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Take page from Gen Z on New Year’s resolutions

Here are five goals you can incorporate at any age, but there is a sixth goal that Gen Z forgot.

January 6, 2023

4 Min Read
Motivational New Year 2023 resolutions list concept
GET GOALING: Creating too many large goals can lead to being overwhelmed in the new year. Instead, start with fewer goals that require a smaller investment of time. This should make them easier to stick to and help you look back and see achievement in 2023. IvelinRadkov/Getty Images

Go big or go home. No, I’m not referring to my 1980s hairstyle or the American Authors hit song in 2016, but rather the way we often set goals for the new year. Let’s face it, like the hairstyle and they song, they simply fizzle out.

So this year, let’s aim small and find steady improvement for our farm and life in 2023.

In need of inspiration

I’ve been goal-planning for a few decades. Right now, I could simply change the year and print out last year’s list because it all seems the same.

So, I decided to look at future generations to see exactly how they focus on goals. It led me to the Forbes Health/OnePoll survey that asked 1,500 U.S. adults in November about their 2023 New Year’s resolutions. Responses were broken down by age groups — 18 to 25 (Generation Z), 26 to 41 (millennials) and 42 to 57 (Generation X).

It was interesting that still after all these years health, whether physical or mental, remains top of mind. I guess we truly don’t stick to those resolutions after February. Still, it helped me jump-start my own goal process. Perhaps it will help you as well.

Find your 5

While there are 14 resolutions identified in the Forbes Health survey, I decided to whittle and combine them into a top 5 farm and life goals:

1. Improve mental health. Farming is a stressful occupation. It seems the next generation focuses on its mental health more than mine. I contend that my Gen X generation just shoves it to the back burner — OK, maybe hides it in the oven — when it should be on the front burner. So what does a mental health goal look like? Find three things I can do to help alleviate my anxiety surrounding the farm.

2. Improve physical health. This includes fitness, diet and weight. For me, the combination of diet and exercise should lead to a healthy weight. Over the years, I’ve found too much pressure on the scale is counterproductive to achieving and maintaining healthy weight. Again, farmers seem to put their physical health way down on the priority list. So, start simple and stick to it. Here’s your goal: Walk 3 miles five times per week.

3. Improve finances. Whether the farm or home, to better your financial standing, you must set goals. My husband has done an amazing job navigating this for our family, making us debt-free — house and all. This is not to brag, but to show that a designated financial manager works. While I like quick results, he understands the long play. So, over the years, he compromised and set one-, five- and 10-year goals. But start simple: Create a monthly zero-based budget.

4. Make more time for loved ones. It sounds simple. Most farmers spend time daily with family. But this is different. This is not work time with family on the farm. When both my girls were home, we did a monthly Sunday family dinner. It was a time to reconnect and enjoy being present, together. We still do these — but it is more like weekly because, well, I have a grandson. So, steal my goal: Sit down to one family dinner a month.

5. Learn a new skill. Farming is constantly changing as companies introduce new technology and software every year. Understanding these concepts is simply a part of your job. So, let’s think outside of that box. It may be obtaining that drone license or mastering that rub for the pork butt in your Traeger smoker. Everyone will have their own unique skill to master, but give yourself a time on that goal: Devote two hours a month to honing (fill in the blank skill).

Next gen needs new goal

There was one area I believe the Gen Z generation missed and, quite frankly, all generations, according to the survey.

6. Give back more. We are all busy trying to get our life, work and farm in balance, but we should make time to give. It can be in terms of money, but I believe our time and attention proves greater value for others and ourselves. Honestly, I think this goal can bring about great benefits with our mental health and physical health. Shoot, if you do it as a family, another goal gets checked off. And trust me, the more you charitable you are, you will see a difference in your own finances — investing in what matters. So … Volunteer eight hours per month with your community, school, church or charity organization.

Let’s all think small and find success in 2023.

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