Reach Your Goals with these Simple Steps!

Reach Your GoalsIf there is one thing I have found to be true, it’s that you can’t reach your goals without a plan. This doesn’t just pertain to homesteading. In my personal journey, I’ve decided that not only should I try to live a sustainable life within my home, but also obtain a sustainable life within myself as well.

For me, this includes body, mind, and spirit which has proven to be a much harder task than anything else. I don’t want to get preachy though so let’s just keep it homesteading, right?!

Basically, I use this process whenever I want to start a new project. I also created a master list of skills, and to do’s I wanted to complete when I decided to start homesteading using this method.

How do you reach your goals?

You’re probably reading this article because you have a hard time achieving the goals you set out to complete. This is a pretty common issue for most people, especially now in the days of constant stimulus. It’s hard to find your focus when there are so many things demanding your attention.

It’s hard. Sometimes things are just hard to complete. These are usually the most rewarding and definitely the best things when you complete them but the road can be rough. So, you get defeated and give up.

Before you decide to make major changes in your life it would be in your best interest to really take a moment and evaluate who you are as a person. Do you give up easily? Are you a hard worker? Do you like regular praise? We’re not perfect beings, and it’s not like those who are successful have some sort of secret. What they do have is self-awareness.

Take an inventory of your skills but also your faults and really look at these so you can tell where you may slip up before it happens. Then you can plan for these events, still possibly slip, but then get back on track.

It’s also important to forgive yourself and start over. If you plan to do something every day and you miss one of the days don’t call it quits. So many people do this, I know because I used to do this all the time. I would plan something even once a week or every other day etc but as soon as I missed one day the whole thing was over. So if you miss a day, if you don’t get what you want to get done, finished – forgive yourself and start over.

Step One: Choosing Your Goal

Write down your dream, wish, goal whatever you want to call it. This is usually the fun part for me since it doesn’t require much work! grin

This is also where my master list came from, I wrote down everything I want for my life. I broke my master list into different sections including lifestyle, money, travel, homesteading etc. I still use my list and have created a bit of a dream board from it – I’m a crafty type who likes ribbons and scrapbooking! 😉 Perhaps I will share that later!

It is important to WRITE your goals down, this makes them a solid entity. It’s a real thing instead of just an arbitrary thought floating around in the air. This helps your focus allowing you to have a physical connection to the goal.

For example, this is what I may write down under Homesteading, Raise Chickens.

Although for any homesteader this is a great goal, and one many want to achieve. The problem with this goal?

It’s too vague.

A lot of homesteaders these days are coming from backgrounds that don’t generally have much to do with farming or chickens. So if you know nothing about chickens, and don’t know how to care for them this goal will overwhelm and probably never come to fruition. It falls under the too hard category and you give up.

Perhaps you don’t have the right reason for obtaining this goal? You’ve heard it before – do what you love and the rest will follow. If you’re doing something to just make money you may not be successful because you’re not doing it for the right reason. So don’t just choose a goal, write down why you want this goal as well.

Step Two: Breaking it Down and Making a Plan

This is where you have to do a bit more thinking. You basically take your large goal and then lay out the path you will need to take in order to reach the goal.

In our example: Raise Chickens, there are several steps that you need to complete to have your own chickens.

So take your goal and break it down. There are several ways to do this: you can create a thought bubble, make a tier, a simple list etc. I personally like to put my large goal at the top of my paper, followed by why I want to reach this goal and then break it down below.

With my example, I want to raise a chicken, seems easy enough. So my page may start by looking like this:

Raise Chickens
I want to be self sustainable, being able to raise chickens for food and eggs will help with my overall goal.

Have a chicken.

This is only the very beginning though. Take those steps and break them down until you reach the smallest possible step or until you reach a goal you feel comfortable completing. This is where I also add notes or questions I may have about the goal that I feel I’ll need the answer to.

Each section will probably break off until you have completed a Goal Web.

For Example:

Raise Chickens
I want to be self sustainable, being able to raise chickens for food and eggs will help with my overall goal.

  • Have a chicken
  • Look into the laws of my town/city/county etc about having chickens in my backyard.
    • Learn about the different types of chickens
      • Laying hens
        • How to know when a hen is done laying
      • Roosters
      • Chicks
    • Providing Shelter
    • Build a chicken coop
        • How many chickens can live in one chicken coop
        • How to teach chickens to return to coop on command
        • Build a nesting box
    • Learn about eggs
      • How to incubate fertilized eggs
      • Candling eggs
      • Collecting eggs
    • Learn how to care for a chicken
      • Feeding Chickens
        • What do chickens eat
          • Make my own chicken food
        • How can I feed chickens automatically
          • Create my own chicken feeder

Take Your Time

This list can go on and on, I didn’t include every step needed here but you get the idea. When you create your own, make sure you take the time to really dig deep. Instead of this tier system, I usually use a star system since I don’t normally write my goals using a computer but rather a notebook I keep.

Instead of having all of the sub categories I star things using one, two or three stars. One is the simplest tasks needed to complete the goal (or in some cases the immediate need task) and three stars being the more involved tasks.

In the example above a lot of the work is really just research, learning how to care for the animal in order to have it. However the first note under “Have a Chicken” is definitely a need task. Before I complete anything else I need to do this to make sure this goal is even possible in my current home.

If you can’t have chickens where you live and this is a goal you are not willing to give up then your list of tasks will then expand to “Finding a Suitable Homestead”

What I find to be the most important thing about this is not just breaking it down but planning it out. Don’t just write these goals out and say ‘okay I’m done’ you need to add a key item to push yourself into action. A time frame. I like to be as specific as possible when it comes to time frames, I find this gets the best result.

I’ll put the date of my goal a the top of the page, and each item will be broken down into dates of completion, with the largest goal having its own set time.

Schedule Yourself for the Best Results

My final goal draft will look something like this:

Raise Chickens – December 1 2015
Estimated Goal Completion Date: August 30 2016
I want to be self sustainable, being able to raise chickens for food and eggs will help with my overall goal.

  • Have a chicken – August 30 2016

  • Look into the laws of my town/city/county etc about having chickens in my backyard. – December 2 2015

    • Learn about the different types of chickens – December 9 2015

      • Laying hens – December 3 2015
        • How to know when a hen is done laying
      • Roosters – December 5 2015
      • Chicks – December 7 2015
    • Providing Shelter

    • Build a chicken coop – July 1 2016

        • How many chickens can live in one chicken coop
        • How to teach chickens to return to coop on command
        • Build a nesting box – July 15 2016
    • Learn about eggs – January 30 2016

      • How to incubate fertilized eggs – January 5 2016
      • Candling eggs – January 10 2016
      • Collecting eggs – January 20 2016
    • Learn how to care for a chicken – June 1 2016

      • Feeding Chickens

        • What do chickens eat – May 1 2016

          • Make my own chicken food – May 5 2016
        • How can I feed chickens automatically – May 8 2016

          • Create my own chicken feeder – May 30 2016

Again this is a rough draft but I think it shows you a good layout of holidays and personal scheduling. It also allows for some flexibility. I don’t want to make every day of my life about chickens – I’ll probably end up not wanting them if I do. Still, the time line is realistic for what I want to accomplish and short enough that I can see the light at the end of it.

You’ll notice there are some gaps. I do this purposely because when creating a Goal Web such as this that new things pop up. I may be researching how to feed a chicken and what they eat when I stumble upon information about their manure. Then I may want to learn about how it can be used in gardening. So at that point, I may want to add it to my goal list and that will cause more work on my part. You need to create a timeline that is flexible enough that you can add more if needed without having to struggle to get the work done. Also make it realistic and short enough that you don’t stop working towards that goal.

Step Three: Reward yourself when you reach your goal! Even the Small Ones!

It’s important to reward yourself when you complete a large goal, but it is even more important to reward yourself for the smaller steps you take as well. This way you don’t lose momentum, and you don’t get discouraged.

The simplest things can be enough to motivate you to keep going. When I complete a task it’s reward enough to simply strike it out as Done! However, if you’re not so easily satisfied you could always treat yourself to something you wouldn’t normally go for – don’t choose something you do every Saturday that isn’t incentive to do the work!

You can also set up a system where if you complete so many tasks by a certain date you get something extra. You have your due dates, so perhaps if you complete early then you can do something or have something as a reward. For me completing it ahead of schedule is more than enough reward but others need their own incentives.

That’s about it. There are so many ways to create and achieve your goals so I definitely suggest trying different methods to find what works for you. If this is it, great! If not please do keep looking, or share your own method in the comments. I did a lot of research when I first decided to become active in my own life, this method is one I took from several sources and works for me, and I hope will work for you as well!

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