Learning how to set attainable homestead goals and actually having a plan for achieving them will make all of the difference in your sustainability journey!
We all dream. Dreams about how we envision our homestead to function as well as other life aspirations! How do we take those dreams and turn them into attainable homestead goals?
Homestead Goals are Fluid and Ever Changing
- You might have just purchased land, to build your dream home on.
- Perhaps you purchased an existing farm and you’re renovating.
- Or, you’ve found yourself on 1/2 an acre with an existing home.
- Maybe you live in the suburbs and want to be more sustainable.
- Some of you live in apartments or condos and want to embrace self-sufficiency.
Whatever the case may be, we all have dreams for our homes and/or homesteads!
How do we take a dream and turn it into a reality?
Ask Good Questions
As with any decision in life, it makes sense to ask yourself a series of questions before you jump into any sort of project.
These questions can flush out the “unattainable” very quickly.
Does Your Homestead Goal Make Good Financial Sense?
When deciding if a project or goal makes financial sense, ask yourself if the goal saves you money or makes you money?
If you won’t be making money or saving money, this is the time to slow down and figure out what the purpose of this project is.
Not every project will make or save money!
Sometimes we need a room addition for a growing family, or a vehicle. These sorts of “goals” are needs for the family, and still a worthy goal.
Do you have mutual agreement between partners?
This is critical!
If you don’t have agreement, stop and reassess. Don’t proceed unless both partners are in full agreement! Without agreement, there will be resentment and frustration throughout the project…and it may never be completed.
I can tell you that I’ve been married for 28 years because my husband and I have always followed this rule! It has saved a lot of disagreement and stress.
If we couldn’t come to an agreement, then the project is stalled until we do.
Does it make sense for your lifestyle?
Our stage of life can dictate what we are capable of doing.
When our kids were young, our time and energy constraints made it difficult to take on any big projects. Health conditions might be an issue, or even a possible lay-off from work.
Do you have the means?
It’s always about the money, isn’t it?
Do you have funds set aside for this goal? Or do you plan to finance/borrow all of what you’ll need?
If you don’t have at least some of your own money for a project, I hope that you’ll slow down! It’s dangerous, quite frankly, to take on any project/goal/purchase without some equity.
Does your homestead support your goals? What obstacles stand in the way of your goals? Can they be overcome?
There are things that we can’t control or change.
If you live in the suburbs, your goal of installing a wind turbine probably isn’t realistic.
However, if you want to build a barn in an area that is currently wooded, that can be accomplished by removing the trees.
Obstacles are always present in some form, but ask yourself if they can be overcome and with how much money and energy?
Turning Homestead Goals into Reality
Once you’ve dealt with the questions above, it’s time to move forward!
Make a Decision and Commitment
With all parties “on board” with your goals, it’s time to commit! No turning back!
Put Your Homestead Goals on Paper
All important documents are written on paper. Why shouldn’t your goals?
Sure, you can have a digital copy, but it’s important to have something tangible to look at and remind yourself.
Personally, I like to post things like this on the refrigerator so the entire family can see it! Everyone can be reminded frequently what direction the family is going!
Clearly Define Your Homestead Goals
Clearly lay out what the goal is and how you will accomplish it, step by step. What does your project include? What does it NOT include? How big will it be? Who will help you? What purpose does it serve? How will you pay for it?
Establishing a clearly defined goal on paper will go a long way to help you accomplish your goals!
Doing this gives you a rubric, so to speak, to refer to. This will also help you to stay focused and on track.
Establish a Time Table
How long will this homestead goal take to accomplish?
I recommend establishing a “if everything goes perfect” date and a “lots of challenges to overcome” date.
Things will go wrong. Just accept that on the front end and work through obstacles. Make adjustments as necessary.
When we were building a finished barn a few years back, everything that could go wrong did! The project took far longer than was necessary, but were so many uncontrollable factors!
Delays can frustrate the best of us, and even cause us to question the entire project. That’s when you can look back at the foundation (the questions and your goals on paper) you established before starting this project!
Put Together a Budget for Your Homestead Goal
Setting a budget for a project/goal is paramount!
You can’t wing this!
Once you’ve clarified your project, it’s time to do some leg-work. Price out every single thing you’ll need for your project…on paper!
You might be able to borrow some of the tools you’ll need, or enlist family members to help with some labor. Write all of that down as well.
Deciding in advance what you plan to spend will help you to stay “on budget” and avoid disagreements.
Decide What Determines Success?
At what point is your project complete?
We all know that projects can go on and on, if we let them. There needs to be a completion point and it’s best to establish that up-front. You may continue to improve upon what you’ve already started, that’s to be expected.
Sit back and enjoy what you’ve accomplished! Congratulate yourself and your accomplished homestead goals! Celebrate!