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Looking Back and Looking Forward {and 2015 Goals}

January 03, 2015

My days began to blend into each other starting in late summer.  Everyday being more or less the same.  Get up at 5.  Take out the dogs and feed them breakfast.  Pack orders that need to be shipped and answer emails.  Make coffee, get ready and pop in toast for breakfast.  Head to work by 6:30.  I've been doing 3 people's jobs, more or less, for the last few months so the days have been a blur.  9-10 hours later drive home.  Take out the dogs, make dinner, do dishes, make products and answer email.  Go to bed and start it over again.  {J is on chicken duty - they are not forgotten :) } Saturdays are full of making and packaging product as are Sunday mornings.  Then it's off to the market.  Sunday evenings I get an hour or two before dinner needs to be made and it all starts over again.  I am focused on making changes to this craziness.

It takes effort to not let one day blend into the next and I'm at the point where that goal is not only practical, but necessary.  I have a staff returning from a leave and am hiring another, so that will drop my daily duties from doing 3 jobs to a measly 1.  I can't tell you how grateful I am for that.  At our own business J is helping make product, and as he builds up his confidence in doing so he is getting us more ahead.  This way, Saturdays and every weekday evening does not have to be devoted solely to product creation.  With the Holidays over our business slows slightly allowing us to take a much needed breathe and begin to look forward to 2015.

With both excitement and gratitude.

Looking back on 2014 brings ups, downs, challenges, frustrations and celebrations.  Some of our accomplishments on the homestead included:  raising meat birds for the first time {and successfully}; having a full garden that fed us well from Spring through Fall; meeting our financial goal for the business {as crazy as the number we set seemed at the time for a first year}; we've kept on track with a meal plan and grocery budget, although we brought it from a monthly meal plan to a 2-week meal plan while we've been crazy busy;  I was published in a couple of popular publications and our products were featured in a couple as well; I was able to get in the habit of regularly practicing gratitude.

Some of the areas we need to improve on:  we were both so busy with our day jobs and our business, we didn't make much time to can as many items as we would have liked to; we did not get as many green beans as years past leaving us few to freeze for winter enjoyment; we have been behind on making product since late summer and need to get ahead; we didn't plan the laying hen rotation very well and were left with no eggs for almost a month {our hens are either too old or too young - not many right in the middle}; we were not successful in getting much done in the way of updates/improvements on the house or outbuildings.

I've always loved lists and am a visual person, so I'm a big fan of writing down my goals for the year {as well as 5 and 10 year goals}, and re-visiting them quarterly to try and keep myself on track.

Here are some of our goals for 2015:

  • Add a beehive.  Or two.  This was on last year's list and it didn't happen.  We've talked about it.  A lot.  Just didn't take time to do it.
  • Raise enough meat birds to provide for us all year.
  • Build a bit better and more permanent home for said meat birds.
  • Plant even more veggies and fruit than years past.
  • Try our hand at growing mushrooms.  Another one that was on last year's list and didn't get accomplished.
  • Can and preserve more - try some new canning recipes.
  • Make more time to spend will all the Cobble Hill Farm critters.
  • Expand the bathroom.  SO excited about this.  Our current bathroom {yes, we only have 1} is the size of a very small closet.  We will be more than doubling it and adding the laundry room to it.  
  • Continue to purge.  We don't have too much as far as clutter, but I would like to continue purging.
  • Continue working toward our goal of living debt free.  We currently only have a mortgage for debt.
  • Save, save, save money to be able to purchase a larger piece of property in 2017 and pay cash for it.
  • Our budget is pretty well set and adhered to - we don't purchase much in the "extra's" department so staying on budget with grocery shopping is what we'd like to continue.
  • I have missed posting so incredibly much so I'd love to get back to posting 3-4 times a week.
  • More photos with us in them.  {yup - there are people at Cobble Hill too!  :)) }
  • Incorporate videos - how to's on soapmaking, canning, etc.  Just have to teach my patient husband how to use the camcorder......
  • Keep up with sales and keep our products in stock!  
  • Keep up with Wholesale orders and get the newest accounts' orders filled.  Begin to accept more wholesale accounts by the end of the first quarter. {we have a list, just need to get caught up}
  • Do a better job keeping up with entering expenses into my spreadsheets. {I stink at this....}
  • Continue to slowly grow our product line - facial and shaving products are next.
  • We have set a hefty {read as crazy} number to hit for sales....... we're going for it!
  • Move the business out of our home into a rented space.
  • Have products featured in 6 major magazines.  Yes, 6.
  • Not much time to devote to creativity for 2015, so expressing myself through photography is a huge help.  I hope to continue to improve on my photography and find time to try new things.  Maybe in future years this category will include jewelry-making, creating quote art, and learning to make pottery.
  • Learn to knit.
  • I had hoped to have a book outline written in 2014 but that did not happen, so I'd like to work on getting more of my work {writing and photography} published and continue working toward the goal of writing a book.
It's overwhelming to look at the list, but I will break many of the goals down into steps that I can try to accomplish by specific dates.  I also make the ones that seem a bit open-ended more defined.  This makes each item seem more doable.

How about you?  Do you set goals with the New Year?  What are some of the ones you'd like to accomplish?

Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

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