Anyone who has followed our blog knows how much emphasis we put on creating an annual goal list.

Our annual list has without a doubt been one of the most motivating and pivotal factors in helping us build our life at the farm.

In fact, it’s almost surreal to look back at our very first list from 2012. Back then, there were so many things to do.

annual goal list
Our very first list from back in 2012. We had a lot of goals that first year, most of which we were able to accomplish.

Like putting in a driveway, and installing a roof to cover our barn. Or even better, finishing our first chicken coop so we could have chickens.

We created that first annual goal list to help us chase our dreams. And it certainly did. So much so, that we have made making a list an annual tradition ever since.

Creating Our Annual Goals List

I think how we create the list is one of the reasons it has worked well for us.

Each year in early December, we sit down separately and create a list of 24 goals. We keep them focused on the farm and what we love and want to do.

We then independently rank each in order of importance, 1 through 24. Only then do we finally sit down side by side to compare.

annual goal list
Our annual goal list has been a huge help in focusing our efforts building the farm

And that is when the fun begins! Together, we work to select the best 24. We usually have quite a few similar goals, but there are always some surprises on each list.

The method has always helped us realize what is so important to each of us – and together. Once we have the final 24, we then put a number to each in order of the highest importance.

It doesn’t mean that they will be accomplished in order – some simply can’t due to circumstances or length of time to complete. But it does emphasize which need to be always on our mind.

Our list from 2018. This year’s list is a bit different, but for a good reason.

We then take one final crucial step. We place it up on our refrigerator to be looked at every single day. If it is out of sight, it will be out of mind.

Put it where you see it, and it motivates you to tackle your goals to live your dream!

Once we complete a goal, it gets crossed off. And we can always see every day what still needs completed. It is truly amazing how much that list has worked for us, year after year.

I think the real story is our farm and those dreams probably would never have been realized without first putting down on paper what we really wanted to accomplish.

Life really is a journey of small steps, all needed to make big ones. But you have to know what you want before you can do it, and the Annual Goal List spells it out for us every single day.

A New Twist On Creating Our Annual Goal List

So that leads to this year’s annual goal list, and a new twist to it all.

Our very first list back in 2012 contained 30 goals. After all, we had a lot of work to do to build a farm and the websites!

Since then, we have always set a total of 24 goals. It has served us well at the farm, but it was time for a change as we enter a new chapter of our life.

2020 annual goal list

After all, as we often say, if you are not changing and growing, you are dying. And it’s always important to remember you only die once – so we definitely always need to evolve and keep changing!

This year, we have pared down our list to just 12 base goals. Are we getting tired? Lazy perhaps? Not a chance!

Actually, being on the road for the last 4 months of this year long 50 state adventure has taught us more than we could have ever imagined. Most importantly, to live every day to the absolute fullest, and enjoy everything you can while you can.

We love spending time with our family and friends. And we love our little Ohio farm, and building and creating new things on it. In addition to all of that, we also really love traveling and seeing new places and meeting new people.

So paring our list down to 12 just makes sense to us at this point. It makes us think about 12 major things we really want to accomplish. And allows more time for those above-mentioned things that are so important to us as well.

We love writing. We certainly love traveling. But even more, we love enjoying the company of our family, neighbors and friends at the farm. And every single one of those 12 goals on this year’s list will help us do more of that in the coming years. (See 5 Amazing Habits To Help Simplify Life)

Life isn’t just about chasing the next greatest thing. It is about working for and enjoying what you love most, no matter what that may be.

Here is to creating your own annual goal list. And moreover, finding what makes you happy, setting goals to do it – and doing it. Happy Living! Jim and Mary.

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Creating The Annual Goal List – A New Twist On Setting Yearly Goals