Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Living The Dream Part 1: Setting Goals

To celebrate the Good Old Days Farm’s 1st Birthday I have been writing about how we decided to leave corporate America in favor of farming, and the spiritual journey I have taken since we made this decision.  
But a spiritual journey is never without its practical implications. 

Our farm’s first birthday is a good time to evaluate how far we’ve come and where we want to go.  I’ve been thinking a lot this past week and I have some exciting surprises up my sleeve!  While I work at getting those ready for you, I am going to be posting a series of articles on some of the practical steps we have taken to bring us where we are today.  These steps have been so helpful to us and I know they could help anybody!

My life changed dramatically when Papa the Farmer came home.  Suddenly I went from being a housewife and mother to being a housewife, mother, homeschool teacher, FarmLady and student!  (I had realized that with more knowledge and skills I could really help to support Papa the Farmer’s dream and so I signed up for some fabulous courses in Nutrition, Herbalism and Holistic Health!)  With all this going on, I needed to get organized!  After all, a big goal in having a family farm was to simplify our life… and for a while, my life wasn’t feeling very simplified.

Over the past year, Papa the Farmer and I have gone crazy reading and studying about how to take a crazy idea and be successful at it.  This coming week, I would like to share with you a little of what I have learned. 

#1 – Set Goals.  Write them Down.  Be Detailed about HOW and WHEN You Will Achieve Them.
If you don’t write down your goal, the 3D’s will hit you:  You’ll get distracted, you’ll be derailed and then you’ll be discouraged.  The mere act of writing your goals down on paper cements them into your brain.  Life will throw distractions your way, but it will be easier to get back on track if you have taken the time to think through your new plan.

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Being detailed about how you will accomplish your goal makes the difference between having an achievable plan and having a pie-in-the-sky plan. 

One of my goals is to raise Godly children.  Ok, that’s a great and lofty goal, but how am I going to actually do that?  Well, I have a basket prepared for our family worship times.  Each morning I sit with my children and we study one page from a book (with accompanying flashcards) called Proverbs People (by Rick and Marilyn Boyer).  My Bible is in the basket too, so it is handy for reading the passages in Proverbs to the children.  The other thing we keep in our basket is our family’s Blessings journal so we can discuss what we have to be thankful for and record it together.  By putting everything in one place I have set myself up for success!  We won’t get distracted by looking for the book we need and a pen that writes….  it’s all in the basket!  I have also made a commitment to myself to only discipline after I have consulted a book called For Instruction In Righteousness.  This is a book that helps me to direct my discipline to the specific area that I am trying to correct.  I don’t keep this book on the bookshelf, where it will get mixed up with other books.  Instead I keep it inside one of my kitchen cupboards where I can grab it quickly and easily.  You see?  With an actual plan to implement, each day I am able to take another little step closer toward reaching my goal!

Papa the Farmer used to be good friends with Kalpana Chawla (the astronaut who died when the Columbia exploded.  For a neat YouTube video about her life, click here).  She would always tell people “Reach for the stars!”  Now there’s advice from a lady who knows what she’s talking about!  Who would have thought that a little girl from rural India really would grow up to realize her dream of flying through the stars? 

What are your goals?  Do you have a plan to achieve them?  Please leave a comment telling me about it!  Hearing from you would make my day!


  1. Thanks for the family worship basket idea! I also have the Instructions in Righteousness book and need find a more visible and accessible home for that so I use it more. Love hearing about your home schooling advice - about to start Kindergarden this fall.

  2. Some day I'll have to do a post about our first day homeschooling. At 3:00pm I sent my friend an email.... "The house is a wreck, the baby is still naked, we haven't eaten lunch yet and we forgot to do MATH!!!" So just take it easy on yourself. Best advice someone gave me is that homeschooling is a process of learning to die to yourself: a little bit this year, a little more the next year, even more the next year... =) You'll do great!

  3. Alina, Sometimes you may think otherwise, but you are truly blessed. Your wonderful outlook and planning is God given. Thank you for being a good mother and housewife.