Before the start of each year, I set aside a sacred block of time to reflect on the highs and lows of the past season and make plans for the exciting months ahead. Fortunately, the New Year corresponds to one of the slower times of the year around the farm and after the business of the holidays dies down, I can start dreaming and planning in earnest.
I’m a planner by nature. I love dreaming big and creating detailed plans to turn my dreams into reality.
Even though I’m active on the blog, social media and a million other places that require the use of technology, I’m actually pretty old school when it comes to planning and goal setting. When I start my planning sessions around New Years, my family knows to give me some quiet space. I spend days in my PJ’s surrounded by a desk littered with magazine clippings, half empty coffee mugs, farm maps, inspiring quotes and weathered field notebooks with pages that are dog-eared or water logged. I’m not going to lie, my planning process isn’t pretty or exciting. It involves a lot of pacing, mess making and brainstorming outloud.
At the center of my goal setting workspace, are three key items: Lara Casey’s Power Sheets (which help me get clear on what really matters), a vision board (this becomes my visual north star for the year) and a big beautiful wall calendar (to hold all of the details and to-do’s that are involved with the plans). I love spending these days of solitude; clearing my head and my calendar, to dream up the future I want to create.
To begin, I start by answering a lot of questions: What worked? What didn’t work? What do I want to do more of in the coming year? And (arguably more important) what do I want to do less of in the coming year? What made me the happiest? What made me the most stressed out? Who were the people who brought out the best in me? Who were the people that I felt crummy after spending time with?
Once these questions are answered, I start brainstorming out what I’d like to create and accomplish in the key areas of my life: family, personal growth, my marriage, health, business and one big personal dream (last year I chose to write the book).
After I’ve written out pages and pages of ideas, I go in and prune back in the areas where I’m prone to overdoing like: variety trials, business expansion and tackling big dreams. I then work on adding more to the areas where I consistently fall short such as: personal care, time away from the farm with my family and my own personal growth. The goal is to make these lists equal, like balanced pieces of a pie.
From there, for each of the things I’d like to accomplish, I answer what are the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) goals needed achieve it? I then start to create timelines and deadlines for myself. It’s a long, complicated process, and no two years are the same, so a good deal of time is spent weighing out all of the options. But when I finally emerge with “the plan,” I always have the most incredible sense of peace, knowing exactly what’s needed to create the year I want to live into.
Yesterday on the blog I shared a little peek into the past year, with a post looking back at some of the highlights of 2015. Today I’m taking a look ahead.
At the center of my 2016 vision board is this space right here. Through all the changes and new ventures for Floret, this blog has been a constant. It’s a special space to reflect on what I’ve learned, share insights, information and hopefully a little inspiration, too. Now that the book manuscript is turned in and all of the associated photo shoots are wrapped up, I’m hoping to get back to what I love most, sharing information and inspiration to flower lovers, gardeners, and small scale flower farmers here on the blog this year.
I’ve got a number of ideas in the works and the plan is to fill this space with beautiful, useful, inspiring posts to help flower lovers have healthy, lush and beautiful cutting gardens.
Some of the concepts I have in the hopper include a garden planning series that will break down the key components to getting the most out of your cutting garden. I’m also planning on doing more flower focus posts and some spotlights on great tools of the trade.
The Floret seed company will officially launch next week, **so be sure you’re signed up to my mailing list to be among the first to see our offerings. I’m also including a very special treat exclusively for subscribers–so you won’t want to miss out! The Floret Shop will be filled with hard-to find specialty seeds, custom color mixes of cottage garden favorites, dozens of my favorite dahlias, plus a few more exciting surprises. I can’t wait to help make more of these amazing varieties available to you!
To help flower lovers be successful, we’ve also expanded our Resources section. In it, you’ll find a number of photo tutorials including seed starting, sweet peas, dahlias, anemones and ranunculus. I hope to continue to add a lot more goodies like this to the site over the course of the year.
Have some ideas or special requests? I’d love to hear what you’d love to see more of (or less of) here on the site in the comments below.
Wishing you all an amazing start to the New Year and thank you for following along!