To Do list
One of our past lists from 2014 – you can click on it to enlarge

We finished it!  The To Do list is complete, printed, and hanging on the refrigerator awaiting action. The creation of our yearly “Target List” as we like to call it, has become somewhat of a staple in the process of building our little farm.

In the beginning, when the fledgling farm needed everything – it was a way for us to prioritize and simplify the daunting task of creating it all from scratch.  Back then, we had no barn, chicken coop, compost bins or garden. Heck, we didn’t even have a driveway or a cleared-off field to start with!  It was pretty easy at that point to get lost in all of the things that had to be built or created. That first list became a great way to figure out what was feasible, what had to be done, and what could be put off till later.

So we created a simple way to come up with our goals together (see: Creating Our Goals List) – and have been doing it every year since.

As we now head into another year of work on the farm – it has become an integral part of helping us work together as a team to accomplish the long-term goals of the farm.

Make Something Happen – The “Fifteen Minutes A Day Philosophy”:

To Do List
We literally built our “new” old barn 15 minutes a day – making sure to accomplish at least something little each day.

Mary and I are both big believers in trying to accomplish something every day – no matter what.  Even if that something is just a little part of a much larger task.

We call it our “Fifteen Minutes-A-Day” philosophy. With each of us juggling the demands of careers, and having four busy teenagers – time is usually the one thing that is most difficult to come by. So if we waited around for one of those rare, “all-day off, the sun is shining, the stars are aligned” kind of perfect days to get things done – I’m pretty sure nothing ever would! 🙂

So instead – we decided long ago to work at least 15 minutes at something for the farm every day.  It keeps things manageable, keeps them moving, and quite honestly – works for us! After all – if your really honest with yourself – you can always squeeze in 15 minutes of your day to do something you love.

I think it all started a few years back at one of our first projects – the building of our barn. It seemed so overwhelming in the beginning to attempt to tear down two old barns to rebuild into ours.  But little by little, each day – we worked at it.

We use the same "15 minutes a day" approach when it comes to gardening as well. It is a great way to keep things manageable.
We use the same “15 minutes a day” approach when it comes to gardening as well. It is a great way to keep things manageable.

One day it would be removing siding or floorboards from one of the old barns, another day it might be sinking a few posts for the new one. Whatever it was – we just kept at it.  It wasn’t  a single day or week’s accomplishment that created it.  It was a series of working at least 15 minutes every single day at something.  Sure, there were days when we got a few extra hours in here or there…but key was all of those little work sessions adding up the completed barn. The trick, as with almost anything, was simply persistence.

So now it’s time to turn our attention to this year’s list!  I have to say that the building of our little cabin is by far my favorite! It will finally give us a space to spend nights there as well as our days.  And at the very least – it gives us plenty to write about for the coming year.

Here is to wishing everyone a Happy New Year – and success in all of your goals and endeavors for the coming year!

Jim and Mary

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