Happy, Happy New Year

From Jeff''s Camera :Our Little flock of Chickens
 2013 buy more chicks for eggs and meat
Hallelujah! We made it to 2013. The world didn't end, I was sure it wouldn't.  We are still alive and breathing. Wonderful. Now what are your plans for the new year? Haven't thought about it? Let me share a little tidbit from the farm about planning ahead.

I remember very well when my Dad said this too me one time. " What are your plans for next year on the farm?" To be frank, I hadn't given it a lot of thought as to "making a plan." I sort of knew in my head after all I was more of a hobby farmer.  My plans I thought would most likely be just the same as this year. "Not sure yet," I replied.  I could immediately tell he wasn't thrilled with my answer so he went on to say this. "When I was plowing, or planting or harvesting, I was already making my plans for next year in the field I was working in." Wow. That is just plain crazy I thought then.  Who knows what next year will bring.

I went on to contemplate my answer after his comment.  I did plan,  but mostly in my head,  but now given that his comment popped in my head again as the New Year rang in,  I decided that this year I would purposefully do more  planning  on paper and keep a paper trail of  my/our efforts or as I am  trying  to go  green,  I'll try an electronic one.

To further make me take action, a Facebook friend of mine recently posted the same tactic on keeping track of her coupons and her food expenses. She wanted to be able to see, not speculate, her actual cost. Many reasons to do so. To see if it was worth her time and money to clip coupons. To see if she was actually reducing her food expenses. To give herself some praise for her efforts. To be a little more business savvy.

So I saw her post and I thought, okay, I am going to put more stuff down on paper. Say my plan out loud so to speak.   I'll make a  tangible copy that I can revert back to and analyze. I like to do that. Any good business has the following tools to help them. A budget, and  a profit and loss. This helps one plan from year to year. Even a hobby farmer like myself can use these tools to one's advantage. Remember, I try to keep it in my head and I do well, but some of that stuff becomes unclear from month to month or year to year.  Our ancestors recorded everything. That was so helpful to the next generation.

One of our hay fields.
Here's where about 10 loads
of  manure goes. 
So out with 2012. Can't change it, but I can learn from it.   It was a good year here on the farm. We worried that the drought would play havoc on our corn and hay, but we were blessed.
This year 2013 on the farm:
 Plan more on paper, not so much in my head.
Establish  goals and deadlines, oh and timeliness, to work from.
Budget and Profit and Loss Reports
Update my Vision Board  (more on this next time)

So at the end of 2013 I can reflect on my year from the paper and not try to contain or convey what is in my head.

So, the 2012 dry erase board has been cleaned and I am writing  my new 2013 farm business plan.  Why not put one in place for yourself.  Treat your efforts  like a business. Cause after all, it is your business.

Just put a round bale out for the horses! I love driving a tractor!!
Blessings for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.

Quote: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Next: My Vision Board

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