On the Homestead ~ Goals for 2016

2016 Goals picGood afternoon, everyone. I apologize for the late posting today. This whole week has been a bit crazy. In fact, you probably noticed that I posted my last article on Monday instead of Tuesday. I got my dates mixed up when I set up the posting calendar. I think going back to the office after working from home has me and my days a little discombobulated. Anyway, I thought I’d take today to go over my goals for 2016 and give you some resources to help you make your own goals for the year.

A LOOK BACK AT 2015

Next week, I’ll be sharing with you some stats for 2015 – harvest amounts, rain and weather stats (like I did last year). But today, I just want to do a quick review of whether or not I met last year’s goals.

Overall, I didn’t complete (or even start) half of last year’s goals, yet I did several things that I didn’t even set as a goal. (Can I consider that a wash? LOL)

  • I didn’t get the house painted or the shed renovated/painted (so the water-catching system didn’t get in either) – two large jobs that will have to wait until this year.
  • I did purchase the new grow lights, and they worked wonderfully! Great buy!
  • The new hoop tunnels (not a goal as I’d already used it) – not so much. Too much work to put on and take off. If I lived up north where they’d stay on all season, that’d be one thing. But here in the South, it was too much work for someone who works full time outside the home. I need an actual greenhouse. (See goals below.)
  • I did put in the shade garden. However, I realized (too late) that the area receives too much sun in the summer months, and all of my huechera (coral bells) died. The hostas and astible survived, so that’s good. (See goals below to learn what I’m going to do to fix the problem.)
  • I never did put in a flower garden. The heat kept me out of the garden too much. What little ability I had to work in the heat had to be used in the veggie garden.
  • I never did get that detailed soil sample, and I’m still behind on that. (See goals below.)
  • I couldn’t find an almond tree locally to plant. Maybe this year, I’ll be able to find one.
  • I did get the bird bath – more than one, actually – and the birds love it.
  • I did put up the mason bee house, and I have three holes filled with eggs. They should hatch this spring. I’m hoping more holes will get filled this year.

ASSESSMENT

When reviewing why I didn’t accomplish some goals, I have to admit, that some things were just out of my control. I can’t control the weather, and I can’t control working other people’s schedules to match mine when I need help (like painting and repair work). So, I have to let concern over those undone items go.

Some things didn’t get accomplished because I didn’t make it a priority like I should have – such as the soil sample. Another reason was insufficient research – like with the shade garden, when I should’ve been keeping track of sun vs shade in ALL seasons.

A big reason for some things not getting done – smaller goals, especially, which I didn’t necessarily share here – was that I added having my own business this past year, which took up a good bit of time.

So, where do I go from here? Well, here’s a rough draft of my goals for 2016, divided by area of life.

GOALS FOR 2016 – HOMESTEAD

  • Amend/fix my soil. I don’t want a repeat of 2015. So first, I have to get that soil sample in the mail! That should’ve been done 2 months ago. IT HAS TO GET DONE THIS WEEKEND! Hold me accountable, my garden buddies. I’m running out of time to amend the soil in time for spring planting.
  • Assess plants before ordering seed. I’m going to decide which varieties have worked well for me in the past couple of years and plant only those varieties. Because of other goals, I’m not going to plant anything new this year.
  • Fix the shade garden. I’ve realized that coral bells will not grow well in that spot, so I will not be replacing them. (Dang it.) I’m thinking of getting a couple more hostas and then filling in the rest of the space with herbs – both culinary and medicinal. (This goes along with another one of my goals, below.)
  • Paint the house. It’s needing it badly, so I need to find a good painter with reasonable prices. Thankfully, it’s a brick house, and I just need trim and doors/shutters painted.
  • Fix/paint the shed. I’m hoping I don’t have to hire someone to do this, but I may have to. My Garden Wilson’s two businesses are keeping him very busy these days, so we’ll see. šŸ™‚
  • Trim the trees off the house and shed. I had this scheduled in October, but the heavy rains we got kept the appointment changing because he couldn’t get to me. Then, I think he forgot our last appointment and I never rescheduled. It’s on the list for this month.
  • Map out/plan landscaping for the front yard. I have acquired that beautiful antique cotton planter and a couple more vintage birdbaths. I even have a sundial! I want to draw out a plan for the front yard and plan flower plantings around these beautiful pieces. Along with that, I can plant flowers elsewhere in my front yard, along with herbs and medicinal plants. (Example: Hyssop is a flower but it’s also medicinal. It also attracts bees.)
  • Clean out/organize my garage and shed. I need to move all my garden things to the shed (they’re in the shed and in the garage) and organize the shed so I can find everything. You know how it is – you start out all organized and then other people start using things and not putting them back where they belong. (But I digress.) Then, I need to clean out and organize my garage to make more room for my business inventory AND a large freezer. I want to purchase a freezer to store my garden goodies and be able to purchase grass-fed meat in bulk.
  • Create a permanent greenhouse. I’m not sure if the space I have left on my homestead will be conducive for a greenhouse, as I have my garden on the sunniest side of the house. However, I want to work on assessing that and figuring out a way to build a small one out of old wooden windows. (Great recycling idea.)
  • Purchase a larger dehydrator. Having a small dehydrator means doing things in batches. With my time being at a premium, it’d be more efficient to have a larger dehydrator that can dehydrate more (even different veggies) at the same time. Excalibur, here I come!

GOALS FOR 2016 – BUSINESS

I just finished my first year of business with with Anchor Line Vintage, and I think I did pretty well for my first year in business. (Please see the badge on the right along with the 10% coupon code for my blog readers.) I will say, I didn’t realize how much time it would take, so I’m going to have to keep that in mind so I can be more realistic with my goal setting. I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew, and I’m going to have to “hire out” some things to get them done. (Like the painting and repairs, for example.)

That said, I have two main goals for my business for this year, as I work towards making this a realistic supplement to my pension when I retire in 7 1/2 years. Hopefully, these two goals will double my sales!

  • Expand shipping. Currently, I ship only to customers in the United States. This week, I am sending my first item to Canada. If it goes well, I will be expanding my shipping to customers in Canada.
  • Increase the number of items in my shop to 300. The biggest time consumer is listing items. I am determined that my listings be thorough, with great photos, historical background, and sufficient detail. That takes time. However, my goal is to basically double my listings (to double my sales) this year.

With these goals, plus my homestead goals, I will need to create a schedule to divide my time-not-at-work between the garden/homestead and the business.

And then, there are my personal goals. Other goals mean nothing if you don’t work to improve yourself.

GOALS FOR 2016 – PERSONAL

  • Spiritual – I’ve fallen away from my Torah/Bible study – because I wasn’t scheduling it. I schedule other things, which aren’t as important, so I should schedule this. My Sabbaths will now include lots of Torah/Bible study, and I will find a way to schedule small snippets of it during the weekdays, as well.
  • Health – I need to start exercising – beyond the yard/garden work. So, I want to start taking walks in the evening, at least 3 times a week.
  • Personal Improvement – This can also apply to health, but it IS personal improvement by way of increased knowledge. I want to learn more about herbal medicine, so I can help myself and my family get healthy and stay healthy in a more natural way. I’ve found a couple of books online just today, and I will be ordering them to study. (I’ll probably do book reviews on them for you, as well.)
  • Writing – Of course, I’ll be keeping up with this blog. In the spring, I’ll go back to posting three times a week. But I also want to get back to my other writing. I started a novel a few years back, and I feel it’s time to get back to it.

So, am I biting off more than I can chew this year? Probably. It’s my M.O. But, I figure, as long as I don’t berate myself too much for the things I didn’t accomplish by the end of the year, it’s okay.

Now, what about YOUR goals for 2016? I’ve found a great resource to help you. (In fact, I’m going to use this to better define my goals so I stay on track and work on what’s important.) If you would like a workbook to help you with your 2016 goals, Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love, is offering it for free here. And if you’re looking for a career change or a way to supplement your retirement, I highly recommend his book (click the title to find it on Amazon).

I’ve shared my goals for 2016. Please share yours in the comments below. Here’s to working on them together.

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