As we are coming up to the end of the year, I started taking down the 2022 vision board. I was able to reflect on all the things we did this year and it was incredible how many goals we hit and surpassed. It was also pretty eye opening how much stuff we just didn’t get around to. In this post I wanted to talk about how to set up a homestead vision board, how to prioritize your goals for your homestead and lastly how to prioritize WHICH goals for your homestead.
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Setting Up Your Homestead Vision Board
First thing is first, you need a board. I use a cork board like this one but you can use a poster board or whatever you have on hand. I like using the cork board because it doesn’t erase like a white board and it doesn’t put holes in my walls.
Next, you need to figure out your goals for the year. I’ve talked pretty in depth about the importance of infrastructure, our infrastructure goals, as well as how to set up homesteading goals in the links created. One of the ways that Jared and I set up goals is for each one of us to have 3 goals that we must hit for the year. Then we have another 5 “would be nice if” goals. The would be nice goals are simply ones that are important enough to write down but if we don’t hit them, the world won’t end. This is where homestead flexibility comes into play.
Since that piece of paper above has all of our goals on it, I will sit down and type up each goal individually, print them out and put them on my board. The original list will get pinned beneath the board so that I can cross that off as we get things done. Sometimes I just write them down on their own pieces of paper and put them on the board. It really depends on how crafty I feel when I put together my board.
Once we have those goals printed out and pinned to the board, I will find pictures of the items we want like the tractor, UTV/ATV, dream kitchens, etc and print those out. I will also have little sticky notes attached on the board to find the lists associated with each project. So for the outdoor kitchen, there would be a sticky note that said “see infrastructure list for more info”. This helps so that when we are ready to tackle a project, we know where to look.
Layout For Your Homestead Vision Board
There is no one size fits all approach to your vision board. It’s yours to do however you want. But I do have some suggestions. If you look at the list above you will see J Top 3 and L Top 3. Those are the most important and must do of all of the goals. Those need to be highlighted so they are completed first. So I will usually make those bigger and with a different font than the would be nice if goals. I will also print those out on different colored paper to make sure they stand out.
Laying out your board is another way that you can prioritize your goals on the vision board. You can put the most important goals in the middle, or even do a flowchart style layout. But select a space that is just for those goals. In years past I have put the most important goals in the middle and on bright card stock. Then I would put the less important goals around it or on the edges to show, on regular paper, to show that these weren’t as important.
Another important part of laying out your homestead vision board is decorate it. Now, I’m not talking about getting out the glitter. But the purpose of a vision board is to clearly lay out the vision you have for the year. But if it is boring, are you going to want to look at it every day? If it isn’t eye catching, are you going to remember that you have a goal of setting up your chicken coop and run? So make sure to decorate it in a way that is eye catching for each goal without being either overwhelming and hidden.
How To Prioritize Your Homestead Goals
I wanted to add in ways to set up your goals for your homestead. Since every homestead is different, I can’t tell you what how exactly to prioritize your goals. Plus, you may have different goals or priorities than your significant other. That’s okay. But in an effort of accountability, BOTH of you need to write down your goals for the year and put them on your vision board.
There are also two kinds of goal setters. Those that reach for the stars and are okay with landing on the moon. Then the rest of us who set realistic goals and want to surpass them. Either one is fine as long as you are getting it done. Jared’s goal of infrastructure is pretty lofty considering the infrastructure list is 8 typed pages. But that’s what he wants, so ok. One of my goals is to start the process of replacing our off farm income with on farm income.
Most Important Goals First
While this may seem obvious, you need to remember to write down the most important things you want to accomplish first. This is going to help you when you get distracted by something equally as important. For example, we do not have a working HVAC system. Also it’s not on my list of priorities to fix or replace it. But if I don’t stay on track with my goals, and it is mid August and 110* with 99% humidity? You can bet your last dollar I will want to repair that unit to get some relief.
Finish Line Goals
Every year I set Finish Line Goals or FGL’s. These are goals that are easy to hit and mark off the list. Things like: cleaning the bathroom, stacking firewood, cleaning off the front porch, or organizing one space in 10 minutes. These goals are crucial for getting motivated to tackle those big goals. They also help you slow down when you are getting overwhelmed and need something small to give you a break.
Grace Is Key
You are probably not going to hit every single goal. Life is going to happen and every plan you had may go out the window with job loss, sickness or injury. But if you give yourself grace, kindness and understanding? You will find that while you didn’t hit the mac daddy goal of replacing your off farm income with farmer’s market sales, it’s okay.
I hope this helps you figure out how to set up your homestead vision board as well as work on setting goals for your homestead. For us, it’s important to know what we are doing, when and why. This keeps all of us on track so that we don’t end up working on something that we don’t need to.