The calendar may say that it’s a new year, but my new year was a few months ago in September. I always feel that “going back to school time” is really the start of my new learning season. But alas, you have bright shiny new calendars on your office, shop, and kitchen walls, so as you are taking down last year’s calendars, and reviewing your 2013 diary or journal, take some time for reflection.

  1. What do I remember and value from my past year? I need to list the accomplishments that I deem most noteworthy:

My disappointments from that same time-frame are…


2. I learned from what I did accomplish that:

I also learned from what I did not accomplish that…


  1. If I reframe my learnings into counsel for the coming year, I hear myself    



4.     Boulders:I notice that I experience a definite resistance (pushback) that tends to limit either my accomplishments or my being who I most genuinely am.

   This resistance looks and feels like…


5. The 7-8 most deeply held beliefs or core values that I want to live by in the next year are: …. You might like to choose a theme word for 2014. My word for 2013 was “beloved”, in the past I have chosen courage, hope, joy, pacing and generosity. Find a smooth stone and write your theme word on the rock with a Sharpie marker. You’ll be amazed how many times in the upcoming year you can affirm that you have chosen the right theme for 2014. Words are powerful. Pay attention to the one that grabs your heart and soul for 2014.


6. What are at least two goals for each of the roles I live in for 2014 ?

·      My personal physical, mental, emotional & spiritual well-being and growth…self care.


  • My family…marriage/partners and children


  • My friends…


  • My work…


  • My neighbourhood or closest community…


  • My world



7. What are my top 7-8 goals for next year out of all of the goals listed in #6?


Who am I willing to share this with in order to be accountable and responsible in achieving them? How will I keep track of my progress? Can I right them on a colourful paper for the office wall?




There is power in your pencil and pen. I know that many of the “next gen” use thumbs instead of pencils, but whatever works, use it. Studies have shown that folks who write their thoughts out in journals live longer. There is also research that shows the success rate of those who commit goals to paper or computer are more likely to hit the marks and targets they set.

Many farm families tell me that they just want “a happy family”, they want harmony and time to hang out together as family. Okay, what does that look like in practice? Set some weekends aside now for fun at the lake , either in the snow, or in the summer with the boat, canoe, kayak, or weiner sticks !

Decide who is hosting the next gathering and block out the dates early. We all lead very “busy” full lives, but we all make choices to commit to what is really important.

I am writing this in a hotel overlooking the seawall near Stanley Park in Vancouver in early December where the sun is creating an orange glow on the water as the float planes take off from the harbour. The joggers and dog-walkers are out and about getting their morning exercise. Two houseboats, one bright red, one bright yellow stand out amidst the hundred white sailboats in the marina. How are you planning to “stand out” in 2014 and make a difference in your world? The glass laden skyscrapers are not unlike tall prairie elevators, except they are jammed together on expensive waterfront real estate. I am thankful for the quiet solitude here, but more grateful for the privacy and space of a thriving prairie farm. A blanket keeps the winter chill off as I craft encouragement to you. My goal for 2014 is to continue to cherish family and relationships, since intimacy and friendship are 2 of my top 6 values. I know this to be true as I have a Value Styles Indicator assessment that I use with myself and my farm family clients. If you would like more clarity about the different beliefs or common values that are driving your farm team,contact me, and I’ll set up the assessment for your farm team, online. Conflict is fueled with the values you embrace are not honoured in your farm workplace. Perhaps the tension triggers you are experiencing are a result of messed up or incongruent value expectations.
Make sure that your goals align with what you truly value and cherish, then your chances of success in hitting your targets and achieving your goals will be greatly enhanced.


Elaine Froese, CAFA, CHICoach is a catalyst for courageous conversations in coaching farm families and from the podium. Watch for her next book “Farming’s In-Law Factor” due out this year. Visit for more common sense practical tools for your farm family’s success. Share your stories at, or call 1-866-848-8311.


Fixing Your Time Stress Mess

60 minutes

Workaholics will discover helpful strategies for managing their time stress. Gain understanding for the tensions of your age and stage on the farm. Learn why some problems are not solvable, but just need to be managed as polarities. Self-renewing people are joyful and productive producers.


Rave reviews

“A joy to work with, heard loud and clear. When the farmers laughed or asked a great question, I knew they were listening and really wanted to learn from her. Her tips were easy to understand. It was just about understanding that conflict happens, and to have the confidence in yourself to ask for what you want. In the glowing review from farmers after her presentation, I knew they had heard that loud and clear.”
Maddy Berner, Event Planner & Communications Coordinator, National Milk Producers Federation National Milk Producers Federation
“I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your virtual kitchen table chat with Arlan Academy. My wife and I signed up as it was exceptionally relevant to our current journey with potentially transitioning to her parents’ farm. The session was able to cover so many aspects of these crucial conversations and hearing you speak to both sides of the conversation was eye opening for my own perspective on this topic. It seemed to be very well attended and sounded like there were many other people who would echo my thoughts and feelings on it.”
N. Oakley, Farmer, Ontario
“Elaine helped me allocate $1 Million of assets the night I listened to her. Elaine’s presentation brings value to the use of my services in my office.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealth Management
“I recently joined in and listened to your Healthy Farmer Agriwebinar for FMC. I truly enjoyed hearing your perspective and even went and grabbed my Mom, away from her work, to come and listen in on some of your main points as well! One area that really stood out for me, both personally with our own succession plans and with our clients, was your discussion involving "Instant Influence" and how ready are you to change? I loved this concept!”
Annessa Good, FCC Transition Specialist, Alberta
“Elaine Froese truly is the Farm Whisperer. With her big heart and stern resolve, she guides families through uncharted waters and helps them arrive safely at their desired destination. She has been there, done that, and has helped hundreds of families come out on the other side. With your family and your farm legacy on the line, you owe it to yourself to start this conversation. You do not need to do it alone. Let Elaine Froese guide you through. Your legacy is being written day by day. How will you be remembered?”
Tracy Brunet, Host of The Impact Farming Show & CEO of Farm Marketer
“You speak like you’ve been sitting at our kitchen table! You know our family issues well. I am feeling more comfortable understanding what we now need to do. Elaine Froese is real.”
Audience Member,
“I attended the meeting you spoke at in Stratford Ontario recently. We held an emergency family/farm meeting today because of issues that I had enough of. We used a 'talking stick' like you recommended and wrote a chart of rules. The rest of the family thought the idea that we needed a meeting was worth rolling their eyes over, until we got started. The younger ones were quick to clue in that they now have an opportunity to be bluntly honest. The older ones took a bit longer to believe they could truly say what they think. In the end, the meeting needed two sessions because there was so much to talk about… and so many things people didn't realize were a big deal to the others. Your lessons and encouragement have given us the tools we need to get to a better place in our relationships and our business. Truly thankful.”
Kim Martin, Dairy Farmer, Ontario
“Helped me develop my framework to start having constructive and meaningful conversations around the farm.”
Tennille Wakefield, Farm Partner
“Some great lessons, Elaine! You continue to do some remarkable and potentially life-changing work.”
James Mitchell, Principal, Conversations Consulting
“Our family had a good farm meeting yesterday afternoon. Your Fairness video was a great topic of discussion. One of the action items after the meeting was to have my two non-farming siblings watch the video before the next big meeting they are involved with on the farm. It will be a great conversation starter as we catch them up on our current plan. As they are younger, we also hope it will help them to ask new questions that may not have been on their mind.”
G.G., Farm Family Legacy Coach, Alberta
“Elaine gives me excellent tools that help me work with my clients!”
Laurianne Osmack, Financial Planner / Partner, Doell Osmak Wealth Management
“She has a sense of “knowing” quickly what is happening in the family dynamic. Her messages to her audiences drive home what needs to be done next to solve the complex issues of farm transition and conflict resolution.”
Audience Member,
“Eye-opening. Excited to open the door of communication with my spouse and farm family.”
Ashley Hoppe, Farm Partner
“The Strong Farms, Strong Families session gave farm families an opportunity to meet face to face with Elaine Froese... hear her own story, experiences and skill set. From this information packed session and related materials, families could identify areas of success in their journey and other places they need assistance. The greatest take away was that participants could see that Elaine Froese is someone they can trust with the things that they hold most precious.... their family and their farm.”
Nancy Atkinson, Nobleford Ag Society, Alberta
“Elaine’s real-life scenarios help her audiences know they are not alone, knowing there are creative solutions to help them get the life on the farm they have always wanted.”
Audience Member,
“A long time female client who had refined the art of procrastination was so moved by the end of your presentation that she accepted your permission to “drop the bananas.” She contacted me soon after for an appointment to do some planning which included the selling of the family “Century Farm.” A very, very emotional decision on her part that was not likely to have occurred without your presentation.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealthy Management
“I just have to say… that your work is amazing and I have never forgotten your teachings from our session in Williams Lake at TRU. It is super important work. I know so many people going through the trauma of succession. I hate to use that word, but I was an “out-law” and know it can get terrible. I continue to forward your emails on to others. Keep doing what you do! You are amazing. You kind of walk into the fire regularly… and with a smile. Proud to have met you.”
Megan, BC Rancher
“As my husband and I eagerly started the course we were optimistic and excited to be taking this next step in our Farm Transition. We were starting to question ourselves and whether or not we were just being selfish and greedy, and if this Farm Transition was still an option for us. We barely got through the first Module and were already having such a huge relief. As we moved through the modulus there were so many times that we just sat back with our hands in the air and thought YES. My husband and I would smile with relief because all of the concerns that we have been struggling with were relevant and came up in the modules. We really enjoyed the course and are excited to move on to the next stages to find our farm resolution.”
Shannon Gilchrist, “Get Farm Transition Unstuck” online course participant
“My hubby farms with 2 brothers and parents, and it’s become a really toxic place. No communication, no respect, etc. Twelve months ago, my husband’s brothers told him they don’t want to work with him anymore and offered him a pay out. His parents did nothing to stop it! He had no choice but to leave. Three months later, we moved off the farm and into town. He has been offered heaps of jobs and is now truck driving and carting hay and grain. We have tried communicating with his parents about what happened but they are not interested. So basically my hubby has lost his family. Very sad but we as husband and wife are overall in a good place and moving on to create our own life. Please continue on with all your wonderful work in helping families on the farm. I continue to tell any farmers I know about you, that they must ‘google’ you, and read your books.”
Donna, Farmer, Australia

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