Ready to set some goals for the first year of homesteading? Jump in with me!
It’s the first year we are on our new property so I’m doing some very intentional goal setting here. I’m setting myself some SMART goals all related to turning this 6-acre lawn into a small homestead. We are really wanting to live a more self-sufficient life, let’s be honest the world is terrifying right now. So all these goals are going to lead us in the right direction.
If you aren’t familiar with SMART goals, this is a method of of goal setting that ensures you are setting goals that are actionable and obtainable. Setting a generic goal like, ‘I will homestead this year’ or ‘I will live a more self-sufficient life.’ are examples of poor goal setting.
Let’s take a look at what a SMART goal is and then set some together.
So first off, what does SMART stand for?
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Realistic
- T – Timely
Let’s dig into ‘S – Specific’. Instead of saying something like ‘I want to live a more self-sufficient life.’ we’d instead want to say something like ‘I want to live a more self-sufficient life by baking more.’ It’s an addition to the original goal that is narrowing down the focus some. This on it’s own isn’t good enough though.
Next we need ‘M – Measurable’, in our example ‘I want to live a more self-sufficient life by baking more.’ isn’t measurable. Specific and measurable really go hand in hand here. Changing our example to ‘I want to live a more self-sufficient life by baking all bread loaves my family eats instead of buying them in the grocery store.’ This is measurable now, we would now be able to say either yea or no clearly to if we met this goal.
There’s still more though! Up next is our ‘A – Achievable’ portion of our goal. Is this even possible? Do I have the ability to complete this goal? Do I have a kitchen or ability to bake something. Do I have the ability to get the ingredients to make the bread? Do I have a recipe? In our case yes, I have everything I need to be able to accomplish this goal.
Now we move into ‘R – Realistic’, this one kind of trips people up. At it’s core though, this is about emotions and being clear with why you are going after this goal. It needs to be something that can be obtained and that you have a passion to obtain. It’s your motivation.
In our example, it’s my opening statement ‘I want to be more self-sufficient.’ The R takes it a bit further though into the why of being more self-sufficient, essentially how will it make you feel to accomplish this goal. So now we are at ‘I want to live a more self-sufficient life by baking all the bread loaves my family eats instead of buying them in the grocery store. This way we can rest easy knowing what’s in our bread we use for sandwiches and other recipes.’
Finally, the ‘T – Timely’. Measurable and Timely are also a bit hand in hand as well. We need an end to the goal, a time frame of when we want to accomplish them. Setting a new years resolution usually means we are setting the goal for one year. I’ll be honest, I’m awful at long term goals. I need instant gratification or at least soon-gratification. Knowing that about myself and that these goals are based around things that are seasonal none of my goals are for a full year, in order to complete everything though it will take a year.
So back to our example, ‘I want to live a more self-sufficient life by baking all the bread loaves my family eats instead of buying them in the grocery store. This way we can rest easy knowing what’s in our bread we use for sandwiches and other recipes.’ This would now become ‘ I want to live a more self-sufficient life by baking all the bread loaves my family eats instead of buying them in the grocery store for the next 6 months. This way we can rest easy knowing what’s in our bread we use for sandwiches and other recipes.’
More on SMART homesteading goals, check out the New Life Homestead blog.
So this ones a little obvious now that I’ll be doing a lot of bread baking in the next six months. So I’ll expand it a bit more.
I love muffins, especially Aldi’s chocolate chip muffins. They are so moist and big, they are the perfect morning go to. I just grab one off the countertop and load all of Little J’s stuff in the car. Perfect on the go breakfast. So since I want to live a more self-sufficient life I’m going to obtain this by also baking all the muffins my family eats instead of buying them in the grocery store for the next 3 months. This way we can rest easy knowing what’s in our breakfast each morning.
I’ve got a basic muffin recipe and I’m going to keep tweaking it until it’s reminds me of the Aldi’s muffins I love. So that recipe coming soon, as in the next 3 months!
I’ve already been making bread for the past month so this is just keeping that momentum going. Thankfully, this is an easy one to accomplish because I’m using a homemade artisan bread recipe that only takes 5 minutes of my time.
We finally have a great place to garden that get’s amazing sun. So the goal for this Spring (2022) is to build and plant three raised vegetable and herb beds with a self drip watering system. It’ll need to be all fenced in too since we have a bunch a deer that are always on the property. We are aiming to have this provide a quarter of our yearly vegetable and kitchen herb needs that’d we’d normally have to buy from the grocery.
This is definitely the biggest goal in terms of finances, so I’ll have to keep an eye on the budget. Can’t wait to design the layout! A post on that coming soon for sure.
Getting baby chicks!! Oh you guys, I can’t even describe my excitement over this goal. I’ve been talking about chickens for years with Big J. By the end of May, I’ll fix up the coop that we currently have by weather striping the main door to the coop, the chicken door is an automatic door but I need to learn how to use that and set the timer, and finally the chicken run ramp looks a little rickety so I’ll make a new one.
Once, that’s done we’ll start small and get 3-4 chicks to raise up for all our cooking and baking needs. We’re aiming for these eggs to carry us through the Holiday baking season (November and December) so we’ll need to freeze the eggs to preserve them.
If we’re having a garden and chickens then it only make sense to start composting. Compost the chicken waste, table scrapes, the grass and leaves from mowing the lawn. I’ve been looking at getting worms for the compost to in order to help speed up the process.
Build our own composting bin and compost enough materials to fertilize the garden at the end of the growing season in order to put back the nitrogen that will need to be replenished each year.
With the soon to be garden and the small exsisiting orchard we’ll end up with a surplus of food. So I want to start to preserve all of this. I’d like to can the apples into apple pie filling, let’s say 5 quart jars of that.
I’d also love a surplus of tomatoes, so if we end up with that I’d like to can 5 quarts jars of diced tomatoes for use during the Fall or Winter.
Along the same lines of preserving the food we grow in the garden I’d also like to try fermenting. I’m going to start with pickles and possibly move into doing sauerkraut.
We aren’t sure if we are going to grow cabbage which is my only hesitation on a full commitment to making sauerkraut. Although Little J seems to be loving it so it may get added to the plant this year list.
Other than the septic tank, which is new for me, I’m going to replace all chemical home cleaners with natural cleaners instead. I’ve already moved to mostly natural cleaners at this point but I do have some stragglers. So I’m going to work to replace the 2 left with with less harsh options.
So goodbye Scrubbing Bubbles and Mr.Clean Magic Erasers.
I love to sew but with Little J around I don’t get the time to like I used too. So I’m going to set the bar low here. I’m going to give myself two homestead related sewing projects to accomplish.
An egg collecting apron that can hold the eggs I collect from the coop and a regular baking apron. I’ve loved baking for a long time but since we’ve finally moved to a home with a bigger kitchen I back to baking a lot again. All this to say, believe it or not I actually don’t have a regular apron. So I’m going to make myself one!
End Result: Goals for the First Year of Homesteading
Let’s see if we can do this! I’ll be posting through out the year updates on these goals. So save, pin, bookmark or sign up for the newsletter to see the progress during the year!