We are almost to the end of the year and as I look back over the past year I start to evaluate my goals I made for 2013 and start to create new goals for 2014.
Whatever business you are in it is important to have goals. The reason for this is that you need something to work towards. How do you know if you are successful if you don’t have a goal to reach?
Having goals also helps you become more motivated. It’s like playing sports, I’m Canadian so I’ll use hockey as an example. At the beginning of the season you put together a team. As a team your ultimate goal is to win the championship. In order to win you can’t just show up though. As a team you work together to create strategies (mini goals), practice hard and implement. The more you practice and work towards the championship (your end goal) the better you feel. And even if you don’t win that championship title you are still a better player and team than when you started!
This leads to the next important part of setting goals. Don’t make your goals too easy. You want to step out of your comfort zone. If the hockey team’s goal was just to win one game that season, what do you think they would do after that first win? They may not work as hard or slack off a bit. By having a big goal of winning the championship they have to work hard every day to reach that goal.
You may be thinking why set all these goals you may not be able to achieve? Well, because it provides motivation. If you created a goal for your farm to replace your off farm income of $50,000/yr that is going to be really good motivation for you to really make changes on your farm! You may start looking at ways to reduce your expenses, or look at new marketing opportunities. You will start evaluating your farm differently.
Don’t worry if you don’t reach your goal by the end of 2014. As long as you have made big strides you have been successful. Some goals may take longer than a year to reach. By having smaller goals (mini goals) that ultimately feed into your big goals you are a step closer. An example of this would be a goal of reducing your cost of production (COP) in 2014 by 10%. The following year it could be a further 10% reduction as well as an increase in revenue of 10-20% using alternative marketing methods.
Now that you see the importance of having goals take some time to sit down and write out some goals for your farm for 2014! You will be amazed by what you come up with.