13 in 16: Skills and Goals for the New Year

In 2015, we had a rather aggressive list of skills and goals to accomplish. Although we made great progress, this year’s list will look much like last year’s but revamped with more extensive and detailed intentions.

1. Writing
I took, what I perceived to be, many risks with my journey to publishing. By risks I mean scary jumps into a world where rejection is not only possible, but highly likely.

I’ve decided to focus my efforts on writing a chapter book/story book starring the mice from my Adventures in Homesteading series.

I’ve laid out the “chapters” and started revising and submitting for feedback in my writer’s critique group and I’ve joined the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)…finally.

This year, I am going to clean and tighten up my manuscript and submit it to agents and/or editors for feedback.


2. Seed Saving
Beyond saving amaranth and cilantro seeds, we made absolutely no progress on this goal.

That is three years of setting this goal and doing nothing about it.

Maybe with the extra day this year, we’ll move forward.

3. Concealed Carry
Another goal we have not tackled. We found a range near us that offers the class, but I want to get some range time in and get comfortable holding, handling and shooting my gun.

4. Essential Oils
I’ve been using essential oils on a weekly basis and as remedies for many common ailments…sore throat, cold, mood and anxiety.

There are a few classes offered in the area where I plan to learn more and use them even more and on a daily basis.

5. Back to “prepping”
We started to get back to prepping but sticking to it is almost like making that New Year’s resolution to “get fit and stay fit”.

It lasts for about six weeks and then the excuses start.

“I’ll start again on Monday.”

“Ok, after Valentine’s Day I’m really going to do it.”

We did get better at storing food and water. Not so much on home defense.

Our biggest progress on this goal? We added to our 72 hour kits. We took a day and, as a family, reviewed what we had in our bags and added what was missing. It’s still not perfect, but at least we did something.

6. Curriculum Planning
This is the one goal that I feel REALLY good about. The boys and I have a routine that often gets disrupted…and that’s ok.

That’s the beauty of teaching them outside the school system. We don’t have to make up days or ram through the rest of that ‘material’ in order to stay on track. Our goals are loose and our schedule is flexible.

Breakfast, playtime, work booking, playtime, lunch, playtime, field trip or fun activity, playtime.

They get plenty of play and they learn, learn and learn some more.

Sometimes we don’t see what they’ve learned until a day, a week, a month later, but it is so gratifying when I hear them apply something they learned to real life.

“Heel, toe, heel, toe…that’s a pattern!”


7. Meal Planning for Paleo/Primal/Healthy Meals
This is a skill and takes a great deal of organization to plan for, shop for and and stay on track with both the planning and cooking of healthy meals.

It’s so easy to buy the pre-cooked, processed box of potatoes rather than take the time to prepare fresh.

By the same token, it’s so easy to log on to Pinterest and search for sites where the planning and prepping guide has already been laid out in simple steps.

8. Stocks and Investing
We took the steps and invested the money. We are diversified…stocks, cash, silver, bitcoin, etc..

We’ve used our bitcoin to buy a laptop, a tablet and two bookshelves. More and more sites are accepting bitcoin and payment including dell.com, overstock.com and the list goes on.

9. Fitness
I joined a fitness club and have been taking classes 2-3 times a week. I feel really good about this and my balance and strength have improved…drastically.

So far, I’ve been focusing mainly on muscle toning and not so much on cardio. I’m going to rotate in cardio classes so that I’m doing weights and toning 2 times a week and cardio two times a week.

Learning the correct and safe way to lift weights intimidates me just a little bit, but I have learned that a balance between cardio and weights is the best way to get fit.

10. Blogging
I have 268 followers now. 268! While I haven’t changed the design of the site, I have revamped it by adding category buttons to make it easier for visitors to navigate to what interests them.

This year I’ll continue watching 5 Minutes with Jack and seeking out how to turn my blog into a business.

11. Tree Care
We have planted many trees over the past two years, but done little to make sure they thrive and grow.

Well…they’ve grown, but I’m not sure they’ve really thrived.

This year, our plan is to learn more about propagating and pruning trees to ensure maximum growth and production. And, if we are feeling ambitious, we might try grafting.

12. Propagation
Our only try at propagating perenials last year was cutting off a blackberry branch, dipping it rooting hormone and sticking it in the vineyard.

That’s it. That’s all we did. But it worked!

We are going to try several methods of propagation this year including using root cuttings, leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, rooting hormone and layering.

13. Brewing
We know how to brew and we know how to make wine…but I don’t remember the last time we’ve actually done either. We’ll be focusing on getting our kegs full and learning more about making meads and cysers from fresh fruit.

Not so many skills
But goals to drive us forward
Start the year off right

One response to “13 in 16: Skills and Goals for the New Year

  1. Pingback: 13 in 17: No, Really | a pinch of homestead

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