Monday, April 1, 2013

Achieve your Homesteading Dreams Now

"The time is always right to do what is right." 
 - Martin Luther King Jr.

What have you been waiting for?  Is there something stopping you? Will you do the right thing when you have more money? more time? more space?


Recently I came across two posts that inspired me and I wanted to share them with you.  Both these posts so closely mirrored some of my own thinking while still pushing me and challenging me a bit and making me stop and think.  A slow, steady, gradual move towards my goals never really works for me: instead, my homesteading journey is so often filled with pauses, bursts of inspiration, back steps and sudden jumps forward. If you have a quiet moment and need a little motivation or kick to get you moving, stop over and read "What's Stopping You?" by Sheila over at Hope Farms, and It's Time to Make Life Happen from Kendra over at New Life on a Homestead

While I may not be someone who travels steadily towards my goals, I am an action person: I am the person who reads partway through the directions and decides to just get started. As you can imagine, this often gets me into trouble and causes missteps,but I also find that the action itself is what motivates me and moves me forward towards my goals. 

Stop dangling your goals out of reach

It is so easy to see ours goals as constantly dangling out of reach, like a rabbit trying to get a moving carrot.  The truth is, that we are often the people who place our goals out of reach.  We are the ones who choose not to pursue them, and find obstacles that seem insurmountable. Have you ever said "I can't do that, I don't have enough ____?"  What obstacles are you creating that stop you from achieving your goals?

For some of us, it is fear that holds us back, while for some of us, it's a sense of helplessness.  Our culture has even coined sayings and set a standard of life that allows us to place our real goals out of reach.  If you fill your life with the things that society considers normal and necessary, you may not have time, money or motivation to do the things that matter most.  For many people, it seems that many of the goals we don't pursue are those goals that aren't valued by others. 

Choose a goal that is important to you - big or small.  What obstacles are in your way?  Are they truly obstacles or are they obstacles you've created?  Be honest.  If other goals are obstacles, it's time to reassess (you can't move to a small rural farm and make a million dollars next year - well most of us can't, so get over it and move on).  Dream big, but a healthy dose of reality means you may actually achieve those goals.

Break Down the Obstacles

If your obstacle is fear - fear of failure, fear of risk, fear of others' opinions, it's time to turn the fear around.  What you should fear is regret. Use the fear of not doing and missing out on life to move you forward. Read Sheila's article above for some thoughts on using fear.

If your obstacle is helplessness, decide whether you can really achieve your goal?  What would you need to do to make it happen?  Maybe your dream is to move to a few acres and raise turkeys, but you are overwhelmed or feel that you'll never have the funds.  Decide what you need in place to make your dream come true - and make it happen, not in 20 years, start making it happen now!

When I talk to people who are saying things like "next year I'll try this," or "when I have 'this' I'll be able to take the next step," the most common obstacles seem to be money, space, and time.  Stop and look closely at those obstacles.  How much money do you really, truly need to move forward? How can you find more time? How can you rethink your space, or move and start over?  Do you need to make a drastic change in your life to achieve your goals, or is it a matter of re-prioritizing? The exciting part about looking honestly at the obstacles to your goals is knowing that there is potential - there is room to change.

Dream Big

When we travel through life, it is easy to link one dream to the next dream and move in a linear direction.  For example, 'when we got chickens, we built a shed, then we had room for 2 goats but not enough for more, so instead of getting more goats, we decided to get ducks since they take up less room.'  This progression often takes you exactly where you want to go.  But what if my original dream was to have a goat farm?  Sometimes our journey simply takes us in the wrong direction.

What truly makes you happy? Give yourself a blank piece of paper and rethink everything.  Start fresh, dream big, and decide if this is really what you want.  If you get to the end of your sheet of paper and decide that you are happy where you are, you are living your dreams, and you are right where you want to be, than you get to wake up tomorrow with this realization and fresh perspective.  If instead, you get to the end and realize that you are way off track, than the time is right to make a change.  Don't wait, make a change, take a step, whether it's a small one or giant leap, just get moving.

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Thank you to all those who share, learn and inspire me here each day.  If you're looking for more thoughts about getting started achieving your homesteading goals, check out my (currently free) ebook: The Modern Homestead: a Guide to Starting Your Journey.

7 comments:

  1. The most important step of all in attaining any goal is taking that first step. It's scary sometimes but without that step, it stays only a dream. You've shared ways to take one deep breath at a time. Thanks for sharing this post! (Visiting from Homestead Barn Hop)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas
    www.taylormaderanch.com/blog

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  2. We have so many goals and dreams for our property that it can be overwhelming at times. My husband is like you, more of the action person. I am more of the "we need to research it more" person. Of course everything takes money that we don't have all up front, so we are saving up little by little each month to do the projects we want to do. It's easy to put things off and say we'll do it later, but we try to do as much as we can and not put it off because who knows what the future will hold. It's all about priorities!

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  3. This year, my one step toward my dream of full, sustainable homesteading, was to increase my garden from about three items (including tomatoes, of course! ...I'm new at this) to 10, or so, of heirloom, non-GMO fruits and veggies. Just started the seeds of some of them indoors this week. Thanks for the encouraging motivation! Good words. (visiting from Homestead Barn Hop)

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  4. Such an inspirational post. this year, in a few months actually, I am moving to the country to get closer to the life of homesteading I want.

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  5. Words to live by! Sometimes in our family we get sideways trying to combine what I want, what my husband wants, what the kids (and our parents) need. It's hard to work it all in. I often feel my dreams and goals get overpowered by the needs and wants of the rest of our clan.

    Then I say I want to expand the barnyard. And my husband lays out a plan that makes it two times bigger than I asked for. One of the kids comes by and spends a day working on the fence. And I know that while I may not be able to completely march to the beat of my own drummer, I'm part of an awesome band.

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  6. I'm with Joan, sometimes it's hard putting your dreams on hold because the rest of your family has other needs/desires. But that's part of being in an "awesome band." (I love that!)

    This weekend, we set up our grey water recapturing system to use our washing water to water our citrus trees and some other areas. I've been wanting to do this since we moved in a year and half ago. It wound up costing us $.27 for the tank,etc. and $25 for a 100 foot hose. I'll be posting about it tomorrow and a little pull behind "trailer" my husband made spur of the moment. Sometimes you just need to look around and see what you already have or what you can get for free to remove the money obstacle.

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  7. Great post and very true. Most often the only thing holding us back is ourselves. I have been dreaming of owning some acreage for some time now to start a small organic farm. I have been holding off doing some of the things I wanted to do because I kept telling myself I needed more land. I had been unhappy, but finally realized that instead of doing nothing I can work with what I have. It wouldn't be on the larger scale that I dream of, but at least it will be something. I soon realized that I can grow quite a bit on our small lot and taking quantum steps to obtaining the dream seems to be opening up more opportunities, like the school garden.

    There is also the conflict, as you wrote, between what you "should" do and what makes you happy. When my business is booming, I am grateful that I am earning a good income, but I am also unhappy because I am not really doing what I really want to do, what really makes me happy. When my business was slow for several months and money was tight, I didn't let it get to me. I didn't stress about the bills because I know it would all work out. I finally had time to do what I wanted to do and I was truly happy.

    For me the obstacle is finding the balance between doing what I need to do, and what makes me happy. I know that if I keep pursuing my dream, taking quantum steps each day, that I will get there soon!

    ~Rob~

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