Eleven for Twenty-Eleven (part 1)

As far as I can remember, I have never made a New Year’s Resolution. Maybe once or twice for English Class back in Grade School, but that doesn’t count. Maybe because it has a bad rap. I hear people often say that it can’t be done, that we’ll get tired by the end of January – March at the most. So I never bothered to make one. Besides, I already have a hard time keeping short-term projects, what more for a year-long project?

But things are different now. I guess. I’m older, and hopefully wiser. There are a lot more at stake (e.g Nathan. Have you guys seen how much education costs? my gally.) So I can’t slack off. That’s more than enough for motivation. But the best thing, and why I’m more confident to make a list this year, is that I have Nicole to support me and encourage me : ) .

Okay, so here we go:

1. Read the Whole Bible

Okay. So this is definitely first on the list. Pastor Peter has been encouraging us to do this year after year, but I didn’t think I could do it. So I made excuses. “I’ll do what I can.” “I’ll just keep reading until I finish it, someday.” But it’s been years and I still haven’t. I installed the Bible App from YouVersion on Nicole’s iPhone, and the built-in Bible Reading Plan has been really helpful. The Notes feature which lets you write down your thoughts as you read (you can keep it private or viewable by others) is also a nice plus.

2. Less than 20hrs of overtime per month

Although there are a lot of challenges living here with just the three of us, I would rather have it this way than for me to be separated with my family. It’s so great that I can get to see Nate as he grows up, to be there in every development milestone – the boy is growing up so fast! It’s really a blessing that we are together, and it would be a shame to just throw it away by not spending as much time as I can with them.

So to spend more time with my family, I will cut down on overtime. This is hard for Infra work, especially since I cannot control the amount of work per month, but I believe it can be done. For 2010, although my average OT per month was 26hours, my minimum was 12.5hrs, and the maximum was 54hrs. So some months are crazier than others. Still I think I just need to adjust some things with the way I work, to learn to prioritize, to focus more, to work even faster… all without sacrificing quality.

Oh yeah. Bring it on.

3. Have a nice long family vacation in the Philippines

よく学び、よく遊べ. All our trips back home always seems so rushed. This year, I’d like for us to take our time. With Nate along, just preparing to get out of the house was not a simple as it was when it was just me and Nicole. We need to factor in preparation time, feeding time, sleeping time, etc. Also this year, I’d like for us to get a chance to meet up with more of our friends, and for longer periods of time. Also, if the timing is right, there will be a couple of big events that we will be joining. So one week is definitely not enough. Two weeks could be okay. If we can push it to three, that would be awesome. But I’ll have to find a way to make it work with my work schedule. Hmm.

Of course, the longer we stay, the more we have to pay. Which means I have to do a couple of things. To start with, I have to…

4. Manage our Cash Flow

I seem to be motivated to manage our money well if I have a concrete goal. Case in point, boh the pre-wedding budget and the pre-Nate budget worked really well. So with our 2011 Philippine Trip in mind, plus Nate’s short term and middle term needs, we will create a new family budget. After that, just like during pre-wedding and pre-Nate, we will track down every expense, analyze often, and make necessary adjustments to the budget along the way.

But budgeting, analyzing and adjusting can only do so much. Not only do we need to manage the cash flowing outward, I need to find a way to add to the cash flowing inward.

(to be continued)

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