Goal setting. Sigh, I know, it’s cliche. Everyone talks about resolutions, goals, their dreams, and they especially talk about it at the start of a new year. So perhaps this isn’t my most original post, but I find it important nonetheless.
I’ve always found the new year a thrilling fresh start on life. Is it in the dead of winter? Yes. Is it horribly cold outside? Yes. Is this the time of year when I’m typically the least motivated to do anything? Yes.
How convenient of you, New Year, to sneak up on me at a time like that.
In all seriousness though, I’m glad the New Year comes in the dead of winter when I’m the least motivated. It reminds me that spring is on the way, and that though my perception of the outside world is one of deep sleep, what I don’t always see is the one of anticipation.
Buds holding tight on trees, ready to burst when the warmth returns.
Thousands, if not millions of tiny lives below my feet, waiting out the chill.
A blank canvas of white that will soon spread into a painting of new life.
Adam and I begin each year by making goals. We write these goals down and hang them up in our kitchen/dining room so that we see them every day. This way, we’re less likely to forget them a month or two in. The goals also happen to make a handy conversation piece when friends come over, because we certainly aren’t hiding them from anyone. Talk about accountability.
And we always start with a blank slate.
This is our lovely chalkboard that holds our goals, our hopes, our dreams. You can see the faint lines of 2016 that have been wiped away to make room for 2017. Adam was especially eager this year, and he was already cleaning the board on the 31st of December.
We did pretty good in 2016; I estimate that we reached 90% of our goals. Adam, who’s a little less sure, thinks we got to 75% of our goals. They included:
- Putting several thousand dollars extra into student debt: check.
- Reading 2 books on farming and alternative lifestyles: check -Jenn only, Adam doesn’t devour books as quickly, and made it through 1 instead of 2
- donating 2 bags of groceries each month: check
- visiting 3 farms related to our passions and farm plan: partial check -we only made it to 1
- no more plastic consumption in our lives: partial check-we reduced but we can’t seem to rid ourselves of the horrible stuff
Overall, I’m proud of how far we’ve come. 2017 is sizing up to be a big year for us. Our goals now include:
- Paying off the rest of our student debt
- Buying a house and some land to start our farm
- Read 2 books on farming
- Visit 2 farms/orchards
- Donate 2 bags of groceries each month
- Make something beautiful
Yes, there is a sense of repetition to our yearly goals. We believe it’s important to pay off our debts so we can move on to the next stage of life. Have we sacrificed in the last couple years? Yes. But it will be well worth it once we buy our small plot of land in the countryside.
Also, for those of you wondering why we have a goal of reading several books each year, please let me elaborate. I recently came across a startling, and somewhat sad statistic. Apparently 25% of individuals have not read a book last year. Also, apparently if an individual reads for 1 hour each day in their chosen field, they will become an international expert in 7 years. Don’t believe me? Google it. Or better yet, check out this link that has some interesting thoughts on reading. Basically, if we put time into reading about farming, we’ll become much better farmers much quicker than if we were doing it blind. And that seems about right to me.
The visiting of farms/orchards fits right into to our pursuit of becoming very good at our dream profession, so I won’t talk about that anymore.
Hopefully by now it’s clear we are passionate about food. And that is why we make it a goal to donate a certain amount of good food to those in need.
And as for making something beautiful? Well, that’s up for interpretation. It could mean me finishing and publishing my book. For Adam it might mean finishing the remodeling of our current living situation. Perhaps it means we finally start keeping a better blog. Or, it could mean something else entirely. As Adam says, to make something beautiful means trying new things and seeing what happens.
So go forward, and make beautiful things happen with this new year.