Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

What’s the ‘why’ behind your goals?

Getty/iStockphoto Notepad with 2022 goals, plan, action
Knowing why will get you through when challenges arise.

What are the big goals you have for your farm operation – goals that are perhaps still several years out in the future? Knowing what your major goals are – and having them in front of you each day – can help you and others in the operation remember what you’re all working toward.

That’s important, because there can be times when roadblocks to the farm’s goals seem to pop up all over the place. It can be easy to become discouraged, especially when progress is slower than you thought it would be, or when the needle seems like it isn’t moving at all.

Sometimes business leaders might even begin to sabotage their own goals, especially the closer that they get to actually reaching them. That seems counterintuitive – but it can happen easily so it’s important to be on guard.

Knowing why

When challenges arise to meeting the farm’s goals, the key is to know exactly why you’re doing this. Why do you want to reach this goal? It’s not enough to say, “to make more money” or “to reduce our costs.” For it to be personally motivating, the reason must go beyond that – to whatever is most meaningful to you.

Here are some examples of the “why” farm leaders might give for their goals:

  • To continue this family operation that the three generations before me worked hard to build.
  • To leave a legacy to the next generation that they can continue to run as a business.
  • To be my own boss and also offer good employment opportunities to others in my community.
  • To keep doing what I love, in the place I love to call both work and home.

Get it down

Those are just a few reasons – yours might be entirely different. Most farm leaders will have several different "whys” behind their goals. The key is knowing exactly what yours are and keeping them in front of you – literally. Make a list of your whys and read it over at least once a week – more often when you’re experiencing roadblocks or challenges to your big goals.

Doing this as a regular reminder will help you stay focused on the bigger picture of why running a successful operation is so important. It will also help you stay out of “self-sabotage” mode, remaining focused on the actions you need to take each day to move closer to the big future goals.

Also, remember to celebrate the mini-goals along the way. These are the smaller “milestones” that must happen along the path to reaching your big goals. It will help motivate you and others in your operation if everyone can see the mini-goals and progress being made toward them, especially if the goal is very large and will take a long time to reach. Make plans to celebrate these smaller goals, along with your farm’s team if they played a role.

Market goals

What goals do you have for your farm’s marketing plans in 2022 and 2023? Marketing is one of the top business drivers impacting the level of success that the farm operation can experience.

Farmers have found that working with our market advisors has helped ease their minds. The advisors help farmer clients with planning and execution around marketing decisions and help keep them up to speed on the current rapidly-changing grain market situation – and how it impacts their operation.

Get a free two-week trial of our marketing information service (MarketView Basic). Your free trial includes regular audio and video updates, technical analysis, recommendations and more. Learn more about our market advisor programs and offerings at

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.