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It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed with everything you have to do on your farm. Let alone the pile of tasks that have to happen if you are making an income alongside that.
90 day planning can help you focus on your current goals without feeling overwhelmed by looking at what is coming in 4 or 6 months from now.
It also keeps you from freaking out about how far away you might be from your big overarching farm goals.
Use this post to guide you through my foolproof 90 day planning strategy. Don’t skip The pro tips at the end.
How To Plan In 90 Day Increments
Before you can plan your actions you have to know where you are headed. Both in your personal goals and with your backyard farm. The big goals you have will dictate the choices you make in the next 90 days.
Working through what is coming over 90 days is far more manageable and less overwhelming than looking at a whole year. This is the simple way to manage your year in bite-size chunks.
9 Keys to More Farm Sales
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How To Set Life Goals For 90 Day Planning
What do you really want for your farm? Do you want it to pay for itself? Maybe you simply want to give your family something to do off the screens. These goals matter. Think about the end goal that you want for your backyard farm.
Here are some backyard farm goal examples
- Selling livestock for income as well as supplying food for your family.
- Sell other types of products like soaps and yarn?
- Or maybe you are only getting farm animals to give something for your family to do off the screens.
The goal that you choose will also dictate the choices you make. Here is what I mean.
Goals Into Actions
- GOAL: To give your family something to do.
- ACTIONS: Very budget focused but the animals you buy can be a little bit heart-led.
- GOAL: To make a side income for your family.
- ACTIONS: Very calculated, data-driven, practical choices, and not heart-led.
- GOAL: Enjoy thing country lifestyle.
- ACTIONS: Very time conscious, not letting our plate get too full and your farm chores too long.
Do you see how knowing where you are going is super important? You don’t need to know the how. The path you need to go on to reach your farm goals will emerge as you take steps forward.
Tools For 90 Day Planning
I don’t want to spend too much time on the tools you use but I do want to say that you need to know how your mind works.
Personally, my brain loves paper and when I write things down in a planner it feels real and concrete. But in the digital calendar, I tend to ignore it and my brain still feels cluttered.
So think about what feels good to you and test out both paper planners and digital.
I use a combo of digital and paper because I don’t take my paper planner with me everywhere and using a digital tool is more flexible and I can access it from my phone.
Tools For The Digital Lover
If you are only digital and you can stick to using it I would suggest Trello or ClickUp. I have made the shift to trello to manage all of the business tasks but NOT as a calendar.
Only the business tasks and to-dos go here.
Google Calendar is where I put everything that will take my time that can’t be moved easily. Like calls for business, personal responsibilities, and so on.
Tools For The Paper Lover
If you love using a paper planner I am going to encourage you to get out a plain piece of paper and write your main family and personal goals at the top. Then write down everything you would have to do to make it happen. (I will get to how to plan a project in a bit)
Don’t put dates in your paper planner unless they fit into your current 90-day plan because life has a way of changing everything in a flash. Keep readying to find my top three paper planners.
How To Plan Your Goals
Here are the steps you need to take to make sure you have time to do the things you want to do in your 90-day plan.
#1 Start With The Dates That Don’t Change
Start with the “big rocks” and put them into your calendar.
Things like birthdays, holidays, and events that happen at the same time every year.
Even things like church time, your day job, or anything else that you don’t have control over.
#2 Break Down Your Big Goals
You may not be able to get them all done this year or even next. But if you know you want to supply your own beef and sell enough to cover the costs. Break down what you would have to do to make that happen.
Here is an example how to do that.
Quick Goal Break Down
Let’s say you have a fenced-in pasture and barn for shelter but that’s it.
Here is your list of to-dos.
- Find three books about cattle that you can read through and learn from (here is my favorite publisher to learn about everything.
- Figure out what breed will thrive best in your area.
- Figure out if you can get that breed in your area. If so find out what the median price is.
- Find someone who you feel knows what they are talking about with cattle and ask questions.
- Save the amount you would need to buy your first three heifers.
- Find where you are going to buy them from and figure out a time for when you can get them.
- Figure out your breeding method. Are you going to use a bull or AI?
Do you see how detailed you need to be?
Do this for each of your goals. Choose the one that is most important to you and work it until you get so comfortable with that one avenue of your backyard farm before you move on to the next.
It’s not fun to go at that pace sometimes but it’s worth your mental sanity.
If you need more detailed help around planning a project and the main things you should think about, read this post on How To Plan A Project.
#3 Choose What Is Realistic For You To Get Done In 90 Days
Choose the tasks from your projects that you can realistically get done in the next 90 days.
Then spread those tasks out over the next 3 months.
Once you set those tasks those are your concrete goals. You don’t allow anything else to come onto your calendar during that quarter unless it is an emergency. If you have a new idea or project you need to put it on the next quarter’s maybe list and consider it in your next 90 day planning session.
#4 30-Day Plan Within Your 90 Days
This is where you have a little bit of flexibility.
Look at the task for that month. Do you have a less busy week in the beginning of the month where you could get most of the tasks done? But the week after is going to be crazy and you may not have time to work on your goals. Then work ahead if you can.
It’s all about looking ahead, creating an action plan for the time you have, and being strategic.
So Much Can Change In 90 Days
This is why it’s best to not plan out a full year.
Think about what life, in general, there is so much that can change we don’t know what could happen next year or even six months from now.
Platforms change, animals die, and nature causes a disaster.
It’s not to say you can’t have an idea of what is going to happen for the whole year.
With livestock, you have to think ahead for breeding seasons and things like that.
The idea of planning for 90 days at a time is that you don’t waste your time laying a solid plan for a huge time period and then have to constantly replan everything. You also might have a better opportunity down the road that you didn’t see coming and you need to shift how you do things.
Does that make sense?
A Plan As A Guide, Not The Law
Lay a plan for your year but be ok with change and also be willing to take a path you didn’t realize was there.
Plan as a guide for your year by laying out the dates of things that don’t change like birthdays and holidays. Plan for busy seasons, work ahead on your social media posting, and be ready for busy selling seasons in your business but be willing to move things around.
Get Serious About The Next 90 Day Planning
Your goals won’t happen unless you do the work. Planning and dreaming are great but nothing happens if that is all you do.
Make sure to schedule these goals and treat them like an appointment. If you don’t act on the tasks you set then there is no point in having goals.
Whether they are for your personal life or goals for your business schedule them out and be realistic about what you can get done.
Tell Your Day Where To Go
Planning does not stop there. It goes down to the very lowest level down the hour.
Time blocking has been a massively effective way for me to SEE what is realistic for me to get done in a day. I am able to keep my brain focused and work hard on the tasks that need to be done.
BUT it also helps me not feel bad for not getting every task for the week completed on Monday. Overachiever anyone?
To-Do List For The Following Day And A Peace Of Mind
Every evening make a to-do list for the following day. If you are a business owner then do this at the end of your work time for the following day. Read more about planning ahead here.
I don’t time block the whole day ahead of time because again things can change with one phone call. You could choose your most important tasks to start the day. But the next morning decide how long you will spend on that task and any others you think can be accomplished that day.
Planers That Work Well For 90 Day Planning
Day Designer (one of my favorites) – Check it out on amazon
Erin Condren – Get $10 off your first order
Living Well Planner – Learn More
Don’t Stress About Doing It Right, Just Take Action
More than following a SMART GOAL strategy or creating the perfect 30-60-90 day plan is that you TAKE ACTION.
It all boils down to what can you realistically get done in 90 days and making sure that those goals like up with your long-term backyard farm goals and business goals
Use those 30-60-90 day plans to keep yourself focused on just those goals.
This will help you clear your mind for a restful evening and allows you to just have fun with family and pull your mind off the task list. You know it’s there and you can run back and write something else down if you need to.
But your brain does not have to try to remember everything because it is all written down.
You can do this at whatever time of day makes the most sense for you.
Life might seem out of control and far from manageable but if you plan with intention and do the best you can. You will feel in control of the chaos