Part II: Tips for keeping New Year’s resolutions for your farm

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goats chicken and tomato collage

The gym parking lot is packed the first few weeks of January when resolution-makers are pumped up to get in shape for the New Year. But after a few weeks, enthusiasm wanes and spare parking spots become plentiful.

Keeping my New Year’s resolutions is especially challenging for me during birthing season on the farm, when I am distracted and sleep deprived, and during hay and harvest times when I am physically exhausted. Stress, too little time and money also deters farmers from achieving our goals despite our good intentions. The resolutions we made for the New Year are no less important as time goes on, but sometimes ‘just getting through the day’ takes priority.

Read Part I: Making effective New Year’s resolutions for the farm

Tips to help you stay on track

  • Write your resolutions down and read them often. Keep the paper in plain sight where you are likely to see them. The more attention you give your goals, the more positive energy you put towards achieving them.
  • Remember why you wanted it in the first place. You made a resolution to change because the system in place wasn’t working or wasn’t ideal. Think about the old system, then visualize the new and improved system that will result from your efforts.
  • Don’t tell yourself that ‘my resolution isn’t so important after all’. When we feel defeated it’s easy to convince ourselves something we wanted isn’t important to us anymore.
  • See setbacks as bumps on the road to success. Everyone suffers setbacks. Remember, achieving your resolutions is a yearlong process. There is room for failure and you can still succeed.
  • Review and reward progress. Review your resolutions on the first of each month. Note progress made and pat yourself on the back. Feel great that your hard work paid off. Carry those feelings forth as you continue to work towards your goal.
  • Let your plan-of-action be your guide. When you find yourself in a rut or a lull in progress, review your plan-of action to determine your next step.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded motivators. I didn’t fully appreciate this tip until my farm became Farmer Veteran Coalition certified Homegrown by Heroes. I found a network of fellow farmer-veterans who shared my values and lifestyle, and had similar goals to grow.

The early spring calendar is packed with agricultural related networking, educational events and conferences. Get involved. Like-minded motivators will inspire you, make you push yourself harder, and help you to stay on track to achieve your resolutions.

  • Destress. Stress can kill the best of intentions. Kill stress first, even if it means getting away from the farm when you are really busy.
  • Remember your commitment. Don’t let yourself down.
  • Imagine how good success will feel and then think of the things you can do having achieved these goals. Success builds confidence in all areas of life.

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