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  • I am an online content editor for Successful Farming/Agriculture.com and Living the Country Life, but my full-time job is raising three boys on a small farm in south-central Iowa.
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Make Goals Not Resolutions

by Heather_Barnes on ‎01-16-2015 02:22 PM



For years when the calendar turned to January 1 I made resolutions. I resolved to loose weight, save money, cut expenses, take a class, change a bad habit. The list was endless.


I would say 99% of the time by Valentine’s Day I had failed at all my resolutions.


Why did I fail? I can think of several reasons:


  1. I didn't write them down.
  2. They were not specific.
  3. There was no target end date.
  4. I had no accountability.


Take my vague resolution to save more money. How much money did I want to save? How was I going to save it - cutting expenses, selling unused items, getting a second job? Was I going to save it over a period of days, weeks or months? What was I saving it for?


With no clear direction it’s no wonder I failed at keeping my resolution.


After my son was born I decided I wanted to loose the weight I gained while pregnant. I joined Weight Watchers (for a second time, but that’s another story). I set a goal weight and wrote it on my chart. Every week I attended a meeting and weighed in. My progress was in black and white on my chart. I tracked what I ate and how much I exercised.


I knew how much weight I wanted to loose. I had a plan for how I was going to loose it. There was accountability every week. I had support from our leader and other members at the meetings.


Guess what?


I reached my goal!


What I learned from this was if I have a concrete goal and a plan of how to achieve it, I will meet my goal. What took me until recently to realize was my personal life wasn’t the only place I needed to set goals.


Not only do I need to set goals not only for my life at home but also my job, which is off the farm. We also need to set goals for where we want the farm to be in one year, five years and even twenty years. Not resolutions, but goals.


Have you set your goals for 2015 and beyond?


(Just so you know, Weight Watchers does not know I am writing this post so they don't endore it, nor do I recieve any benefits from them for the mention. )

on ‎01-16-2015 02:42 PM

If we go back to learning objectives in teaching, we know the goal has to be measurable, observable, and have a time frame attached.  It needs to be reasonable, too.  


What at these goals are called matters less than that they meet the criteria above.  My usual " organize things better" has been replaced with the online 365 Declutter Challenge this year.  That has daily calendar tasks, articles to lead me slong, and a FB page to keep me motivated.  


I am changing how I manage our business financial records, with the installation of new computer equipment and software. Keeping my reminder worksheet on a clipboard by the keyboard helps, too....designed and built that habit last year.  


Mike and I want the recordkeeping for our farm's waste permit computerized in 2015, so I have gotten the electronic forms ready, so we are prepared to start making entries as soon as he can pump again.  


Throw in healthier eating, which means "Paleo" for us.  


Call it what you want...off to a good start in 2015!  Thanks for a thoughtful post! 

by Heather_Barnes
on ‎02-06-2015 05:16 AM

I need to add the 365 Declutter challenge to my list!  I also keep my To Do list at work on a clipboard, but I need to do that at home as well.  For some reason I've never thought about doing that.  


Sounds like you have a great set of goals for the year! Thanks for sharing.