Sunday, April 21, 2024
HomeGoal SettingDo you want to be in the same place next year that...

Do you want to be in the same place next year that you are right now?

I’ve been a farmer for 22 years, and an agricultural professional for roughly 25. What I’ve learned is true success comes not from knowing how to grow good grass and animals. It comes from knowing WHY we’re doing those things and setting up systems to get there. Today, my mission is to help graziers be successful and lead fulfilling, high quality lives.

Maybe everything on your farm is going perfectly. The animals are productive, grass growth is great, and you’re feeding minimal hay and making money. Terrific!

But is that your whole life? How is your family—do you see them enough? Do you have time for things you enjoy doing beyond the daily farm/ranch work? Do you even have things you enjoy doing beyond farm or ranch work?

We get so chore-bound sometimes we never stop to ask ourselves what we actually want our lives to look like. Heck, we even have a hard time answering the question when we do stop to ask it. But, as Troy Bishopp and John Marble have pointed out, when we ask what we want our lives to look like, our operation begins to work for us, instead of us working for it.

The difference is having a vision that describes where you want to be. The first step toward creating a vision can be as simple as asking, “When I go out and do chores, am I doing chores because I’m going in a direction to get to something? Or am I doing chores because what I do is chores?” We can work all day long, but without a vision we’re like person with one foot stuck to the floor – all we can do is go in circles.

What do you want?

I think that’s one of the hardest questions there is, and I’ve struggled with it quite a bit myself. It requires time and thought. The first is always in short supply and the second is just hard.

Here’s an idea for getting started on your answer. The next time you’re in the truck or walking the pasture, don’t turn the radio on. Put away your phone. Then ask yourself this question and give yourself some space to think about the answer. It seems like a tiny step, but it can be a major breakthrough. I know it was for me.

Without distraction your brain has room to roll around ideas and some pop out. You likely won’t have the answers the first time you ask, or maybe the second or third. Keep asking. And if it takes leaving the farm/ranch to get away from your to-do list, do it.

Then take a deep breath and ask.

Here’s More!

When we first presented this in 2020, Jenn offered a free webinar on how to develop a vision. Here’s a free-replay of that webinar for you today. It’s 48:12 and will give you some useful tools and things to think about as you try to see where it is you want to go.

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Jenn Colby
Jenn Colby
Jenn Colby has spent over 25 years helping livestock farmers find success and quality of life through non-profit, academic, Extension, and community roles. She writes, farms, consults, and hosts the Choosing to Farm podcast from her home base of Howling Wolf Farm in Vermont.

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