My favorite part of February is changing my focus from harvest and completing the yearly tasks to planning for the adventure of the coming year. I get a sense of accomplishment as I complete the year end paper work for taxes and take the time to evaluate what we accomplished on the farm. By spending the first two weeks of February doing that cumulative evaluation it helps the plans and goals of the new year to take shape.
We have long term goals for 5 and 10 years out and in February we look at how our past year and short term goals for 1 to 3 years are fitting in with those long term targets. We ask ourselves, are we on course or have we changed direction? When these questions have been answered, then we set our budget and begin mapping out our monthly and quarterly plans.
This period of planning the work is exciting to me because of all the possibilities the year holds. Yes, we evaluate what went wrong or didn’t work last year – we adjust and move on. There is no sense in crying over spilt milk, so to speak, so we don’t dwell on regrets. February is a time to see what went right and capitalize on those successes.
The difficult part of this process for me (and hence for Rob because he has to keep reminding me) is keeping my focus and setting CLEAR priorities. The problem for me is there is so much I can do and I can see how they all would be good endeavors but not all will fit within my defined goals or the hours in a day. It is even harder to limit the scope of my plans so I have the time and energy to give each task. I have to remember if I over commit myself I lose the ability to do the important tasks while enjoying the Farming Lifestyle, which after all is why I’m farming in the first place.