Many of us have been caught up in discussions on social media which sometimes turn into nasty mud flinging and other nonsense. Religious issues with many gurus often offers answers which are confusing and double-minded at best. Livestock grazing, soil regeneration (regenerative is the goal; sustainable is out, and rightly so, since many of us have denigrated soil resources; sustaining that is ridiculous), wildlife enhancement, water quality, breed of cattle (or other livestock) are promoted with such fervor and worship to qualify as religions.
Yet, the reality of our fallen world and its natural processes, is so complex, that one size fits all does not work. In the words of my friend Jim Gerrish, “it depends.” And indeed it does. Sure, there are some principles, ideas, and theories which are basic and we can learn from these. However, the key must be to identify our own goals, resources, restrictions, and, as Allan Nation coined, ‘unfair advantages.’
You can search and find a myriad of experts ready to guide you on goal setting. Read through them, many will help fertilize your own thoughts. Here are a few thoughts to get you started.
- Goals will involve family and friends- you don’t live in a bubble – be mindful and consider if your goals will push loved ones away.
- Goals should consider the future – remember, you won’t always be 25 years old. Work hard now, but move into more investments.
- Goals should include those things you want to do. You may become successful not doing this, but there may be limited satisfaction.
- Goals should be written down and in a place you can reference them.
- Goals should be flexible – we cannot control the world – sometimes shifting a goal is necessary to be relevant.
Grazing livestock management schemes are confusing and challenging – like a lot of fields (excuse the pun). When you throw in that one guru says do this and another says do the opposite, how is a newcomer to make decisions? It is tough, for sure, but read a lot, go to a few conferences by tried and true teachers, for example guys and gals who are or have been graziers themselves. Networking with other producers will really help, but avoid meaningless quarrels.
Just like knowing the difference between economic (is the endeavor worth doing?) and financial (can i afford to do it?) decisions, knowing the difference between goal setting and planning is essential. You may have great goals, but can actual plans be made to reach the goals? And beyond that, you must ask yourself, am i motivated enough to see it through? Don’t start a task if you don’t count the cost in advance. These costs are beyond money – they include relationships which may be lost, declining health, spiritual or mental stress.
Change is inevitable, goals change, plans change, plans change because the goals change, goals change because of many, many factors, including age, time, priorities. Don’t get bogged down with thinking you cannot change goals or plans, but keeping meaningful, timely, and accurate records is a must!