My View From The Country

A New Year – Now What?

I embrace the hope that a new year and a new beginning bring with them, and I’m determined to accomplish great things in 2012.

A new year is magical in the sense that it’s a starting point, or maybe a starting-over point, when day-to-day life can seem overwhelming and the greatness we all aspire can seem out of our grasp.

One thing I am sure of is that one must be pretty good at managing time or you can’t survive in agriculture. But, if you’re anything like me, you also feel the desire to accomplish more things in a more effective manner. My wife has been able to convert me from using Post-it notes, napkins, auction block cards and good intentions, to the point that I now use a day planner, make extensive to-do lists, and semi-faithfully use a time-management system.  
Still, I’ve yet to close out a year when I could say I accomplished more than I’d planned. I suppose I could lower my standards but, in actuality, I feel I haven’t set them high enough if I hope to achieve my goals. I do believe in goal setting and the power of having a written plan. Yet, despite appreciating the value of all these things from an intellectual standpoint, I don’t know that I’ve ever really taken the time to do it right.

So here I am two weeks into 2012 and I’m forced to ask myself whether I can continue to do things the same way? Will my operation, or my life, be dramatically different than today? The honest answer is probably not. I’m locked in a cycle of incremental improvement at a time when I’m striving for quantum leaps.

So I’m going to do something I’ve never really done before. I’m going to step back, evaluate and make sure I have a plan designed to make 2012 dramatically better than 2011. I’m going to try to cover all the bases, and formulate the goals, tactics, strategies, metrics, time line and the accountability to make it happen.

I embrace the hope that a new year and a new beginning bring with them, and I’m determined to accomplish great things in 2012. But I also realize that merely starting a new year doesn’t ensure a different outcome without significant changes leading up to the effort. The question is: do I need to change my strategy, my plan, my goals, or something less concrete, like myself or my outlook?

I think it would be really interesting if we could all share the great ideas, concepts and plans we all plan to implement in 2012 to make it a more productive, more profitable and more rewarding year. I bet we could all learn quite a bit from each other.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.

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Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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