2016 End of year family resilience review

With the year coming to a close, and with things slowing down for the holidays, now is a good time to reflect back and review what goals you achieved this year. Every day is a chance to step towards the lifestyle that you want, and me and my family listed goals at the beginning of 2016. I am preparing a summary for my family so I can show our progress. Seeing numbers and results quantifies the efforts and sacrifices we have made. It also reminded us of the mistakes we told ourselves we were going to fix-and how we fixed them. I wanted to share some of our goals and which ones we can check off our list.

Reduce debt

-credit no. 1 – auto parts store
-credit no.2 – bank credit card
-credit no.3 – bank credit card
One of our big goals was to reduce debt. I went thru Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at our local church and learned a ton. With adjustments to our current budget, and with the debt snowball plan, we have made a good dent on our debt. We paid off credit no.2 and 3 above and are working on the rest of them. We knocked out others not listed above. We made the above list in early 2016 and it turned out other debts were easier to close-so those got paid off too. We also paid off our Jeep-which is one of the biggest debts we had. There’s still a few, but it is empowering to know we paid off a few debts last year.
We are still adjusting our budget as we go, and we are still learning discipline so we stay within budget and can know way ahead if there is a big purchase we should plan for. Listing things down really helps. Having them in a notebook somewhere rarely helps, because we never really see that note again. What I’ve done that has worked, is to gather any actionable items I add to the notebook into a spreadsheet. Google sheets work well for this, as I can review and update it wherever I am. The items on the sheet become a schedule on a calendar or a purchase adjustment we will be preparing for.

Reduce clutter for home relocation

-eliminate junk
organize
We still have a bunch of the junk. We are slowly selling them online though, and my wife has made some money off of them. We’ve also done a bit on organizing, and our seasonal clothes are currently organized in the garage. I would say these both move as ongoing items in 2017.

Dad

CCW permit-get my ccw permit
PDC-finalize design and submit for review
Microgreens work flow-establish a routine for the business
CCW
I got my ccw early last summer and have endeavored to carry every day since. It has been a learning experience, one that I hope to write about at some point and share my thoughts and mistakes about. This has been a goal for quite some time, and I am glad I have finally checked it off my list
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PDC
As for the PDC (permaculture design course), I have been sitting on a design which is about 60% done. I have not made much progress on it, but I will be revisiting this for 2017.
Microgreens work flow
I worked hard on this and did establish a good workflow. I had a schedule all week. Some days and times are set for cold calling restaurants. I had days set for planting, harvesting, maintenance and some days for research. In the end however the urban farm selling microgreens was not profitable for me. I could hardly find restaurants willing to pay for the premium local produce. I ran out of steam around October and a few days ago in December I officially closed the operation.
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Mom

Take real estate classes
Mom has been making progress on this. We made adjustments to our schedule so I can get home sooner and her locking herself in a room away from any distractions to study. The schedule has been a struggle, but we both agreed we will work towards this goal. She has completed her classes and passed the trial exams. She is now studying for the actual test.

Kiddos

set their own routine and run through it
in the morning, to wash up and get dressed
at night, brush and clean up
Learn to focus

My son and I are still working on this. We’ve set alarms on our phones with a separate ringtone so he knows it is pertaining to his tasks. We have an alarm for breakfast,getting dressed and getting in the car to go to school. We have a few distractions (a lot) but we are making progress.

Summer goals

Fishing-learn to fish or start to learn to fish
Camping-go on at least 1 trip with family
Backyard pool – kids longing for pool fun
Beach trip-see the dang beach!
Fix girl’s room-organize a room for E’s stuff
Gardening-grow 3 select veggies we usually eat
Fishing– we went on a couple of fishing trips South of Dallas. We did not have much luck but we had a pleasant experience. My hope is we can do this more often and find some spots closer to home. I did not push the family to go fishing. I tried to make it as casual as we could, if at some point we got bored from waiting, we went on another adventure along the way. I think this is useful so that the fishing trip is tied to a positive experience that day. Maybe we did not catch any fish, but the family bonded and did some other cool things together.
We plan to keep working on this in 2017. I really want to learn to fish and supplement our diets thru this pastime.
Camping-we went on our first camping trip this year. We’ve been  wanting to go for sometime but had to wait til our kids were old enough. It really helped that we had other friends with their kids who wanted to do this. In the end we and about 5 other families went on a group camping trip and had a great time. We shared gear and that helped with the cost. One of the main hindrances was the cost of certain gear, but I had been slowly purchasing most of it even before we moved from NYC.
Recently, we scored a ton of camping gear in a garage sale. We should be able to camp more comfortably in the spring with a heater and our own cooking gear.
Backyard pool
Yup this was easy
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Beach trip-since moving to TX we have not seen the beach. In the summer of this year, we finally went to the coast and spent Independence day together at the beach. It was one of our best Independence day weekends ever and hopefully we can make this a part of our yearly tradition.
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We did fix my daughter’s room but I can’t say it is complete. We are doing something about it one of these weekends.
The garden effort this year was very poor. I know I wanted to do a few things, but I think I only got to 50% of it. I forget what took over my time during the fall planting season. I wanted to plant and learn to use automated irrigation and understand how to survive in TX heat. I don’t plan on starting a lot in early 2017 as we hope to move to a different house, but gardening is a critical skill and I will have it again as a goal in 2017-maybe in the fall.

Those were the big items on our list for 2016. Obviously other big things happened but these were the ones that we put on a list and said “we will get these done”. I feel good seeing we achieved about 75% of them. It really helps having the goals listed and thus reminding us to make plans to achieve them.
2017 will be another 365 days to work on the life we want to have. Each day seems to go so fast and looking back it did not feel that long. The day to day struggle to get thru the work week seems to be a slog to get thru. However, if we have other goals running parallel to the workdays, slowly we eek out a lifestyle which we will be able to live fully in the future. The days have more meaning. At the end of the year we can say we started back there and now we have made good progress.
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