Setting Sustainability Goals on Your Homestead
by Jane Marsh
Homesteaders examining chicken eggs
Younger generations are increasingly interested in returning to nature to live out their lives. The homesteading movement has slowly grown over the past few years as climate change and society's non-sustainability have changed minds to live lighter on the earth.
Setting sustainability goals on your homestead is a critical aspect of creating your homestead to ensure you can remain self-reliant and eco-friendly at the same time. If you're new to homesteading, the task of setting sustainable goals may seem daunting. But, as with any new skill or lifestyle, you're bound to have ups and downs. Homesteading is a learning process.
As any seasoned homesteader knows, as you advance in the homesteading community, you’ll be thankful you have set these goals for yourself.
Make Your Goals Attainable
First things first. You want to make your goals attainable so you can accomplish them. Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself will do you no good. If you write a goal knowing you will never be able to achieve it, you’ll feel bad about not achieving it. This can discourage you from continuing to live your sustainable homesteading lifestyle.
Whether you’re new to homesteading or have been on a homestead for years, start with small goals. Set basic sustainability goals, such as recycling a few more items each week, creating a winter herb garden, or planting a few more trees in the spring.
If you have a larger goal, break it into manageable sections. Additionally, remember that no two homesteaders’ goals are going to be the same. Make them unique to your sustainability journey.
Stay Organized and Focused
Once you have a goal in mind, write it out and stay focused on that goal. Brainstorming too many goals at once may have you overwhelmed. Get yourself a planner or calendar and write out focused goals. You can also learn organization tips from other homesteaders using online resources.
Organize your sustainability goals based on seasons. Weather changes, as you know, so setting a summer goal during the winter might not work. It’s okay if you don’t accomplish tasks on time, since most of your resources come from recycled materials or are reliant on the weather. However, by having your goals written down, you can manage your time and to-do list, and you can stay focused on priority goals.
Research and Prepare for Your Homestead
You’re probably eager to begin growing food, building fences, and adding livestock to your homestead. It’s important to not allow your excitement to take over, though. Part of being sustainable and prosperous on your homestead is to research and prepare for the seasons ahead. Your homestead takes work, so by preparing in advance, you can tackle your goals.
If you’re new to homesteading and are unaware of what animals and plants thrive in your region, take time to research so you can increase your food security. You might have a goal to grow enough corn to last you for two years, but if the climate doesn’t allow that, the time and effort you put into preparing the land and planting goes to waste, which isn’t sustainable at all.
Grow Your Skills
Homesteading takes trial and error. Along your sustainable homesteading journey, you’ll continue to learn valuable skills and tricks to make your homestead more viable for future generations, the economy, and the environment.
There will never be a time when you can't improve your sustainability skills. Make it a goal each year to advance your knowledge of sustainability and ways to help the environment on your homestead.
Each year, keep a journal of what you learned and what goals you accomplished. This practice will help you grow further in your journey and set even higher sustainability expectations for next year.
Sustainability and Homesteading Goals Go Hand-in-Hand
This year, whether you’re beginning your homestead or are looking to make improvements to your existing one, set goals for yourself. Keep updated on sustainability trends, stay focused on your goals, and make your goals attainable so you can continue to be eco-friendly and self-sustaining.
Jane is an environmental writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co
where she covers sustainability and eco-friendly living.