It’s been said that close to 50% of the population makes a resolution at the beginning of each new year. Most resolutions center around self-reinvention (think weight loss and monetary income). And while goals like these aren’t bad in and of themselves, the same statistics say that less than 10% of people who make resolutions will keep them.
Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Fail?
There are various reasons as to why. It could be that people aren’t ready to change their habits yet, and by making the resolution, they hope to motivate themselves to change. But habits, especially bad ones, aren’t easy to transform. (Consider this – it takes approximately 21 days to create a new and lasting habit, and only three days to break it.)
Or maybe resolutions fail because of a lack of accountability. For some reason, it’s easy to break promises we make to ourselves. So, if we don’t have someone to hold us responsible to our resolution, the likelihood of success diminishes significantly. Whatever the reason, statistics show that just making a resolution won’t be enough to ensure life changes are successful.
Changing Habits and Setting Goals
Gaby and I made a resolution early on in our marriage to not make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, at the insistence of a very persuasive friend, we made plans. (Click here to read about Annette, and how she helped us achieve financial freedom.) A list of one, five, and ten-year goals. Then we filed that list away and basically forgot about it. But that’s the funny thing about writing things down. Ten years after we wrote that list, when I was packing our house to move back to Manitoba, I found it again. And wouldn’t you know it. There was only one thing on that list that we didn’t accomplish… a trivial item to buy something that we thought would make us happy, and as it turns out, was unnecessary in our journey to live a full and content life.
So, as we’re entering our second year on our homestead journey, we have made a list of goals. We are hoping to accomplish them in 2018, but should things come up that prevent us from doing so (such as weather or budget), they will be added to our five year plan, to continue on with in the future.
Our Homestead Goals
What is a successful garden? Obviously, we want one that flourishes, and that provides enough fruit, vegetables, and legumes to eat and preserve for next year’s winter. However, we would also consider a failed garden a success so long as we learn from our mistakes.
Phase 2 of the Play Structure (Shed and Playhouse)
This goal will depend on budget. But, if we can make it work, I would love to get the shed, and especially the playhouse, done this year. Having it done this year, while the kids are still young, will give them many years to enjoy it.
Find Ways to Become More Sustainable
I think that we did a lot in 2017 to reduce our waste output, averaging approximately one large black garbage bag of non-recyclable or non-compostable trash every two to three weeks. Not bad for a family of five. But, there is always room for improvement. This year, we will strive to only put out one large garbage bag per month. (12 bags total for all of 2018.)
There are many ways that we can further our sustainability journey. We have a lot of thoughts about what we can do to manage water and energy consumption, and are hoping to incorporate some of those into our homestead this year.
Expand Cinq Artisans
Although Cinq Artisans was technically our first venture into owning our own business, we want to bring it under Trading Desks for Dirt to make it part of our homestead. Gaby will continue to drive the woodworking side of the business, and I will keep working on our Etsy store. We will also be creating a new online home for Cinq Artisans right here on Trading Desks for Dirt.
Our Family Goals
Find a Church Home
One of our largest failures in 2017 was not being able to find a church home for our family. Since our move in July of 2016 from Alberta to southeastern Manitoba, we have visited a wide variety of churches, and while we enjoyed each one, none have felt like home for us. We had such an amazing church family back in Calgary, and trying to find that same kind of place for us here in Manitoba has proven to be a challenge. That is why this goal is one of our top priorities for 2018.
I have heard so many pros and cons about essential oils, and almost everyone I know has an opinion about them. My 2018 winter project is to get past the hype of essential oils. I want to read the research done on them, and find out what will work for our family. As I am always looking for new ways to live life more naturally, if we can replace some of the toxic chemicals in our home for more natural alternatives, that is something that deserves further investigation and research. Stay tuned for a future post on my findings later this winter.
Declutter, Organize, and Help Others
2017 was a year of transition for our family. First there was the move to our new home, and getting settled in once Gaby joined us in late 2016. Then, the two miscarriages we went through in the first half of 2017 (you can read about that story here). And between all that and more, we’ve found that our goals for our family and lifestyle we live have changed.
It’s been six months since we lost our last little one, and we have concluded that unless God has other plans, we will stay as a family of five. And now that this decision has been made, it’s time to declutter what we no longer need.
Our Community Goals
Finally, we have the goals we want to accomplish in our community. Gaby and I both volunteer on boards in our area (I’m on the board for the preschool, and Gaby spends a lot of his free time working on bettering our local arena). We will also be donating a lot of the baby items we declutter (as mentioned above) to two of our local not for profit organizations. The Steinbach Family Resource Centre helps to provide moms in need with baby and children’s clothes, along with maternity clothes. The Village Connection, through their thrift store, raises money to support local community projects and people in need. By donating to these two organizations, we are hoping to help other families that need support.
Flexibility is Key
As we move into 2018, with these goals and plans in mind, we know that life will always throw us curve balls. So while these are the areas that we will be working on, we are flexible in the fact that should life change, and offer us a different opportunity to better our homestead, our goals and plans will change to follow suit.
How about you? Did you make a New Year’s resolution? What are your goals for 2018? We’d love to help and support you if we can, even if its just an encouraging word. Please leave us a comment below or send us an email through our contact page.