We’ve all heard it a million times and we know it’s true – successful people set goals. So why do so few of us take time to form goals, let alone stick to them? Probably because it feels like work.
To make it easier for you, DairyNZ has launched a new smartphone-friendly tool called QuickPlan. It walks you through a simple step-by-step process to help you answer:
- What’s my vision?
- How do I achieve that vision?
QuickPlan has existed in hard-copy form for many years. You may have even used it in DairyNZ discussion groups. It was originally developed off the back of the highly-successful Mark and Measure seminars and we’ve now turned it into an interactive web tool.
How does it work?
QuickPlan provides example vision statements, goals and actions gathered from years of interactions with farmers just like yourself. Select the ones you like, personalise them or create your own to build a clear plan for your business and life.
You’ll start by choosing your vision statement/s, which is a high level statement of what you aspire to achieve in the future.
Here are some common examples.
- Build enough equity through our farming business so in retirement we can have the lifestyle we want.
- To share our passion for the industry and play a leading role in the community.
- To continue to increase the size and profitability of our farm business to achieve financial freedom.
Once you’ve chosen your vision statement/s, you’ll be asked to select your key values, which might include things like openness and honesty, caring for the environment, family focus or reputation.
QuickPlan will then guide you into setting specific goals and actions in the areas of financial planning, production, people, and lifestyle.
At the end of this, you’ll be sent an email containing a plan that summarises your responses and helps steer you towards achieving your goals.
If you’re a visual person you might want to download a Planning Wheel to display your visions and goals. You can simply transfer the information from your plan to the Planning Wheel.
Keep it handy
Then, whether you pin your plan to the toilet door or keep it in your top drawer, we suggest you revisit it often to check you’re on track. This is supposed to be a living document – something you use to measure and monitor your progress towards achieving your vision.
It can also help you make decisions by considering whether different options align with your goals or work against them. The plan will keep you accountable. Want to get started with QuickPlan? Go to QuickPlan.
Ready for more?
If you’ve nailed QuickPlan and want to go one step further in the process, try DairyNZ’s fuller suite of resources at dairynz.co.nz/business. We have a new section on planning and you’ll find tools and resources previously used at the Mark and Measure seminars. Keep an eye out for upcoming online and regional activity that will give you the opportunity to build on this material and cement your vision, goals and action plans into your daily practice.
The missing step
Forming a great plan for you and your business involves three steps. QuickPlan helps you achieve two of them.
1. Knowing your vision and values
2. Setting goals and acting on them
What’s step three? It's getting clarity on your current situation.
This is about knowing where you are now in both your business and personal life. Having that clarity helps you identify the magnitude of the gap between your present situation and where you want to be in future. That’s the foundation for setting goals and actions.
So, how do you get this clarity? One way to benchmark your business's financial and physical performance is to use DairyBase. It lets you see how you compare with other farmers, and where you could make improvements. Check it out at DairyBase.
Another useful tool is the Farm Fitness checklist, which you received in Inside Dairy - March. This helps you take an honest look at your farm business and identify key focus areas to build your goals within. Give it a go at dairynz.co.nz/tactics.
1. DairyNZ’s new online QuickPlan tool takes the hard work out of goal setting.
2. Keep your plan alive – revisit your goals and actions regularly.
3. Getting clarity on your current situation is a key step in deciding where you want to be in the future.
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy May 2017