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I’m sure you may have heard a farmer say, “Someday this farm will be his”, or “Someday we will get to the lawyer’s office, but we have work to do !” My sister Barbara Edie wrote the headline “someday is not a day on my calendar” when she relayed the memories of an active 1988 spent with my other sister Grace who died tragically that year. Barb’s resolve was to never put things off, and not let “someday” creep into her thinking.
July on the farm used to be a great time for camping trips, visitors, weddings and stealing peas from the garden. Many folks today tell me that their July is now packed full of crop protection fungicides, off-farm work, and trying to find 2 or 3 nights off the farm. Folks hope to take time off “someday !”
The word procrastinate is formed from two Latin words – pro, meaning
‘forward’, and crastinus, meaning ‘belonging to tomorrow’. So, procrastination
is the act of putting something into tomorrow and, of course, it suggests that it
is always ‘in tomorrow’ – so never gets done. (Hugh Culver, author of Stop Procrastinating Today)

Why do we put things off, special family times that we know only have a certain window of opportunity? Why delay plans to make our farm businesses healthier?
My speaker friend Pierrette Desrosiers says that there are 5 main causes of procrastination.
1.A lack of planning and vision.
2.Perfectionism
3.A rebellious spirit.
4. A quest for adrenaline, liking to work under pressure.
5.Don’t like doing a particular task, acting like a “spoiled child”.

My speaker friend Hugh Culver, believes “You are not a procrastinator” (www.hughculver.com) , you always get more of what you focus on. He calls us to re-frame our decision making, and start developing better decision making habits.

In farm families I sense there is a huge sense of overwhelm, so people get stressed and just shut down. When I show up as a coach we work to make a action plan that is realistic, to consider the steps along the way. For example, you know you need to update your will. First step, find the old copy. Second step, call the lawyer for a first appointment. Third step, talk to your spouse, and then book time to converse with your family. July is a good time to have some of these important conversations after family celebrations when you are just hanging out on the deck watching cloud formations.

Focus and execute was a mantra that caught my eye and has become a common expression for me. To establish a plan you need to think about what goals you want to reach. Break things down into steps, and work out the timelines for execution. Deadlines work for me, if I post them in my computer calendar, I can keep them top of mind, and move them along. The reward for me as a writer to meet deadlines is that I get paid ! What rewards can you build into the projects that you are avoiding?

One summer the junk ie steel , augers, etc., needed to be removed from our bush. Wes encouraged all the employees to participate in the load the flatdeck project. Each employee’s reward for this “not so fun” cleaning job was to have the money from their load, a little added incentive not to keep stashing old equipment in the trees.

Take the first step. Make the phone call for an appointment with the painter, lawyer, carpenter, plumber, doctor, etc. Moving it out of your brain and starting to take action will beget more action.

Perhaps this is the summer you have determined to look better in your bathing suit.
This would be an ongoing project for me. My girlfriend Wendy said “Elaine you have written books, you are smart. You will start to lose weight when you decide it is important enough !” Don’t you just hate it when your friends tell you the truth?

Decide to let go of perfection and just start the project. Weight loss is a classic procrastination issue, and farmers who are riding equipment, eating Saskatoon pie with lots of ice cream, and avoiding their doctors can relate to feeling bad about not dealing with their health.

Culver suggests that each decision is either doing or avoiding, much like a scale. I am stepping on the scale, so I know my weight is not good, but what I am avoiding is tracking my portions. I also should be avoiding pie with ice cream !

“SHOULD.” Counselors use a term “don’t should on yourself”. Rather than saying, “I should talk to my son and his wife about their vision for this farm”, say “I am going to start having conversations about what is working for our family farm team, and what needs to change.”

Think about what time of day you have the best energy to do the hard work. As a writer, I like to have a 2 hour block of quiet time in the mornings. Once I get “in the zone”, I don’t answer the pings of my texts or the phone. What would it look like if you took 90 minutes this morning to tackle a tough project that you have been putting off ?

Would it help to have a buddy? Our seed plant office had a lot of mud this spring after 8 inches of rain and lots of traffic. When I started to try to find the floor, it did my spirit and energy level a lot of good to have a cleaning buddy. My mom always used to say “many hands make light work.” Sometimes the work we are avoiding may be more fun with a team approach. I haven’t been able to convince my family on this one with weeding the garden, but start that kind of training with young children and you may have better results than I did ! You might also just need some better tools for the job, like a tiller, a hedge trimmer, or a dutch hoe.

Stephen Covey wrote about doing the urgent things, not the important things. Take some time this some to develop a “rallying cry” to getting things done.
Let me know what project you completed, and I will send you a copy of my ebook
“Planting the Seed of Hope.” A reward for you !

Have fun with your family this summer. Don’t put that off !

END

Elaine Froese, CSP , has been awarded the Certified Speaking Professional designation this summer. Only 10% of the world’s professional speakers hold this designation. She looks forward to at least a week of camping with her husband this month. Elaine farms in southwestern Manitoba and coaches families across North America. This month she speaks in Mexico to dairy farmers on her 33rd wedding anniversary ! Visit www.elainefroese.com or call 1-866-848-8311.

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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+1-204-534-7466 | elaine(at)elainefroese.com

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