Tag Archives: goals

Intentional Goal Setting


Photo: Chris M. holds up his completed visual dream board. 

I met with a university student yesterday as part of an alumni-student mentorship program. Some of the things the student is hoping to get out of our meetings is advice and recommendations that will help her prepare for life after university. It was our first meeting so the conversation jumped around a bit – we talked about life and school, discovered shared opinions on pipelines and Idle No More, agreed on the awesomeness of Salt Spring Island, and discussed the power behind the act of being intentional about making goals. 

This same topic came up at last week’s CEED Centre Wednesday drop-in coffee session. The community members in attendance talked about goal-setting, list-making, understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, and being okay with saying no sometimes rather than over-committing yourself and feeling guilty when you don’t get everything done that you wanted to get done.

Intentionally thinking about and writing down goals is something I commit to regularly. I strongly believe that there’s a direct connection between this act and actually accomplishing our goals. I know for certain that I get more accomplished by doing this. I also know that doing this gives me a better perspective on the priorities in my life and helps inform my decisions before I take on new responsibilities. 

Life’s a balancing act for sure, but there are things we can do that make it easier, smoother, and more enjoyable.

To take this to a realistic, hands-on level, the group of us here on the farm spent a January evening writing down our dreams and goals for the next few years. Candles were lit, wine was drunk, and our living room floor and coffee table were strewn with magazines, scissors and glue as we pieced together visual dream boards. This was an intentional act – something that we hope will install in each of us a firmer resolve to work towards our goals. It was a fun and inspiring exercise and I encourage everyone to do it.

Meanwhile, in addition to our macro-level goals, I’ve been intentional about a related personal new years resolution which is to make a daily to-do list and, I’ve gotta say, January was MIGHTY productive because of these lists. This stuff really works. 

So, on that note, time to wrap this up and get on with the very farm-y items on my to-do list today: complete third cold frame, plant broad bean seeds in pots, clean out chicken coop, move poopy hay  to area where I’m building an extension to a garden bed and need a compostable layer of material, and, before anything else, eat oatmeal currently waiting on stove and make coffee. Okay, okay – and watch highlights from last night’s episode of The Bachelor (because even farm girls can’t help themselves sometimes ;).

New Years Resolutions


I haven’t collected any resolutions from the other farm members around here yet, but since this morning marks the first few hours of free, alone time I’ve had in 2012, I thought it would be valuable to sit down and write out my own.

I believe that putting aside some time to think about and write down goals is one of the most important steps to getting things done (aka creating the life for yourself that you really want). Writing down goals (in a blog post, in a journal, or on a piece of paper posted above my trailer door so that I am reminded of them every day) helps me to stay motivated and focused. So, without further ramble, here is my list of goals for 2012:

Word for the year: Intentional

I want to be Intentional about:

1.  Reading more books: I used to be an avid reader, then I let the internet suck me in. Now my attention span is shot and I spend way more time than is neccessary online instead of with my head stuck in a book. I need to figure out what method works best to start reading more: paying $5 for a soy latte & a distraction free corner in a coffee shop, setting my alarm an extra hour early for pre-dawn reading sessions, NOT bringing my laptop to bed with me so that I read in bed instead of facebooking myself to sleep… My plan is to reprioritize my time, figure out a system that works and spend quality time reading about gardening, health, veganism, and spirituality, as well as indulging in good ol’ page-turner best sellers.

2.  Creating less waste: I’d like to limit my consumerism overall and when I do buy things, I want to avoid packaging that can’t be reused or recycled. I’m planning on removing my garbage can from my trailer altogether to ensure that I follow this resolution. It might not be possible to avoid creating garbage 100% of the time, but I want to do the best I can to avoid being a contributor of the unneccessary garbage that’s polluting the earth.

3.  Practicing gratitude: I’ve been deeply inspired by my friend Faye over at www.rawlawyer.com. As if her story and journey weren’t inspiring enough, her weekly gratitude practices have motivated me to start doing them as well. There are a lot of things to be thankful for in life, but distractions and negative attitudes can keep us from recognizing and acknowledging them. I’m looking forward to making this a regular practice this year and seeing how it influences my attitude and outlook on life and relationships.

4.  Expanding my homesteading abilities and making money doing it: When I visualize what I want my life to look like in the future, I see myself and my life partner living a thoughtful, eco and animal-conscious lifestyle in a home that reflects those same qualities while making a living that also reflects those qualities. Being outside and working on homesteading-related projects makes me really happy and figuring out how to make a living doing that is something that I really want to pursue. It’s also something that my wonderful boyfriend (a permaculture-inspired, up-and-coming urban farmer in Maple Ridge) wants to do, so we’re combining our eager-entrepreneurial spirits together this year with plans to grow food on both of our properties and sell it at farmers markets when they open in April. I’m so excited about this – growing my own food and selling it at farmers markets is something I’ve daydreamed about for a long time. This is the year to make it a reality and see how it goes. I’m sure it will be a huge, but very fun and rewarding learning curve.

* * *

I plan on documenting my resolution efforts on this blog (numbers 3 & 4 in particular) as the year progresses. This will help hold me accountable to pursuing them and maybe it will encourage you to keep and pursue your own. Thanks for continuing to follow our story everyone. Happy New Year!

October farm to-do-list


This blog post is a little late now that there’s only one week left before November begins, but the group of us met earlier in the month to discuss our goals for October. We haven’t been very good at meeting regularly to discuss farm matters, create goals and divvy up the managing of projects, so our October meeting was intented to kick-start regular monthly meetings and to inspire us to make lists and get stuff done.

October projects:

  • plant spring bulbs (around the property, including the guilds)
  • plant perennial seeds (if we want some?)
  • plant garlic, radishes, broad beans and spinach
  • cut back raspberry canes
  • transplant new trees & shrubs ($150 allocated to new food trees)
  • dig up an offered cherry tree waiting in a friend’s yard & relocate it to our farm
  • do dump & recycling runs with trash on the property
  • set up rain barrels
  • create a ‘potting’ table
  • complete duck paddock
  • get hay (for animal bedding & for mulching)
  • research free compost & bread (for chickens) options
  • build rabbit tractor

Longer-term goals discussed:

  • expand fencing 
  • expand guilds into a food forest 
  • fix house roof 
  • expand chicken run & produce more eggs 
  • be more intentional about harvesting 
  • prepare to join farmers market 
  • expand food growing areas 
  • create food storage systems – cold storage & greenhouse 

Looking at this list now, it’s clear that we have a busy week ahead of us to get everything done that we wanted to complete in October. It’s good to make lists, but even better to review them. Time to get cracking!