2017 brought many new adventures in the Rubio home with the challenges and lessons. Hope they help you achieve your goals in 2018.

Lesson 1: Communicate

My wife and I had a lot happen in 2017. We went from having three in the family to having four. We went from having a baby to having a toddler. All of this was fantastic, but at times it made it even more important for us to communicate with each other.

We had to communicate with one another even with the some of the smallest details, which for me is SO difficult because I’m a big picture kind of guy. My wife on the other hand is a detailed type of gal, which is why we work so great together but also if we don’t communicate could really become a roadblock.

Which is why in 2018 I’d like to talk it out more.

Lesson 2: There is time

I turned 25 last year and for whatever reason I felt that I was losing myself. I felt like I was stuck in all parts of my life except my marriage and even then I had my days.

This might be happening to you. If so, stop, breath and remember you are young and there is time. 

There is so much time to learn and grow. This year you can get better at whatever passion project you may have. Things come in time and in 2017 I forgot that.

Lesson 3: Copycat recipes are king

My wife and I love cooking. This year we tried a slew of new recipes from Pinterest.

Many of them where copycat recipes of places like Panda Express and Popeye’s. I give props to the creators of all the recipes we’ve tried because we’ve enjoyed just about all of them.

I really look forward to trying out new dishes from different places and more importantly refine our cooking skills.

Lesson 4: Not enough Spanish

I’m just going to say it, I blame this one on being lazy.

I really slacked on speaking to my daughters in Spanish. It didn’t help that I wasn’t really speaking Spanish anywhere else.

Oddly enough Sadie and I have stepped up or authentic Latin cooking. So I feel that it’s fair to say eating more Spanish food does not entice you to speak more Spanish.

Lesson 5: Toddlers are toddlers

For any parent who might not have a two-year-old yet, all I have to say is get ready.

It is the most eventful, fun, and interesting time for a kid. I know that as my kids get older I might change my mind but it would be hard to beat.

Disclaimer, every kid is different! For us Amilia grew so much in 2017 it was CRAZY. She learned so many new words, she learned to basically dress herself. She is slowly learning to potty train. She has developed her personality so much.

My favorite though is her just like unconditional love for her mom, sister, and me.

Lesson 6: Life is hard

I know. You could have told me that. I just wanted to remind you.

Lesson 7: Get involved

We moved to Memphis just about a year and a half ago. My wife and I have made some really great friends.

I have come to really love Memphis. The good and the bad, and I think this is because we got involved. We have been to a few of the Orpheum’s plays. We held some holiday parties. Held game nights and took food to new people in the church because we know how it is.

I hope to continue this try in 2018, and invite you guys to get involved in your community.Whatever way that might mean for you.

Lesson 8:  Get off Facebook

I spend so much time on Facebook. Part of that is because of work I have to be on it for nearly the eight hours I work.

Then when I ‘don’t have anything to do’  I get on Facebook. It is a black hole, it is a tool that imitates connection and although I believe it is useful in things. I learned that 2017 there needs to be harder lines in the house on this.

Something that needs to start with me before it spreads to the house but you have to start somewhere right?

2018 is the year I reign in my time on social… Hopefully.

Lesson 9: McNuggets a good potluck choice

I know this is really random but the family and I went to a potluck and a friend bought a 40 piece McNuggets and they went like GOLD.

If you are in a pinch and you forgot to get something for a potluck. Don’t even sweat it just get a 40 piece from Mcee-D’s.

Lesson 10: Google Photos is clutch

Can I just say this is a life changer?

Google photos is a free photo backup service. It allows you to backup your photos from all of your devices to one place. It then allows you to cut photos that have taken up space on your phone.

The best part is that it’s made by Google. The number one search engine and all those amazing search capabilities are integrated into Google photos. Especially if you are a organization nut and renames all of your photos. Something I have yet to do.

The service not only backups your photos but it uses machine learning to create videos, montages, and then and now photos which is just super fun.

Lesson 11: Password manager is a must

If you or your family are not big on the news if there was one thing I’d want you to look up its the fact that your online information is out there.

Last year we had the Equifax breach, the Uber Breach, and who knows who else that haven’t been disclosed. If you don’t know if your information is out there. Just go to this site and enter any emails you use.

STAY SAFE: haveibeenpwned.com

The site will check your email against a database that has all the information that has been taken for any security breach that has been disclosed.

The next thing you need to do is get yourself a password manager. Sadie and I use LastPass, but you have so many options out there. Just do some research to see what fits the best for you.

Lesson 12: Study the words of the prophets

This last year was the first year in a long time that I haven’t really gone back to read the conference talks. (The general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Which is when all the member come together in person or online to listen to the prophet, the two counselors and the twelve apostles. )

With the passing of our recent prophet Thomas S. Monson. I’ve realized I need to step up my study of the prophets today. They are the ones that are getting revelations for this day and age. Their words are there to help us change, be better, and remind us of who we are.

I invite you to join me to hear what they have to say.

Lesson 13: The Voice

Sadie and I have recently started watching the Voice.

What have I been doing with my life! If you aren’t watching the Voice you are missing out. It’s so good and it’s just a reminder that there are amazingly talented people in the World.

The bigger lesson here is having a good reality show between your TV binges is a good thing.

Lesson 14: Read more

I read five books in 2017.

I really hope to increase that number because I really enjoy reading. If you haven’t been to your local library. Before you go home from work this week. You should really just stop by and find a book.

With the internet we often forget about the library and I’ve discovered that libraries have some great opportunities to meet new people. Especially for stay at parents, or just regular adults who don’t go to school and so you don’t get to meet new people.

Plus, a lot of libraries offer eBook rentals which are just fantastic.

Lesson 15: Make a budget

Budgets and I are so hard. Sadie and I have been up and down at trying to figure out the budget thing.

It has been so hard but we know it is worth it. We’ve discovered every dollar which is an app to help you budget and it’s pretty great. If you are one that also struggles with budgets. I’d recommend it.

Wish us the best of luck when it comes to staying strong and I’ll do the same for you.

Lesson 16: Journal

In 2017, I made more of an effort to write my thoughts. It has been a huge help in getting over some personal challenges.

It has been fun to tie this in with Google photos. It has just been a great way to clear my mind of all the crazy things of the year. If you aren’t a writer do audio notes.

Lesson 17: Sleep more

I’m terrible at going to bed early, it’s basically a curse. Six months ago I started working a part-time gig where I had to wake up early to work. This basically forced me to have to go to bed a little earlier.

I’m still not perfect but I for sure make a stronger effort to get to bed earlier.

Now, I’m not going to say that its changed my life but I will say that the days I go to bed to get the recommended amount of sleep. I’m much more responsive throughout the day. I hope that I can really refine this in 2018 and tell you next year that it did change my life.

But for now, we’ll keep stick to baby steps.

Daniel Rubio

I'm a digital content producer. I believe everyone has the capability to inspire someone. I'm a husband and a father, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and a lover of tacos and coke.

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