Radke: Eight things to accomplish in 2018
Resolutions — nearly half of Americans make goals for the New Year, but very few actually stick to them. As we welcome 2018, let’s make it our goal to follow through on our resolutions. I’ve listed my top eight areas that I plan to focus on in the New Year.
1 Prioritize projects and actually finish them
My husband Tyler and I were talking about improvements to the ranch we want to make in the upcoming year. After Tyler rattled off a list of a dozen projects he wanted to accomplish, I told him we needed to make a list and prioritize.
Which ones should we tackle in the next six months? The next year? The next five years? The next 10? How much money will each project take, and which projects are in the budget to finish sooner rather than later? Which should be put off until a later date?
Now that we’ve finalized what we can realistically accomplish in 2018, it’s time to put the plan into action and actually get these projects completed, so we can move down the list to loftier goals in the upcoming years.
2 Find a way to improve productivity
There are always ways to improve efficiencies, increase yields and get more out of each blade of grass and every cow in our care. Identify these areas in which you can improve and follow through. Let’s accomplish more with less in 2018.
3 Spend more time with your family
At the end of your life, it’s not your job that matters, but the people you get to enjoy each day with. Carve out more time for your loved ones. Make memories together as a family. Don’t get so busy with the hustle and bustle of ranch life that you forget who and what really matters.
4 Make better financial decisions Save. Invest. Reduce expenses. Adjust family standard of living. Make frugal choices, but spend where it counts. Whether you’re in agriculture or not, this is a common resolution for many each year. This year, stick to your guns, and by 2019, your bank account will reflect your new habits.
5 Eat healthier
The average age of the American rancher is 58 and climbing. As we age, more health problems tend to creep up. Take care of your health by making wise dietary decisions. Your body and mind will thank you, and your kids, grandkids and great-grandkids will love having you around for decades.
6 Network more
Attend the cattlemen’s meeting you’re always too busy to make time for. Set up a regular coffee date with the neighbors. Make it a habit to engage with your customers more often. Reconnect with old acquaintances. We are the sum of the people we spend the most time with, so network with the people who will make you better and enrich your life. It’s worth taking the time to do so.
7 Learn something new
My dad received a drone for Christmas, and he has high hopes that he’ll be able to check fences, water tanks and calving cows from the comfort of the house. First, he has to figure out how to fly the thing.
Learn something new in 2018. This could be finally mastering social media, improving your mechanical skills to cut down on the costs of equipment breakdowns or investing in genomic testing and using the results to make better keeping and culling decisions — the sky is the limit and there is plenty to learn with so many advancements in agricultural technologies.
8 Schedule more office time
Whether it’s a family business meeting, filing paperwork, tracking inputs and outputs, organizing records or updating the will and estate plan, dedicate more time in the office to manage your business. Making this a priority will help with tax preparation, daily decision making in the business, long-term sustainability of the ranch and keeping all family members on the same page.❖