Making Sense of 2015 to Plan for 2016 - Elaine Froese | Canada’s Farm Whisperer | Your go-to expert for farm families who want better communication and conflict resolution to secure a successful farm transition


Making Sense of 2015 to Plan for 2016

by | Jan 5, 2016 | Uncategorized


planning for a new year

It’s January, 2016 and a new year is upon us. Although we are only five days in, I started my new year a few months ago – in September. I find that the “back to school” time is a perfect time to start a new learning season. Whether you started early too or are just beginning, it’s time to review 2015 and make a plan for 2016. Take down last year’s calendar, review your 2015 diary, and give yourself a moment to reflect by answering these year-in-review questions.

Year-In-Review Questions

1. What do I remember and value from my past year?

  • List the accomplishments that you deem most noteworthy.
  • List the disappointments from that same time frame.

2. What did you learn this past year?

  • I learned from what I did accomplish that…
  • I learned from what I did not accomplish that…

3. If I reframe my learnings into counsel for the coming year, I hear myself advising…

  • What does 2015 teach you about how you should approach 2016 differently?

4. I notice that I experience a definite resistance (pushback) that limits either my accomplishments or my being who I most genuinely am. This resistance looks and feels like…

  • I call these ‘boulders.’ Understanding them will help you push through.

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 2016. 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 2016. Words are powerful. Pay attention to the one that grabs your heart and soul for 2016.

6. What are at least two goals for each of the roles I live in for 2016?

  • My personal, physical, mental, emotional & spiritual well-being and growth…
  • 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?

  • Which goals are most important for 2016? Which roles are most important for 2016?

8. 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 write them on a colourful paper for the office wall?

[Tweet “8 questions to help you reflect on #2015 and plan for a great #newyear in #2016.”]

Congratulate Yourself for Your Thoughtful Work

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 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 wiener 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 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 2016 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 when 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.

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