This past Monday, we began Round 2 of The Start Experiment…
I’ve written extensively in the past about what this is all about…so I’ll refrain from doing that again.
Last Monday was Day 1 of Round 2 of The Start Experiment. Last Sunday, I still had not chosen the goal/risk that I would work on for the 24 days of Round 2. I was really concerned about this…because I had not successfully completed the original goal or risk of the very first round… What was my original goal or risk, you ask? Good question.
My original goal or risk was to develop a proposal or lease that I could present to my parents in order to effectively lease one of their 20 acres. While they would likely let me homestead one small parcel of land because they love me and I’m their son…a large part of my desire to write this proposal is that not everyone who wants to begin a homestead has the luxury of settling down on a portion of their parents’ land. Moreover, a large part of the homestead is to work towards becoming more self-sufficient and independent…while sharing this knowledge with others and helping them learn to do the same. The homestead would be an exercise in independence while building and strengthening the community at the same time. This is in large part where the goal/risk of Round 2 comes into play. More on this in a bit…
While I got off to a good start with the proposal and lease that I would present to my parents…things “faded” about 7 days into Round 1. Besides moving out of the house I was currently living in (in San Diego), I was leaving my job as a Contract Utility Forester and picking up and taking a new job in Texas. This new job is a 6-8 month project and will likely keep me working in Texas until sometime after the new year. My focus quickly shifted from the first draft of a proposal to lease land to settling into a new job with new responsibilities in a new territory and getting acquainted with the new people I would be helping manage.
I suspected that this would likely be the case and it was the new job and the transitions I was facing last month that almost deterred me from joining The Start Experiment in the first place. However, I no longer wanted my employment to control and dictate my life so I decided to give it a shot. While I strayed from my original goal of the proposal, I made more progress on it than I would have made otherwise had I not been part of The Start Experiment and I also made some new acquaintances and maybe even a friend or two. We’ll see. Overall…my inclusion in The Start Experiment was a good thing and a success – having accomplished more than I would have if I hadn’t done it.
So, last Sunday, we’re about ready to kick off Round 2 of The Start Experiment and I’m a little concerned because I haven’t selected what I’m going to do this time around. Moreover, I “failed” with my original goal and I was wondering if I should spend the next 24 days trying to complete what I set out to do in Round 1. Luckily, people involved in The Start Experiment have formed a pretty solid online network through facebook and I reached out to the group for some assistance in identifying my risk/goal as I was clearly overthinking everything.
You may be reading this and thinking how absurd and stupid all of this is…you are absolutely correct. These are the big challenges in my life and I wholeheartedly acknowledge this and am grateful. There are so many other people dealing with real problems in life…I’m busy whining and complaining that I can’t think up a good goal/risk to take for a personal project that I’m working on in my spare time? Puh-leeeeeze.
Anyways, as I made a post to this community, several people immediately made some comments and came to my assistance. One gentleman named Derek suggested that rather than work on the proposal aspect and the actual acquisition of the land…why not spend the time identifying a “vision” and “mission” statement behind the whole homestead idea in the first place. Since the entire project of the homestead is “on hold” due to the current project I am working on at the moment – he suggested developing vision and mission statements.
- Vision Statement – WHY are you going to homestead?
- Mission Statement – HOW will you do this?
There were some other little suggestions that I received from him and others to guide me in the right direction…but I decided that this would be a great place to start. I already know the answers to these questions, but I agreed with him that outlining and clarifying these statements would be a great place to start since I was having trouble identifying what I should select as my goal / risk.
Often times in life, we know what we want to achieve in life and we may know that we have the capacity to achieve it, but taking the first steps can be challenging and overwhelming. The reality is that we need to take baby steps.
So…being the writer that I am with a mind that functions like mine does, I could set out to write a vision and a mission statement, but it’s highly likely that these single statements could turn into 1000 page novels. I need structure…
Over the past few years as I’ve taken steps to grow my career, I came across the Mind Tools website. Today, a quick google search for structure on Mission and Vision Statements brought me to this article here.