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It’s January. Which, for most people, means planning out your goals for the year. If you’re starting your homestead, you may be overwhelmed with how to set achievable first year homestead goals. But you shouldn’t be!
You just need to break it down into bite-sized chunks. And don’t overextend yourself!
We are actually in the beginning stages of planning for our newly purchased homestead. It’s an already established homestead, as we’ve rented this place for 3 years. But we were just able to purchase it. So now we’re planning what improvements we want to make!
Let’s talk about how to break down your goal setting into bite-sized chunks.
Step 1: Decide on a big goal
Start by deciding on one big goal for your homestead. Sit down as a family and ask, what do we really want to accomplish this year? Make this goal big enough that, if you don’t really accomplish anything other than that goal, you will still be satisfied with your progress.
Make your goals specific and measurable. Include numbers, limits, and figures as much as possible.
You can do more than one big goal, but be cautious with this. You might not be able to accomplish all the goals you want to set. If you do decide on more than one big goal for your homestead, you will need to prioritize these in order of importance. That way, you’ll be able to work on the most important goal first, then the second most important, and so on.
Some examples of this would be:
- Get 6 chickens for eggs (a perfect first year homesteading goal!)
- Raise a 500 square foot garden
- Raise 2 cows for butchering
- Preserve 50% of garden produce for use throughout the winter
Step 2: Plan out action steps
After you’ve decided on your big goal, plan out action steps that need to be done before you take action toward that goal. These are the things that need to be researched, tracked, measured, and planned before you can start your projects to complete your big goal.
If these action steps take a while, don’t stress about it! They are important steps to take so you can efficiently achieve your first year homestead goals.
To demonstrate, in the example above, of preserving 50% of the garden produce, here are some action steps you should take:
- Determine what vegetables are easy to preserve
- Research preservation methods for various vegetables
- Decide how much produce you want to preserve
- Plant twice that amount of produce
Step 3: List your projects
Next you need to list out the projects that you need to do to accomplish your big goal. Each big goal will probably have several projects that need to be done. When listing out your projects, keep your money and time budget in mind. Don’t set unrealistic expectations with your projects.
Also, you need to remember that other projects will undoubtedly come up. Homesteading is very rarely a smooth operation. These additional projects can derail your efforts if you let them! Once you finish the unplanned project, move as quickly as you can back to your goal projects.
To show you examples of the projects you should plan, in our goal of preserving half of our garden produce, the projects would be:
- Build raised beds
- Fill with native soil, straw, and compost
- Install drip irrigation
- Plan the garden and buy seeds
- Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost
- Build garden trellises to make the best use of space
Once you have put your first year homestead goals on paper, make sure you put them in your homestead management binder so you can refer to them often.
I have a brand new goal planner worksheet on the Subscribers Only Resource Page, and an older one that helps you create a 3-year plan for your homestead. To get access, simply subscribe below! You’ll be sent a password to be able to access and download these, and lots of other valuable resources.
Step 4: Get to work!
Now that you have planned out your first year homestead goals, it’s time to get to work. Homesteading is a never ending journey, filled with ups and downs, and a whole lot of work. But don’t get overwhelmed! Do what you can, when you can. And always, take it one step at a time!
You’ve got this! We can do it together!
If you want our new goal planner worksheet, subscribe here.
This post may be shared on Family Homesteading and Off The Grid Blog Hop, Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Farm Fresh Tuesday, and Old Paths to New Homesteading & Self-Reliant Living.