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LH 37: Setting Productive Farm-Fresh Goals

Hey – Happy New Year! I can’t believe another year just flew by.

So, are you thinking about what you want to accomplish in this upcoming year?

Is there something you want to learn? Is there something BIG you want to work towards? Any new projects? Or maybe you just want to take another step toward living a more farm-fresh or healthier lifestyle?

Well, I’m thinking about those sorts of  things too. But…here’s what I DON’T do.

I never write down New Year’s Resolutions.

Podcast Show Notes:

Nope. The task of writing a random “to-do” list of what I “wish” to accomplish has just never worked for me. When I have done that in the past, I rarely take action.

I think it’s because a random list always feels like pipe dreams with no meat behind them. You know what I mean?

So a few years ago, I took a few business productivity classes and learned different techniques for setting and reaching business goals. And then I adapted those standard techniques for accomplishing my homesteading goals (gardening, food-crafting) and personal/health goals.

And it totally worked!

Goal setting is VERY different from writing down New Year’s Resolutions.

Goal setting means, you push yourself a little out of your comfort zone and make those goals REAL! And you analyze your goals a bit before doing that to be sure they are realist and attainable.

In other words, you set yourself up for success instead of failure.

Then…you set out making them happen…in a very strategic way. You can use these methods to accomplish ANY goals including things like losing weight or getting a more healthy lifestyle. Anything.

And here’s the thing…

Since changing my mindset , I have been reaching more of my goals. (Not every, single one…But most.) And since implementing real goal setting systems, I even sometimes change my goals mid-year (with NO guilt). That’s totally allowed!

The goal setting techniques I use are not always perfect. But man…I get a lot more of my goals met than I used to.

In this week’s podcast, I dive deep into the step-by-step method I use to set my goals. And I teach you how you can try it to reach whatever goals you might have swimming around in your head.

To get the full details, you can listen to the podcast episode (click the audio link at the top of the page) or you can read the transcript (below). Or you can read through a summary I outline below of the 6 steps I use.

But there’s more…

To help you reach YOUR homesteading or personal goals, I created a free downloadable Goal Setting Worksheet to help walk you through the process.


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I hope you find this worksheet really valuable because I want you to reach for the stars AND get there this year! Also within the worksheet, I have included some free on-line tools I like to use (not mentioned in the episode). I think these tools will really help you with setting and reaching your goals.

If you have some goals that are really important to you, then take the time to fill out the worksheet. If you do, then you are well on your way to attaining that goal. In fact, doing this puts you 90% ahead of what most people do with goal setting! Let’s make 2016 the best year ever!

Here’s the breakdown on setting goals:

6 Steps to Setting Attainable Goals:


Step One: Brain Dump

If you are like me, you have a million ideas of what you might like to do this year swimming around in your head. Am I right?

Get those ideas out of your head and onto paper (or your computer). Seriously! Write them down…ALL of them. By writing them all down, you clear your mind of clutter and you will stop worrying about forgetting something important. So always do this first.

Step Two: Choose 3-6 Goals per Quarter

You have to realize that you probably can’t reach ALL of these listed goals in a year. So pick which ones are most important to you. And break those goals down by quarter. Be sure to start with just 3-6 goals you will work on this first quarter. Why by quarter?

  • It helps you break up your massive goals into doable bits
  • Most homesteading and food goals are seasonal anyway

And since you wrote them all down, you won’t forget the rest. You can always come back to your list later.

Setting SMART Homesteading Goals



Step Three: Drill Down

Use the popular SMART Goal Setting Method for writing out your goals. SMART is an acronym for: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound. By writing out your goals using each of those attributes, you make them REAL and push yourself with a deadline.

Here’s an explanation:

Specific: No generalizations here. Give very specific details of what you want to accomplish. So don’t say, “I want to learn about cheese..”

Example: I want to learn how to make ricotta and mozzarella….

Measurable: You need to know when you reach that goal, so use numbers if possible.

Example: I want to take two classes on…

Actionable: Instead of saying something like I want to “be” more sustainable. Use action words like Learn, Gain, Lose, Create, Prepare, Develop, Reduce, etc.

Example: I want to reduce our home waste by 25%….

Realistic: Make sure your goals are realistic within the time frame you are looking at. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure. So don’t say: “I want to be completely off grid within 30 days” (That may not be possible without some pre-planning and prep work, right?)

Example: “I want to install solar panels by September 1st”. That one step toward being completely off grid has time built in so you can learn, research and implement.

Time-Bound: Set a date – a solid date for every goal. This puts a little pressure on you so you don’t blow it off. It also sets your mind up to figure out the steps needed to reach that goal by that date.

Step Four: Why?

Determine your reasons or your purpose in wanting this goal. Why do you want this for yourself? Figuring out WHY you want this goal is important because when the going gets tough (and it sometimes does), you can refer to this list to keep you motivated. All you do is write down ALL the reasons you want this goal and keep it handy.

Step Five: Reverse Engineer Your Outcome

Take each goal and write out exactly what needs to happen to make that goal inevitable. In other words, if you do those tasks it WILL happen. That list becomes your to-dos or your tasks.

Step Six: Schedule

You now have a very real, actionable list of goals and each goal has a list of tasks that need to happen to make that goal a reality. The next step is to write the first 1-3 tasks onto your calendar. Make it real and schedule it to make it happen.

And also schedule time (30-60 min) at the end of each quarter (or season) to reassess your goals and where you are in reaching them. It’s okay to shift gears. These are YOUR goals. So don’t guilt yourself out if you need to make adjustments.

Okay – download the free worksheet, (Some resources are included in the PDF) and write down/organize what you plan to accomplish this year.


Links & Resources Mentioned in Episode:

Full Transcript of Today’s Episode #37

KonMari Method for Homesteading – Podcast episode #22

How to Make Yogurt at Room Temp – Podcast episode #2


Let’s make 2016 awesome!

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.