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Ranchers Tyler and Amanda Radke are setting goals for the 2019 calendar year to help move their agricultural business forward. (Photo courtesy of Courtney Coughlin)

New Year's resolutions for ranching families

As 2018 draws to a close, we'll welcome a New Year! With a fresh slate heading into 2019, we have 365 days to become better versions of ourselves.

Data from a recent poll conducted by Statista reveals the most popular resolutions, which include: save money (53 percent), lose weight/get in shape (45 percent), have more sex (25 percent), travel more (24 percent), read more books (23 percent), learn a new skill or hobby (22 percent), buy a house (21percent), quit smoking (16 percent) and find love (15 percent).

According to Forbes, more than 40 percent of Americans make New Year's resolutions. Seventy-five percent of those folks kept their resolutions for one week. By one month, just 64 percent remain. That number drops to 46 percent by six months, and only a rare 8 percent of folks actually achieve the goals they set for the upcoming year.

"Setting ambitious resolutions can be fun and inspiring, but the difficulty in achieving them means that your elation can quickly give way to frustration," says Dan Diamond for Forbes. "That's why goals should be bounded by rational, achievable metrics."

Experts also recommend that creating a vision board, charting progress or making clear to-do lists can serve as a daily reminder of what you're working towards. Also, don't be afraid to share your intentions, so family and friends can hold you accountable to your goals. And don't abandon your goals if you mess up, Diamond says.

There's no reason you and I can't be among the 8 percent of folks who successfully execute their goals in 2019 and beyond. So what are some smart goals for farmers and ranchers? I've compiled my list that could serve as inspiration for other ranching families.

• Continue learning

Successful producers are constantly learning, growing, expanding and taking calculated risks based on the things they've read or talked about. In 2019, I want to continue to grow as a beef producer, and to achieve that goal I need to continue to develop my relationships with my team of agricultural advisors. My banker, nutritionist, veterinarian, accountant, financial advisor and insurance agent have a wealth of information to share. If I tap into these resources more frequently, I will have solid information to work with as I make business decisions for the operation.

2. Get organized

Each year, I'm guilty of scrambling to find documents, calculate inputs, gather receipts and update the accounting just before our tax appointment. In 2019, I resolve to get organized once and for all. I can no longer let paperwork pile up before it's filed and accounted for.

A tangible action item to achieve this goal would be processing mail, bills, invoices and other documents immediately upon receipt. I need to allocate time each week to update files, reset the office and have a "meeting" with my husband to discuss upcoming expenses, meetings and our busy schedules.

3. Be intentional

Like so many in agriculture, I wear many hats each day as a mom, wife, daughter, rancher, writer, speaker, author and friend. Balance is difficult to achieve, so I need to be intentional with my time. This is easier said than done when working from home with kids underfoot. However, instead of trying to multi-task and do everything at once, I need to use my time wisely and be intentional with my actions and my to-do list. If I block out chunks of time to solely work, I won't be distracted or too busy to enjoy my children. To improve in this area, I will enforce a no technology rule from 6-8 pm, so we can truly focus on supper, showers, reading and the bedtime routine of our three little ones.

What are your New Year's resolutions for 2019 and how do you plan to achieve them? Email me your ideas at amanda.radke@live.com. Cheers to a wonderful New Year!

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