I’ve never been real big on making New Year’s resolutions. I’m more the type of person who gets an idea in her head, and then wants to start it NOW, rather than waiting for a new calendar to begin. (Like deciding to go out and purchase dairy goats on a whim when I was 9 months pregnant…)
Anyway, since I started my homesteading journey, I have found that I like to set goals at the beginning of each year.
I’ve discovered that doing this helps to give me more of a sense of purpose in the months ahead. Homesteading has a tendency to pull you in a bazillion different directions, so the more guidelines you have to keep you on track, the better!
Plus, it feels awesome to be able to go back and cross completed goals off the list. I LOVE that part! 😉
I’ve put together a quick list of my best tips for creating successful homestead goals. While today’s post focuses more on a yearly basis, these principles also apply to long-term homesteading goals. (You’ll find more tips and ideas for goal-setting of all kinds in my eBook, ‘Your Custom Homestead’)
(Haying our pasture for the very first time was a “surprise” goal that we accomplished this past year.)
Three Tips for Successful Goal Setting
1. Be specific: In my experience, it is vital to be very specific and descriptive in your goal setting. It’s easy to write something like “cook more” on your list, but what does that really mean? In order to set yourself up for success, you must clearly define each goal to make it attainable for your situation.
Rather than writing down “cook more”, try listing specific items like “bake a loaf of bread each week” or “learn how to make homemade broth“.
Not only is that giving yourself a more clear picture of what you hope to accomplish, it is also breaks up larger, more difficult goals, into “do-able” baby steps.
2. Be driven: Procrastination. Ugh. It’s everyone’s biggest enemy when it comes to achieving goals. Accomplishing something that you’ve never done before is going to take drive. And motivation. And dedication. And it can be flat-out difficult sometimes. Be prepared for that.
Pick a goal off of your list, then pick a day on the calendar to start. Then DO IT and stick with it. No excuses.
Fortunately, I’ve found that checking off goals and finishing projects seems to give me a boost of energy and motivation to keep going. Nothing feels better than looking back at a job well done. So don’t give up!
(Our yellow barn and chicken coop. We painted the barn brown this summer. The coop remains yellow for the time being. ;))
3. Be flexible: This one is the toughest for me… When I get an idea in my head, I’m set on doing it. Period. (Just ask my hubby about that sometime, ha!) Take this past summer, for example. We had planned on re-doing our chicken coop, and in my mind, it was going to happen, no matter what.
But plans changed, and we ended up remodeling our other 2 outbuildings and fencing instead. I’m embarrassed to say this, but at first, I was bummed out about skipping the chicken coop. Then I realized how dumb that was…
Yes, the coop didn’t get touched last summer, but over a 1/2 mile of fence was built, and 2 huge buildings got remodeled and repainted. That’s a fair trade-off, don’t ya think? 😉
The tough part about this tip is knowing the difference between flexibility and procrastination. Having to switch or cancel projects in the middle of the year because of a budget change or family crisis is absolutely fine. But continually skipping over your goals because “you just don’t feel like it” is something else entirely.