The new year is close at hand, and that means its time to create our annual goals list!

annual goals list
This year’s new list

There is little doubt for either of us that our annual goals list has been the driving force behind building our little farm, our home and garden blog – and our dreams.

It keeps us focused. It keeps us energized and motivated. And most importantly, it keeps us working together and having fun!

Creating The Annual Goals List

Beginning in 2011, we decided to create an annual goals list together. We had always talked about doing so many things “someday”.

Growing a big garden. Raising chickens and honey bees. Building a barn and a house on a little plot of land. Planting a little orchard or a small vineyard. Traveling more. Perhaps even writing a blog or a book.

But life kept us busy, and we just never seemed to accomplish any of those “someday” goals. So as 2010 came to a close, we decided to try do something about it. And as we always try to do – we decided to have a little fun with the process.

That year, separately, we each took time to write down 24 goals we wanted to accomplish for us. We chose 24 because it worked out to 2 each month – which certainly sounded doable if we spent just a little time each day working toward them.

annual goals list
One of our goals from last year – to host our first farm to table event.

As we wrote our independent lists, we put a number to each one to signify the importance. Once completed – we attached a number of 1 through 24 to the importance of each goal.

And then the fun began. As New Years Eve approached, we sat down over a glass of wine and read them aloud to each other. It was actually quite funny to see what we each thought was important, and where we ranked it.

We, of course, like any couple, had a few things on our list the other didn’t. But it was truly amazing to see how many things we each wrote down that were exactly the same!

We spent the next hour or so working together to create one shared list. It was actually a lot of fun trying to add or delete the few goals that came up different.

But when we finished – we had it. Our own Annual Goals plan. And then we did the best thing we could have ever done. We put the list up on the refrigerator for us to see every day of the year. You can see a few of our past lists here:  2013 – 2015 – 2017

15 Minutes A Day – One Day At A Time

Seeing those goals every day as we walked by or opened the refrigerator made us work every single day at them.

annual goals
The outdoor pizza oven was a 15 minute a day project for sure!

We can’t always complete a goal in a day – but we can if we work at it a little each day. We call it “15 minutes a day” – and we use that term a lot in our house.

One day, we might work for 15 or 20 minutes to cut a few pieces of wood for a project. Perhaps the next day it is 15 or 30 minutes devoted to reading on how to build or create a project we have never tackled.

But every day, we just keep trying to each do something toward our list. And things start to get crossed off.

The outdoor pizza oven was a great example from last year’s list. We might have only laid a block or two each day, but it slowly was built and finished

Think of it this way – if you simply spend 15 minutes each and every day this year toward a goal or a set of goals – it comes out to 92 hours a year. That’s just shy of (4) 24 hour work days, or (12) 8 hour work days. That is a lot of time to get things done!

This Years List

annual goals
It took a lot of “15 minute days” – but we finally completed the project in late August.

So what is on tap for us for this year’s list? Creating the off-grid cabin and a root cellar at the farm tops the list. As does the building of a permanent cold frame system to grow more through the wintertime.

As for the one we most look forward to – its hosting our first ever pizza and outdoor movie night! It will make good use of last year’s goal of building the outdoor pizza oven!

Here is to working a little every day and accomplishing all of your goals and dreams this year! Jim and Mary.

Setting Annual Goals – Accomplishing Life and Dreams 15 Minutes A Day

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