Going into 2015 I never would have guessed at the amount of change that would happen within our family. I did not have much in the way of expectations for the new year other than the usual. I was considering a run for Member of Parliament In Edmonton, but outside of that there was nothing out of the usual that I expected to happen.

Well another year has come and gone. It’s that time when we stop and reflect on what has happened over the past year and look forward to a new year. A time of hope to achieve new things and improve on what has come in the past year.

As I stop and reflect on this past year and think about how things have changed for me and my family I can truly say this has been one of the most exciting years my family has known. Much has changed for my family in the past year.

The biggest of these changes has been our move. We moved from Edmonton Alberta Canada to our new home in Victoria British Columbia Canada on Vancouver Island. From a city of 1 million to a city of 350,000. The small city that pretends to be a big city.

I have started a new job with the company I work for and have spent the last 8 months adjusting to a new climate, new life, and new friends.

Our eldest daughter has graduated from the Churches primary organization and started young Woman’s and attending weekly activities.

We have started home schooling all our children and began an educational program that is better suited to their needs. This home school has proven to be a dramatic improvement over the public school that our children have previously been a part of.

I took part in the 2015 federal election as campaign manager for a local candidate and was able to gain some first hand experience of managing a political campaign, something that I am sure will be helpful in 2019. Whether I run or volunteer again I have not decided at this point but I do have 4 years to prepare.

2015 has indeed been a truly eventful year for me and my family and 2016 promises to be a year of continued growth and learning for us all.

As the new year approaches I have been thinking about what my personal resolutions and goals should be. What areas of my life should I be focused on. It is also important to keep in mind that our goals should be smart goals

Time line.

What goals can I set for myself for the upcoming year that meet this criteria. I have thought of 5 goals specifically that meet this criteria.

1) Drastically reduce my controllable spending on unnecessary things.

This is one area where, as I have tracked over the last couple of years seen that I spend way to much money on. Within my budget I have a few categories that are controllable expenses. These Categories are
A) Eating out

B) Wants

C) dates/family activities

D) field trips for school

What I have found is that I am spending over 600.00/month on these things which is just astronomical and insane. This is an area that I desperately need to get under control. I have opted for a basic plan to eliminate this part of our life that is out of control when I look at it.

For the eating out portion, I am resolving to bring that to 0.00/month. We simply won’t do it. No ordering pizza, no going out for dinner because we don’t want to cook. Nothing. Period. 200/month Is just two much for this kind of thing.

As for the other 3 Categories, cut spending on that by 50% at least. So we save that kind of thing for miscellaneous non-needed purchases for birthdays, Christmas etc… and Limit our date costs and field trip cost. We can focus on getting and renewing memberships to places like rec centers and museums.

By doing this I hope to reduce my overall debt load by at least 10% and work towards being in a better financial situation.

2) Renew my temple recommend and attend the temple at least twice.

When we lived in Edmonton we had a temple close by. In fact it was only about 7 minutes away by bus. No transfers, direct route, no stops. It was the next stop on the route. Despite the temples proximity and ease of access I don’t think I got the temple once this past year. It seems that what they say is true. You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.

Because I did not make the temple a priority I let my recommend lapse and missed out on the opportunity to attend while it was close by. The temple now is something that takes an entire day. We must get on the ferry and take a boat across the ocean back to Vancouver and make our way to Langley. What was once only a couple of kilometers way is now 127.00 km away and accessible only by boat and a day spent travelling. At least 3 hours by car but essentially the entire day when taking public transit and bus.

Starting in 2016 I am planning at least 2 temple trips a year. We have the first one booked and planned for April 7-10. Our hotel is booked and we are ready to go. First I need to get my recommend renewed which I will be doing before we leave for the temple.

Our Second one is planned for October, The week after general conference.

3) Improve my Sabbath day worship

This is one I seem to make every year but can never seem to keep for long. Ideally my plan is to spend at least 1 hour each Sunday reading church magazines and keeping the T.V. off all day. I really want to try to focus more on the Sabbath and not on T.V. shows and hockey games. At least now no one here will be paying attention to Oilers games so I can safely wait till the next day to watch without worrying about the score being spoiled before I get to it.

4) Be earthquake ready

Since me and my family have moved to Victoria B.C. we have mentioned a few times that we should be quake ready and work on being prepared. While we have talked about it we have not actually done anything about it. On December 28th about 11:40 pm local time Victoria had a quake magnitude 4.9. The house shook and rattled. While not a big quake it did serve as a wake up call that planning and being ready is something that is important as this island lies on the Cascadia subduction zone. A major earthquake zone in the pacific rim.

Our plan to be quake ready will involved creating water storage of at least 150-200 liters of water. Getting flashlights and first aid kits in the house and working on our food storage. Designating a meeting place in the event of a major incident that we can meet up with the kids if me and my wife are not home or one of them is not home. We also plan on getting a family first aid course in the event emergency services cannot be contacted during a major event or injury occurs during any smaller minor to major event.  This way our oldest can treat your younger kids in the event something happens while she is babysitting and they need medical attention.

These simple steps will help us be ready in the event of a major quake. Or any other natural disaster or incident where it becomes necessary.

5) Watch a lot less TV

I wrote about this in an earlier post and Hope to continue in my efforts to reduce the amount of T.V. I watch. My goal is to watch no more than 12 hours a week, where as before I was watching up to 28 hours a week of T.V.

I had found myself in the past just sitting and watching T.V. all night while the kids were starving for daddy’s attention when I got home from work. This is not good for them or me. While I do enjoy just coming home from work and watching some T.V. to relax for the night, I really do need to focus more on the kids. Family first right.

Anyway these are my goals and resolutions for the year. There are many things that we can all work on and I think sometimes we set goals for ourselves that are just 2 much and overwhelming that we can’t keep up.

When you set your New years Resolution remember to keep them S.M.A.R.T. Don’t over extend yourself and pick just a few things that you can achieve and are achievable. Otherwise you may be setting yourself up for failure.

There are so many more things that I would like to accomplish in the coming year, however I feel it is important to try to not take on to many challenges all at once.

Remember with God all things are possible and may God bless you and your family in the new year.

Let me know what your goals for the new year are in the comments below.

By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals