I have been busy, busy, busy this week making my goals for the year. As it stands right now I have about three quarters of a legal pad full of goals, I am fairly confident I will fill the page by the end of the week. All of these goals are short term. They include everything from home organization projects to self improvement to being greener. Some are broken down by month, some are broken down by season, some by half year, etc. Want to know what they are? Okay, here are a small sample from my list .......
Spend more time together
Plan date night for once a month
Go to cloth in the kitchen. ie. no more paper products
Buy microfiber cloths for cleaning
Throw out any petroleum based cleaners in the house and research alternatives
Research greener health and beauty products.
Make our own cleaning solutions- window and all purpose cleaner
Getting rid of unnecessary or excess items- one room at a time using the ten day approach*
Pair down all the clothing we have- store or donate clothing that we no longer use/need
Revisit our finances- what is working, what is not
Plan the garden
Find a spot for the seedlings
Clean the garage
Have a yard sale
Use our calendars more
Research meat chickens
Contact a few farms to get pricing and schedules for processing the chickens
More raised beds for strawberries
Move the strawberries
Give some strawberry plants to friends
Go camping a few weekends this spring
Make ahead a few meals and freeze them for later use
Get some breakfast items made and in the freezer
Take inventory of the deep freezer and refrigerator in the garage
Take out the other closet by the back door and make into coat lockers with storage and bench
There are many, many more on this list but I won't bore you with the entire list.
This year for me is all about taking baby steps. I like breaking things down into easy to do steps. I also like creating goals and planning for the future. Whether they are long term, short term, personal, or professional, goals are important in keeping your life on track and where you want see yourself in the future. Goals, I feel, beg to be broken down into little baby steps making them more obtainable. Here are 6 super easy baby steps to making goals that are easy to stick with.
BRAINSTORM.......Don't just write down things like "Start Gardening". Be specific and ask yourself things like what kind of a garden do I want to plant? What materials do I need to make this type of garden? What is the cost? When do I need to order things like seeds or plants? It will help you in the long run plan a better garden and keep you from getting discouraged. But don't get too caught up in the details.
BREAK IT DOWN INTO BABY STEPS........Let's say you want to start a small salad garden in a raised bed. From conception to finished product how long will this project take? It could take about 9 or 10 months. But if you break it down, planning, buying seeds and starting those seeds may only be a few hours each, spaced out over the planned period of time. Each one of those little baby steps can be a goal for their respective months/time periods. I know breaking things down makes me feel more confident that I will reach my goal than if I just haphazardly went along.
START SMALL If one of your goals is to keep chickens, then by all means please do it! But don't go out and buy fifty chickens to start, only to find out that it is completely overwhelming both in cost and time. Start with six, then you will be less likely to give up.
TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION OUTSIDE FACTORS......For example, maybe you work full time or have kids. You know that both of these can factor greatly into the amount of free time you have. Adjust the "get it done" mindset. Give yourself a little bit more time than you think you need to complete projects, you will feel better if you complete the task sooner than you planned!
BARTER.......Don't know how to garden? Maybe a friend does but she wants to learn to sew, which is something you know how to do. Sometimes bartering can be a very valuable tool.
IF YOU FAIL, SHRUG IT OFF AND TRY AGAIN......Maybe your garden withered and died. Don't give up on gardening just because you failed. Make it a goal to research the different methods of gardening. Or maybe you didn't reach your goal in the time frame you wanted. Look at the factors that caused you to fail.
*If you are wondering about the ten day approach please read Tsh Oxenreider's Organized Simplicity for more details.