope you can be a part of it.

Learn more at Bona Cresco – Your Path to a More Resilient, Abundant Life.

Author & Homesteader Laurie Neverman Profile Photo

This article is by Laurie Neverman. Laurie grew up on a small dairy farm in northwest Wisconsin, and now lives on a 35 acre homestead in northeast Wisconsin. Their family raises meat chickens, laying hens, and ducks. They use solar water heating and line drying, root cellaring and freeze drying, annual gardens and permaculture.

Originally published in 2012, last updated in 2024.