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Making sense of 2013 to plan for 2014

How are you planning to stand out in 2014 and make a difference in the world?

The calendar may say that it’s a new year, but my new year was a few months ago in September. I always feel that “going back to school time” is really the start of my new learning season. But alas, you have bright, shiny new calendars on your office, shop and kitchen walls, so as you are taking down last year’s calendars, and reviewing your 2013 diary or journal, take some time for reflection.

1. What do I remember and value from my past year? I need to list the accomplishments that I deem most noteworthy:

My disappointments from that same time frame are…

2. I learned from what I did accomplish that:

I also learned from what I did not accomplish that…

3. If I reframe my learnings into counsel for the coming year, I hear myself advising…

4. Boulders: I notice that I experience a definite resistance (pushback) that tends to limit either my accomplishments or my being who I most genuinely am.

This resistance looks and feels like…

5.  The seven to eight most deeply held beliefs or core values that I want to live by in the next year are…

You might like to choose a theme word for 2014. My word for 2013 was “beloved.” In the past I have chosen courage, hope, joy, pacing and generosity. Find a smooth stone and write your theme word on the rock with a Sharpie marker. You’ll be amazed how many times in the upcoming year you can affirm that you have chosen the right theme for 2014. Words are powerful. Pay attention to the one that grabs your heart and soul for 2014.

6.  What are at least two goals for each of the roles I live in for 2014?

  •  My personal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being and growth… self-care.
  •  My family… marriage/partners and children.
  •  My friends…
  •  My work…
  •  My neighbourhood or closest community…
  •  My world.

7. What are my top seven to eight goals for next year out of all of the goals listed in No. 6?

Who am I willing to share this with in order to be accountable and responsible in achieving them? How will I keep track of my progress? Can I write them on a colourful paper for the office wall?

Congratulate yourself for your thoughtful work.

There is power in your pencil and pen. I know that many of the “next gen” use thumbs instead of pencils, but whatever works, use it. Studies have shown that folks who write their thoughts out in journals live longer. There is also research that shows the success rate of those who commit goals to paper or computer are more likely to hit the marks and targets they set.

Many farm families tell me that they just want “a happy family,” they want harmony and time to hang out together as family. OK, what does that look like in practice? Set some weekends aside now for fun at the lake, either in the snow, or in the summer with the boat, canoe, kayak, or wiener sticks!

Decide who is hosting the next gathering and block out the dates early. We all lead very “busy” full lives, but we all make choices to commit to what is really important.

I am writing this in a hotel overlooking the seawall near Stanley Park in Vancouver in early December where the sun is creating an orange glow on the water as the float planes take off from the harbour. The joggers and dog walkers are out and about getting their morning exercise. Two houseboats, one bright red, one bright yellow stand out amidst the 100 white sailboats in the marina. How are you planning to “stand out” in 2014 and make a difference in your world? The glass-laden skyscrapers are not unlike tall Prairie elevators, except they are jammed together on expensive waterfront real estate. I am thankful for the quiet solitude here, but more grateful for the privacy and space of a thriving Prairie farm. A blanket keeps the winter chill off as I craft encouragement to you. My goal for 2014 is to continue to cherish family and relationships, since intimacy and friendship are two of my top six values. I know this to be true as I have a Value Styles Indicator assessment that I use with myself and my farm family clients.

If you would like more clarity about the different beliefs or common values that are driving your farm team, contact me, and I’ll set up the assessment for your farm team, online. Conflict is fuelled when the values you embrace are not honoured in your farm workplace. Perhaps the tension triggers you are experiencing are a result of messed-up or incongruent value expectations.Make sure that your goals align with what you truly value and cherish, then your chances of success in hitting your targets and achieving your goals will be greatly enhanced.

Elaine Froese, CAFA, CHICoach is a catalyst for courageous conversations in coaching farm families and from the podium. Watch for her next book “Farming’s In-Law Factor” due out this year. Visit www.elainefroese.com for more common-sense practical tools for your farm family’s success. Share your stories at [email protected], or call 1-866-848-8311.

About the author

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Elaine Froese is a certified farm family coach and farm partner. Seek her out at www. elainefroese.com or call 1-866-848-8311. Buy her books for your mom. Share your stories of how these phrases have impacted you. Elaine wants to hear from you on Facebook at “farm family coach” or Twitter @elainefroese.

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