I love New Year’s. I love the idea of the clean slate and starting over. I even love making resolutions although mine, like those of most others, are often forgotten by the middle of the month. This year, I am doing something a bit different. Rather than the traditional resolution, Bruce and I are going to formulate a mission statement. It is going to include some broad statements about what we want to accomplish in the coming months. In our case, the broad statements will include things like growing more of what we eat, reducing our energy consumption and cutting our spending. You might want to eat more from your food storage or reduce the amount you throw out each week. The idea here is to be broad rather than specific.

The mission statement will be followed by goals and objectives. Goals are a listing of what you wish to achieve and objectives are the actual tasks that will help you reach the goal and support your mission. Here’s one example from my draft mission statement.

Mission: We want to reduce our carbon footprint. (broad)

Goal: We will cut the amount of propane we use by 15%. (what we wish to achieve)

Objectives: We will replace two windows a month with high-efficiency windows. To achieve this, I will work one day a week and dedicate all of that income to the purchase of windows. Bruce will barter with our neighbor for the labor involved installing the windows.

Objective. I will make better use of the solar oven and crock pot to reduce stove use. When I use the oven, I will cook multiple meals each time.

Objective: We will purchase a timer for the thermostat.

Objective: We will lower the house temperature by two degrees.

Objective: We will get the chimney repaired so we can install a wood stove in the basement.

Objective: We will meet with the fuel company to discuss the purchase of a new furnace.

This is just one idea. You will certainly have a different mission statement than mine, one that reflects your values and lifestyle. I am going to include spending more time in nature,  and reducing our gasoline consumption. The thing about a mission statement is that it is based on the vision you have for yourself and your family. I like feeling that the goals and objects are fluid and can change as circumstances change.

I will have a draft mission statement ready to show my family on New Year’s Day. I hope they will help me tweak it and include other ideas and visions of their own. I will post it right on the front of the refrigerator where it will be tough to ignore. When I am unsure of a decision, I can refer to it and decide if what I want to do will support my mission or detract from it. Next year, we can reread it and see  just how fare we have come.

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