Being a homesteader means you need to be able to adapt and shift gears. Things don’t go as planned, plans change, budgets crash. You have to be able to overcome and turn it around for the good. Homesteading means having an ever-shifting mindset.
There are so many things that can, and will, go wrong around the homestead. Animals will die, crops will fail, or the weather won’t cooperate with you. That’s just how homestead life is. You can read my post on dark homestead secrets here.
Here are some things that having a shifting mindset can help you overcome.
Lessen or avoid income losses
When you are relying on your homestead making you money, this can be especially devastating. But through a shifting mindset, you may still be able to recover from losses.
It is commonplace for homesteaders to have lots of irons in the fire. While this can be overwhelming at times, it can also ensure that your homestead doesn’t totally fail.
Think about it this way. You plan on growing tomatoes for the Farmer’s Market, and you don’t get your plants in the ground on time. If you have an alternate crop (maybe radishes?) or product that you can turn around faster, you might still be able to sell something.
Here’s another example. You breed your sheep (you think!) for spring lambs, and none of your ewes take, or you have still births. If you were counting on having lambs, you will need to hone in on that shifting mindset and think of how else you can get your lambs. Can you buy from another local farmer? It might take more money that you weren’t planning on using. But you’ll still have your lambs.
In this scenario, it may even be of some benefit to you, as you can add new genetics to help overcome the issue that got you there in the first place! Maybe your ram isn’t fertile, or your ewes aren’t good breeders. These new lambs can help you solve that problem in the future.
Improve your planning
Most people have a plan for their homestead. They set goals and dreams. Sometimes these goals aren’t realistic.
If you have planned out something for your homestead that doesn’t go well, shifting your mindset can help you revise that plan into something that will work.
Maybe your income goals weren’t achievable, or maybe not just yet. Or maybe it’s going to take more money to get into something than you expected. That just means you need to back up a little and crunch the numbers again. Think of ways to cut expenses in other areas of the homestead.
If your chickens aren’t making you money, consider cutting down to just your egg layers and try ducks. If you’ve tried and tried to sell your beef, but have had nothing but failures, try another animal. Nothing on the homestead ever has to be set in stone!
The 3-year plan for our homestead had to be adjusted. We planned on having our first large batch of garlic in the ground this past fall. We were going to use the garlic we harvested this summer to plant an even larger plot of garlic this fall. Then we were going to use part of the money from the sale of the garlic next year to purchase our “forever” property that following summer.
Well, as it always does, life happened! We didn’t have our garlic plot amended good enough in the fall when we needed to get the garlic in the ground. And with The Hubs starting his own company right about planting time, we just didn’t have the budget to allow for purchasing seed garlic.
I was so upset about this derailing our plans. But The Hubs (bless him!) reminded me that we can still do the garlic, and still have our 3-year plan. It will now be more like a 2-year plan, and will cost us more money next year to do a larger plot of garlic. But it will still work, and I won’t allow it to postpone the purchase of our property!
Learn new things
Having an ever-shifting mindset can help you to learn and try new things. You can learn to overcome weather issues. You could learn to raise other animals. Or you could even try a new method of gardening.
Instead of failing at something, think of how you can overcome the obstacle and improve upon it. Learning a new way of doing something might make all the difference in the world!
If you had bugs that ate all your vegetables last year, consider installing row covers to protect those plants this year. Or check into companion planting to reduce pests.
Make your homestead better
Your mindset can either make or break your homestead. If you have a positive mindset, and adapt to change, you will be able to overcome obstacles. If you have a negative mindset, you will focus on the negatives and not be able to overcome.
When you have struggles, use them to your advantage. If a vegetable that you wanted to grow doesn’t do well in the conditions you had it in, fix it for next year. You will gain lots of knowledge as the years go by on what will and won’t grow in your area.
We have had lots of obstacles on our homestead. There have been times I have wanted to just give it up! But then I look at what we have. I look at the homegrown food we have to eat. And I know that I am blessed. I just had to have the right mindset.
Change can be scary. But change is constant on the homestead. You can either be afraid of it, or you can embrace change.
If you don’t have the mindset to embrace change, you’ll never make it as a homesteader. Homesteaders have to be resilient. They have to think outside of the box. They have to learn and grow and improve.
I, for one, am learning to embrace change. It’s a learning process in itself!
This post was inspired by and created for the Embracing Progress & Change On The Homestead blogger collaboration with some of my blogger friends. Please make sure you go check out their posts too!
Annie from 15 Acre Homestead: Homestead Plans Updated: New Focus on Life
Julie from The Farm Wife: How to Keep the Sparkle in your New Year’s Goals
Kathi from Oak Hill Homestead: Why It’s Okay To Think About Downsizing Your Homestead
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.
I did exactly what you recommend, Shawna: I sold ALL of my chickens, and my ducks too. So many reasons to do so and it just made the most sense. You’re right, it doesn’t mean I’ve given up, I’ve just tweaked my plans a bit.
Thank you Kathi. Sometimes you just have to tweak!