Goal Setting for 2022

Make Healthy Eating and Local Food Buying Easier This Year

If you are doing a deep dive of your 2022 new year’s resolutions here are a few helpful techniques inspired by the book Atomic Habits. These tips can be applied to any goals you have set for this year with plenty of examples focused on eating well and buying local!

Focus on the Process

When it comes to goal setting the process is always more important than the outcome. For example, if you have a goal to support more Kentucky farmers (That's great! We do too!) this can only be accomplished by determining what the action step is and next the frequency you want to do it. This could mean placing an online order with a farm once a month (search the OAK directory to find a farm here), going to a nearby farmers market a bi-monthly, or signing up for a CSA share and picking it up weekly. Each of these actions can meet your goal of supporting more Kentucky farmers (Yay!). Don't forget to choose a reasonable frequency for your schedule.

Another key factor to keep in mind when goal setting is to connect a new activity or goal with an old one. Think about the time of day you want to do the activity and try to stack it on top of another already established habit. For example, when it comes to going to the farmers market could this activity happen after you make your coffee on Saturday (a well established ritual), when you get off work on Tuesday? Realistically assess what works and set a reminder or invite a friend to hold yourself accountable.

Now, go ahead decide what it is and when you want to do it just repeat.

Make Your Goal Obvious

Help yourself get to your goal by setting up a system of physical reminders in your home. For example, if you are setting a goal this year to eat healthier, make the healthy foods you want to eat more accessible in your home. An easy way to do this is by properly storing and organizing your produce as soon as you get it home. We recommend placing any prepped food in clear containers so they are easy to see and placing them at eye level in your fridge.

Another example of making it obvious could be to set your seed catalogues out on your kitchen counter or nightstand to remind yourself to get started with your garden planning for the season. You could even put a reminder in your phone about when you want certain tasks to happen. This takes a theoretical goal and puts it into daily routine.

Have Fun with It

You are much more likely to do something that brings you joy. It’s important to figure out what the motivators are that will help you complete a action step to get to your goal. If you want to cook more with seasonal ingredients this year...how can you have more fun with this goal? It could be as simple as inviting a friend over to make a new dish, it could be participating in an online healthy food forum that motivates you to try a new vegetable (check out the CSA in KY FB group for suggestions this year here), or participating in a chef demo or cooking class. When you are having fun your action steps are much more likely to be repeated.

Reduce any Barriers

Goals with too many steps won’t get done or be repeated. Review the process or action step and simplify it. For example, If you are trying to buy more local foods it’s important to set up a system that feels as easy (or easier) as shopping at the grocery. Find ways to simplify any actions steps to get to to your goal. If your process now is taking up too much time consider choosing home delivery from a local farm or finding a farm or CSA pick-up closer to your work or home. When it is convenient it will stick.

Think Little

It’s better to set small goals that feel achievable that will lead you on the path towards the big goals. If you want to be a local food hero the easiest place to start is by investing in the food system. This could be with your time or money but it doesn’t have to be an epic gesture. You don’t need to spend 100% of your food budget to accomplish this goal simply shifting any dollars you are currently spending on food towards Kentucky farmers is a win. These small steps all add up and create the momentum of the bigger movement.

Have a suggestion for goal setting or local food purchasing tip? Email us at organic@kyfarmshare.org.

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