A Youthful Voice...The Advocate Youth Page Schyler Angell

Associate Editor,
Advocate Youth Page

Presents have been opened and the Times Square Ball has dropped. A new year, and decade, have already begun! For many people, including myself, a new year means making New Year’s Resolutions. I have always enjoyed jotting down some goals that I hope to achieve in the new year, but it’s admittedly difficult to keep up with these routines and plans.

As the first couple of days of January have already passed, you may be experiencing some similar struggles, but you’re not alone. By February, 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail, according to U.S. News & World Report!

Although it’s disappointing, it’s the truth that we all relate to. In the past couple of years, I have utilized three strategies, in addition to my resolutions, that help me stick with my plans. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, choosing a Word of the Year, and using a Bullet Journal has not only made starting my new year more exciting, but it has also made my resolutions more successful!

Firstly, setting “S.M.A.R.T. goals” opposed to vague goals will certainly make you more successful in the new year. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym used to describe what a good goal is: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. For example, a S.M.A.R.T. goal is, “I will go to state in track by running at least five days a week from January until May”. This goal is much more specific, or “S.M.A.R.T.” as opposed to the goal of “Go to state in track”.

On your farm you may set a S.M.A.R.T. goal similar to “We will wean more calves from cows during Spring by pregging to see if the cows are bred, and checking cows more frequently during calving season.

In addition to using the The S.M.A.R.T. goal strategy, I have chosen a “Word of the Year” to be a theme for my year. The concept is similar to New Year’s Resolutions, but it is more direct in the way that the whole year is centered around a single word. This year my Word of the Year is intentional. I chose this word in hopes of being more intentional with how I spend my time and the goals I set throughout the year. Other possible words of the year include simplify, balance, patience, organize and grow.. Before choosing a word I do some brainstorming to think of possible words and how they can be applied to my goals and year. It can be hard to remember the list of resolutions you may have set for yourself, but keeping that one word in mind all year is certainly manageable.

One way I have really enjoyed keeping my goals organized is through a Bullet Journal. A Bullet Journal is a blank or often times bulleted journal that is customized by the writer to include schedules, to-do list, and anything that can be written. The original method, designed by Ryder Carol, includes a yearly, monthly and daily log that uses symbols to organize the events and tasks.

Ryder Carol struggled with Attention Deficit Disorder as a child, and created the method to clear his mind and record his thoughts, which as a result improved his productivity and intentionality. Since explaining the method online, thousands of people have tailored the method unique to their lives by using a Bullet Journal. The journals can be filled with artistic doodles and color coordinated pens, or simple list and calendars. The Bullet Journal is completely customizable which means it could even include calving and vaccine records, or a list of your summer projects – all in one place.

Using a bullet journal provides a tangible way to look back on all that you have written and accomplished over the months.
Just as my bullet journal will look a lot different than yours, so will our goals. Fortunately, all three methods of these goal setting strategies are applicable to your farm or business. Here’s to a profitable, successful and goal-crushing new year!