I don’t make new year’s resolutions. Mostly because those always seem to be doomed to fail. Something in my psyche that just doesn’t mesh with this type of resolution. Probably the fact that most of the times that I made resolutions I was cramming some idea in before midnight. Some concept I thought I was supposed to have of who I should become. New year, new me! Bullshit. New year, same ole me but I wrote some list and now I have something to feel guilty about the whole year. I stopped doing this about 10 years ago. I replaced the resolutions with a list of goals…yeah, I know, semantics. Over the last 10 years I have accomplished maybe 3 of the 100(ish) goals I have set for myself for the new year.
In 2016 I began a new chapter in my life. We moved from Kansas to Arkansas. New job for me, great offer and opportunity that I couldn’t pass on. I loved my last job. I liked my co-workers and my boss was probably the best boss I have ever had. This job was worth the loss of that. In March of 2017 we closed on a piece of land – 5 acres with a nice (but small) house. I have wanted a small farmstead type of place for a while and I finally got what I wanted.
This lead me to realize that my sedentary lifestyle of procrastination would not get anything done around my little potential farmstead. Now, this was not a new realization this one just came with a little more motivation to actually take action. Along with this I began to see that I was becoming negative minded, complaining about situations at work – allowing my self to choose the victimhood mentality. This awakening prompted me to make changes. I pulled out some books I have had for a long time and began studying again.
You do not need the books to change your life. A decision and action are what you need. To decide that you will make changes and then do it. So, don’t think I am promoting a dependence on anything outside of myself for my growth and change. Charlie “tremendous” Jones’ famous quote applies here – “You will be the same person in 5 years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” I understand that I can make happen what I want without the books and spiritual growth – I don’t want to be the same person I am right now. I want to grow, intellectually and spiritually.
In December 2017 I decided to make a thought out, realistic, set of goals for 2018. I began with some tools: A custom planner, the book by Stephen R. Covey, and an attitude of getting it done. This blog is for accountability. If I publish this to the world I have to be accountable to everyone who reads this blog (hopefully someone reads it).
The list of goals for 2018 will expand – as one project is accomplished another one will be added. Projects will be added to the list whether one is done or not – that is the nature of living this lifestyle we are trying to accomplish: debt free and self-sustainable are the ultimate goals – but that is a 10-year plan. So here are the basic goals for 2018:
Create a project list when one project is accomplished replace it with another one – always have something that needs done and always be completing the projects
o Break down the projects to schedule them each month/weekend
o Add projects as they are presented
o Prioritize the projects
- Saves money
- Saves energy
- Emergency use
- Animal related (chicken coop)
- Anything that doesn’t meet the need criteria
- Daily tasks
o Read 30 minutes (or more)
- Try for 3 non-fiction books a month
- Something work related
- Something spiritually related
- Something in the self-development genre
- Historical biography or history related
- Philosophy oriented
o Write in my journal
o Work on a blog post
- Start in January
- Push ups
- Sit ups
- Weekend (days off) tasks
o Choose a project and complete it – or get as much done as I can in the days off.
- Get some fishing/camping in this summer
- By the end of the year
o Build a chicken coop and get chickens
o Insulate the house – seal up the drafts
o Replace the heating system in our house
o Get the generator set up
- Shed for generator
- Switch installed for switching to generator
- Tie propane to the generator for longer use
o Well house on solar power
o Garden planted/set up
o Build table for the wife
This list is not finished, and I will expand on it over the course of this year. I plan to combine some of the activities. For example, when we built the chicken coop I will write some blogs posts on that experience. I plan to use the blog to stay accountable to the plan and will write updates as things progress.