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Don’t let resolutions ruin your year

If you are one to make resolutions each year, be realistic so that you stand a chance to meet your expectations.

How has the new year started out for you? We are barely a week into 2018, but are your resolutions for the new year still intact? Or, are you a realist and know that you will not follow through on promises of betterment, so you don’t even bother to make promises that you won’t keep.

Don’t feel bad if you have made resolutions in the past, but were unable to keep them. You are not alone. According to a stat that gets thrown around a lot, only 8% of people keep their resolutions. Does that mean that the 92% who do not keep their resolutions are failures? Absolutely not. There are various reasons that resolutions are not kept — the bar is set too high, obstacles out of your control get in the way, the resolutions you made were done so under duress.

I think once I did actually make a resolution, and I actually did stick to it. A few years back, I resolved not to drink coffee. I held out on the java, for a year or so, but now I am back on my one (or two) cup a day routine. Did I fail? Did I succeed? I look at that one exercise as a success, since I vowed not to drink coffee for a year, which I accomplished. I did not promise myself that I would never again support the coffee industry. And therein lies the success or failure of resolutions. You make the rules that work for you. This is not a flim-flam, wishy-washy copout to resolution success.

Resolutions are not concrete, they are not enforceable in a court of law, and they are personal.

Everyone should have goals, and you can look at these as evolving resolutions, maybe you just happen to reassess your goals at the start of the year. Each new year is looked as a clean slate, so it is a good time to check your goals to see where you stand.

If one of your goals is to retire by the time you are 60, and your next birthday will be your 59th, and you have yet to do any financial planning for retirement, you may have to rethink your goal/resolution.

This week’s RealPigFarming blog outlines five of the most common goals for 2018. You can read that blog for yourself, but the listed goals/resolutions center on work environment, antibiotic use, improving veterinarian-client relationships, working to be better stewards and giving back.

Goals/resolutions do not have to be rocket science unless of course, you work for NASA. Set goals that will improve yourself and your operation. Maybe you wish to reassess your management style and take a look in the mirror and truthfully answer the question “would you work for you?” The January issue of National Hog Farmer will help you answer that question, so look for that in your mailbox.

Maybe you want to hit that golden production target of 30-plus pigs per sow per year. That is an attainable goal if your operation is currently hovering around the upper-20s. If your farm is consistently hitting 23 pigs per sow per year, you may want to alter that goal of 30-plus down to, say, 26. Better yet, if that 30-plus mark appears to be too lofty of a goal, maybe you need to put more concern into what your operation is doing right and wrong, rather than getting hung up on a number. You can have that goal of 30-plus in the back your mind, but if your current management and processes will stall pigs per sow per year at 27, you need to fix those things before 30-plus are attainable.

Maybe you just want to better yourself. This time of year offers producers many opportunities to attend a meeting, seminar or state pork association gathering. Check out our Pork Industry Calendar for a listing of such events. Set a goal for you, or your barn staff, to attend some form of furthering education session to help them and your entire operation. Expand that goal of just attending one of these events, by bringing home one or two items that you can share with others on your farm.

Call it what you will — setting goals or making resolutions. You are the only one who knows what will work for you. Better yet, only you will know if you achieve your goals or not. Unless, of course, you share your goals with others or if you set goals or resolutions for your entire operation.

Remember, don’t set your goals too high. Unrealistic goals only set you up for failure. Even perceptibly attainable goals sometimes are not met. This does not mean that you or your operation is a failure. What that means is that you just need to study further why you fell short and strive that much harder to the right the wrongs for future success.

As the old analogy goes, “this is a marathon, not a sprint.” But at least make sure that you stay on track.

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