November 29, 2015

Homestead Evaluation Time: 2015 Goals

Next month Dan and I will sit down and formulate our goals for the upcoming year. I find goals so much more useful than resolutions. Who can resolve to do anything, really? Goals give us a sense of direction, but with the flexibility to adapt them as needed.

So how did we do on this year's goals? We had them divided into several categories: house, barn, fences, field crops, pigs, chickens, and honeybees.
I guess the thing about the last one is that even though we didn't get the tree trimmed, we decided on a better location for the barn so we can proceed anyway!

How about you? Do you make yearly goals? If so, have you been able to cross many of them off? Or maybe something unexpected came along that changed everything! Tell us about it!

33 comments:

  1. Goals are attainable with planning. I have always found that with any farm you have to be flexible within your goals, let's face it. Some things work some do not.
    Your blog shows just how well work and planning can get you so much more out of life, I so look forward to following more of your story.

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    1. Fiona, I have to say I've been impressed with how you and Ralph have approached the purchase and establishment of your homestead. You obviously did your homework, established your priorities, and have gotten successfully up and running in an amazingly short amount of time. An inspiration to us all!

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  2. I made a goals list two years ago. I didn't make one for this year, but I made a sort of syllabus for what I wanted to accomplish. I have been able to do a lot of things on that list. I like that you moved the barn to an easier location. I have found that very often the struggle is not worth the location. I look forward to seeing what you do. Will you have to pull a permit? I do everything here to a scale that removes the town from the process. Everything has to be legal and to the letter of the regulations.

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    1. Barb, I'm curious as to how your syllabus is different from a list of goals. Maybe that would be a useful tool for us as well.

      We're outside of city limits, so building permits aren't as stringent as if we were officially in the city. They are based on square footage, number of stories, and whether electricity and plumbing are installed. We won't know exactly what we need until we finalize the plan, and at the rate we're going, who knows when that will be, LOL.

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  3. No yearly goals - we just go with the flow and try and rectify a problem as we see it rear it's ugly head. Most of our time has been spent on research (e.g. getting rid of rye grass in the oat fields) and implementing water security solutions. Water is our main concern.

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    1. Sounds like your rye grass is akin to our wire grass - a nuisance. Do alpaca not eat rye grass? Or are the oats a crop? I agree that research take a lion's share of our time! Water is a big concern for us too, and will be on our upcoming 2016 goals.

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  4. I don't really call them goals although they really are just as much goals as anything. I have projects that either get done or not in a timely manner and I usually don't add a new large project until one is finished. I also have experiments in various things usually planting and then there are the emergency projects that are usually much smaller than the planned ones.

    Never did finish my total fencing project this year due to weather conditions though :(

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    1. Ah yes, the weather. That's why flexibility is a must!

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  5. I do make goals but where I fail is a time line. This year, I'm working on both goals, several categories, with timelines so I can see how far along I am and where I'm falling short.
    Thank you for this post; it was enjoyable reading your goals, seeing your successes and where you need to shore up, just a tad. Thank you also for the push to get started on mine.

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    1. Time lines are tough. At least I think they're tough. The weather is one factor, emergencies are another, and then there are things like funds and time. Still, they would help keep the focus on the goal rather than distractions! I hope you are being successful with your time line this year!

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  6. This post might be as insightful as your post of goals. As you point out with the goat barn, plans can change. It's important to realize that just because it's a goal doesn't mean you fail if it doesn't happen according to plan - often if it doesn't work out as planned, it ends up being better. You and Dan set some large goals, and it is inspiring how much you two accomplish. You front porch is looking amazing! This was our year to finish up some big projects. We've done pretty well, though we do have 2 loads of gravel sitting in a pile in the yard that need to be spread out. It's -4 degrees right now so that probably won't happen today:) Also, you have some great readers who also leave valuable comments.

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    1. Lady Locust, you said something key - that it isn't a failure just because it isn't realized! That's why I like the term "goals" better than "resolutions." Goals can be analyzed and adjusted. Resolutions have no such options! (I'd wait for warmer temperatures to spread that gravel too. :)

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  7. Leigh,

    My goals for this year went out the door along with most of my canning. Everything here was placed on hold when my Mom became sick and passed away. Right now were getting near finishing up the estate and putting it up for sale. I pray 2016 will be nice and quiet with no emergencies, and our garden provides a hefty harvest for canning, freezing, and dehydrating vegetables.
    I commend the goals you've set and accomplished this year. I can't wait to see your post on your goals for 2016.

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    1. Sandy, yes, that was a very sad thing for you all, with family the priority. Even so, I think you all did well on the home front. I know you're looking forward to settling down to routine once again.

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  8. Replies
    1. Some folks seem to do fine without them! I find they help us, especially since ideas fly when we get to brainstorming. :)

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    2. I do well with a list... I just have trouble making them. ;)

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  9. My goal this year, as every year, was to finally find the homestead property. I can say that we finally were able to cross this one off the list just a few weeks ago! We were able to find 5 acres with a 24 x 32 pole barn, 2 hand pump wells, and 2.5 acres of woods! Now we can start on our "real" homesteading to-do lists!

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    1. That's huge! Congratulations! It sounds absolutely ideal. So many wonderful things ahead.

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    2. Thank you! Now I can dive into the next chapter of your book!

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  10. Since I am alone in my homesteading even tho married and can't do a lot, I set goals without time limits. This year I put up a fence for the horse I bought, put up a fence for my goats, (all three of them lol, ) put in a kitchen in my one room cabin, added a little porch, ( all these big things were done with my son who came home for awhile) and streamlined my homeschooling.

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    1. Tami, that's a lot! Truly amazing, actually. Well done.

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  11. Hi Leigh! I find I'm much better at looking objectively at goals AFTER the holidays in January after everything is settled and quiet again. I'll likely do my list then. I have a list of carry-overs in addition to the things we did get done or made progress on.

    It is wonderful you were able to complete or make progress on most of your 2015 goals. You had a pretty 'ambitious' list and did really great with it. Well done!

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    1. Sounds like annual goal making falls under the category of tradition. When I read your comment I realized that it's been my own tradition to post our upcoming year's goals on January 1st. Actually, it doesn't even have to be in the winter at all! Except winter does make a natural slow-down time and good for planning.

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  12. Goals - hmmmm Does posting a comment here constitute planning. LOL

    I'm hoping for new external fences & completing the floor boards inside.

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    1. Lynda, I'm going to say that hoping is the same as making goals, LOL.

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  13. I like goals and am a goal orientated person but I make day goals and not yearly goals! I will have to give some thought to yearly ones. It looks like your goals serve you well in what you are accomplishing! Nancy

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    1. Nancy, I think daily goals are actually more useful than yearly goals. I call it my to-do list! The annual goals are probably more helpful for Dan, since his job takes him away from home for days at a time. He gets home and is ready to be active, so the goal list seems to help him focus and plan while he's out.

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  14. Sounds like a successful year! Go you!!! :)

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  15. The major goal I wanted to achieve, was getting the vegetable beds back in working order. It was a big task, but feel its completely worth it when you're eating from your garden again. If nothing else, that was the one goal I wanted to accomplish this year. The rest are just gravy!

    Glad you got to achieve many of your goals, and carefully reconsidered the ones that just needed longer. It's a lot of work to achieve in a year, and some things just need more time.

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    1. We have a saying here, that we use anytime we're project planning or prioritizing - "food first." That's so much of what the lifestyle is about - good, homegrown food. I know you'll be happy to have those beds in good condition!

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