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This post was updated on July 3, 2017.
Well written homestead goals are essential to keeping the homestead running smoothly for the entire year here at 15 Acre Homestead. I use that list of goals to decide what needs to be done and when. It helps me stay on track. See Getting Started Homesteading for some ideas on what to do before you plan your goals out.
The Planning Process
AT the end of the year, usually about the last part of November, I do three things.
- Review my goals from the current year and compare them to what was accomplished.
- Look at any projects that I did not get to complete and why.
- Look at what needs finished or planned for the upcoming year.
With these tasks completed, I have a better picture of what needs done and planned in the new upcoming year. Here are my goals for 2017 if you want to see what I do.
Reviewing Last Years Homestead Goals
My first step in planning my homestead goals is to review the last set of goals with what I actually accomplished for the current year. I originally had a goal to build hog pen. That did not get accomplished due to family medical issues that arose at the end of the year. I had other goals like building an outdoor shower and starting on my outdoor kitchen. They both got put on hold.
Knowing those goals did not get accomplished means I either need to add them to the upcoming year goals or abandon the tasks altogether. I also look at other goals that may not have been met and why they didn’t get finished. With this information, I can better decide what to plan for the new year.
If the reason a goal wasn’t met was due to financial reasons then I know that part of the action steps for that goal will include saving money or looking for inexpensive materials. If the reasons included weather or time then I know in the upcoming year to try to accomplish that homestead goal maybe during a different season.
Once I address all incomplete goals from the current year, I can move on to planning the upcoming homestead goals.
Planning the Upcoming Years Homestead Goals
Before I write any new goals I brainstorm. I sit down and make a list of EVERYTHING I want to do. That does not mean I will use all of my ideas, but getting everything on paper helps me see what’s important and what isn’t. This is where my Vision Board comes into play. It is a visual of all the goals and dreams I have for my homestead. You can read about it here.
I usually have entirely too many projects and ideas for any one person much less entire family to complete in a one-year period, thus the reason to eliminate the unreasonable ones and plan for realistic goals.
Once I have an idea of what projects to add to the new homestead goals, I go back to the unfinished ones from the current year and list those also. With this sometimes huge list, I can get out the calendar and start planning.
Using the Calendar to Break Down my Goals
I lay out 12 blank calendars on my table and label one for each month of the year. Next, I take the current year goals and try to best figure when those need to be done. For example, if I know I need to get those hog pens up and I am purchasing those hogs in February, I obviously need to make building those pens a project for January. I do this for any projects that I know I have a timeline for.
After the current goals with timelines are added to the calendars I repeat the process with my upcoming year goals. At this point, any old or new goals that have a deadline are listed on my calendar. After those goals are written, then comes the new goals that I brainstormed.
I write the goal on my calendar. Then I write out the goal on the back of the calendar for the month. I also add a complete by date. The reason I do this is because I am simply listing the month I want to have the goal completed in. Next, I can break down the goals into action steps by the weeks and days.
Breaking the Goals Down into Action Steps
With all my goals on the calendar pages, I can start working backward and list the action steps I need to do to meet my goals. Building the hog pen required me to buy the electric fence supplies and clearing a spot in the shaded pasture. I also needed time to build the pen itself and install a gate.
I needed to purchase the piglets in February. This meant that the first 2 weeks of January I needed to schedule some time to clear the spot and do some shopping. The third week of January I dedicated to building the actual pen and installing the electric fence and gate. I was picking up the hogs the second week of February. I knew I had three or so weeks of leeway to allow for changes in my schedule.
This process of adding action plans throughout the year was repeated until I included all of my goals I felt I needed to accomplish for the new year. Planning completed!
How do you plan out your yearly goals?