Plan new goals, but keep them practical

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Every New Year brings dreams and aspirations of things to come. Some like to call them resolutions and make a whole list, but by next year, many of them will fall by the wayside.

I’m not sure, but resolutions are pretty much the same thing as goals. And talking about goals is one of those things that make me a little jittery.

There are a lot of people out there who are smarter than me, who make a lot of money convincing you that setting definite goals, and working toward those goals is the only way to achieve success.

Being practicalStay Focused

I have to confess that I’m not one of those guys. I think that I’m a lot like the folks who read Farm and Dairy.

It’s not that I don’t have goals, I don’t know how anyone who does any farming can not have.

Writing them down is the part that I think most of us skip. So, for your entertainment, I’m gonna supply you with some inspirational quotes about goals as we talk about soil health.

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Have you ever read a soil test result? Your dream is the yield goal that you asked for.

Test your soil

The recommendations for each year (your deadline) are for the nutrients that will need to be applied to achieve your dream. If you’re not testing your soil, how do you know how many nutrients you need — without applying too much?

Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, then you’ll end up someplace else.”

Just remember that they are just recommendations. Mark Twain said, “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

And soil health, as it applies to most of us, is not all about corn and beans. Pastures are sometimes like the forgotten step-child.

We tend to concentrate more on crop ground and hayfields, but having more and better grass for livestock is a goal that will lead to better production, bigger calves, healthier cows that re-breed easier, and less supplemental feed.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? There’s four goals met with one plan.

“The most important thing about goals is having one,” said Geoffry Aber.

Divide your pastures

If you are not already dividing your pastures, then you are not allowing your forage to achieve its full potential. Moving from one paddock to the next allows your grass to have a little rest and recovery period that keeps the roots happy.

And when the roots are happy, you and the cows will be happy too.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream,” wrote C.S. Lewis.

I was at a training a couple years ago, and the speaker said he and his wife got smarter as they got older — and one of their goals was to have every gate on the farm swing open without dragging it.

I know that has nothing to do with soils, but dreams come in all forms and can cover everything on the farm from hanging gates, to developing water systems, to shortening your calving season.

“The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work,” according to Richard Bach.

So, I want to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year. After all, “Being happy should be your number one goal in life.”

But don’t forget what Will Rogers said: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

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