We’ve been living on our block for a couple of years and I constantly have aspirations of being farm wifey and using my homegrown produce to make pickles, chutneys, jellies etc. I’ve made a few things recently however my red onion chutney was too sweet, the trial jar of mint jelly set (miracle!) but isn’t minty enough and my pickled beetroot isn’t ready to taste yet so I haven’t got any fool proof recipes to write about. Instead this post is about how to be organised month by month and try and achieve all (well, some) of the things I’d like to. Setting monthly goals is something I tried several years ago which turned out to be really helpful. It wasn’t my idea and I can’t remember what the source was but the upshot was: make a list of all the things you’ve been wanting to try and allocate each one to a month.
I always have lots of things I think would be great to try but for whatever reason just don’t get started so back then it was easy for me to find a years worth. One month I started making my own cleaning products, another I tried Zumba, then another I got myself set up to start selling the mosaic mirrors I’d been making.
It’s several years on and I’m going to give it another go. (Obviously my goal for the first month should be – Make The Monthly List!)
I searched the internet to find out where I read about this way of getting organised with no success but I found plenty of far too complicated, wordy and deep and meaningful ‘programs’.
Setting a monthly goal is very simple. I’ve summarised the advantages and how to keep it achievable –
Why you should set up monthly goals:
- The timeframe of a month gives a deadline: The where? how? what? questions I need to get answered can stop me starting a project so if you’ve deadline driven a time frame is a good way to stop procrastinating. For example I wanted to start yoga. What normally happens is I think “I’ll find out about classes” and I’ll talk to people to see if anyone has a local class they recommend. There’s all different kinds of yoga so which would be best – I need to find out about that. This of course can go on for weeks without me realising how much time has gone by and I’ve still not started yoga. However, when it’s “yoga month” I know that (apart from the obvious things of making dinner, do the food shop) my goal for the month is to look up classes and Go To A Class. Simple.
- It gets me organised: At any given time I have several new things I want to try – whether it’s new recipes, garden art projects or some new dog training ideas. Having one project for the month works for me because it focuses me on just one thing instead of the several I try and do at once. I tend to yo-yo with several projects – I start them but don’t finish them properly. Eg making humus and pesto. Over the years I’ve sporadically made them from recipes online or from magazines but have never had a batch I’ve been totally happy with. When I try again months later, I feel like I’m back to square one – the recipe still needs tweeking. What I need to do is focus on just making those for the month until I have a recipe I know I’m happy with and then I can take ‘make pesto’ off the to-do list.
- Achieve something to reduce feelings of failure: I’ve always got to-do lists of things I want to achieve – they’re written down as well as in my head. Having a list might seem like a good idea as I’m keeping track of what I want to do but the list can seem overwhelming as I’ve only got so much free time and inevitably I get annoyed when I don’t achieve what I’d like to. Assuming I set up my monthly goals realistically I should be able to work through this to-do list and feel positive about what I’m achieving. Twelve months might seem like a long time but ticking twelve things off the to-do list in that time frame is way better than achieving none of them.
- Prioritise the goal: Sorting these goals month by month is great to organise my thoughts but it also means I don’t feel guilty if I’m spending time on it instead of gardening or doing the house work as ‘the monthly goal’ is also a priority.
Get started with your own list – it can be anything whether big or small, a one off achievement or something that you hope to continue on with. Obviously my goals are completely different to anyone else’s but I hope it inspires you to get all your thoughts and ideas down – organise them into a timeframe and get started. I do mine month by month because none of them are too difficult but maybe two months or a six month time frame might suit you better if it was something like setting up a new business. Even then it could still work to break down the big goal into smaller more achievable chunks.
Here’s a photo of my home made butter – it’s one thing I did manage to make first time round in my farm wifey/kitchen efforts. It was surprisingly easy – I’ll write up how to make it
soon here (along with all my other successful recipes (!?)).