I was recently working with a colleague on a series of emails we hoped would increase visibility and engagement for a project she’s working on. We laid out a series of topics, discussed how they would get us what we wanted, and then began to split up the tasks. And that’s when I stopped us and I asked:
“Before we go any further, is anyone paying you to do this? And if not, why are you doing it?”
She always grimaces when I ask her about being paid to do something. Like me, she’s full of enthusiasm and wants to make a difference. And, just like me, she does a lot of stuff for free, and she always goes above and beyond the call of duty. I ask her these questions because I’ve found that if you’re not able to pay the bills, you’re not sustainable. Plus, being clear about why you’re doing something ensures you’re choosing wisely.
We talked about our “why” for the project, and about money too. And, by just taking five minutes or so to think about this, we suddenly realized that with just a few tweaks to our idea, we could create the potential for income and for making a MUCH larger difference than we’d originally been talking about. It was really exciting!
Knowing Your “Why” Changes What You Do
The idea of knowing our “why” was on my mind when I talked with my friend because this week’s issue of On Pasture has articles about goals and how they can inform your grazing management to create more success. Ben Durham likes bird hunting and he knew that livestock grazing was critical for providing habitat. That became his grazing management goal. Then there’s John Marble’s take on what makes the best cow. His criteria help him meet profit goals for his operation. Finally, we usually think leaving plenty of grass behind after grazing is a good thing. But, in this article, we look at goals that may mean short grazing is a good thing.
How to Find Your “Why”
One of the reasons we don’t set goals is we’re busy. Another is that it seems so daunting. So, let’s start with some simple definitions to make it easier. These are definitions that helped me when I had to set goals for past projects.
Goals = our reason for doing this thing
Objectives = what we will have as a result of achieving our goals
Now, just daydream a bit. This daydreaming thing was something we were so good at as kids, and it’s fun! Create a picture in your mind of what you want. Make it detailed. The interesting thing about doing this is, according to research, your brain will begin to work on solutions that will take you where you’re going even when you’re not actively thinking about it. So, don’t be surprised if you are suddenly inspired.
Once you have a vision, write it down. You can always add to it or change it later. But having it in writing in front of you will help you take the next steps.
We’ll talk about this more in the future. But for now, thanks for reading!
P.S. And of course, if you want to go further, check out the FREE online grazing ebook and online courses.