Welp, it’s happened again, just like last time—I’ve found that so much has changed in the last 8 months since making my second 101 in 1001 list that many of the goals are no longer relevant, or at least no longer top of mind. (I mean, I didn’t even CONSIDER that starting a flower farm was a real possibility when I made up the original list!) And while I’m still interested in completing *nearly* all of the original goals I set (with some exceptions), I also recognize that this particular season of life requires that I narrow my focus if I’m going to have any chance of success at all.
Unsurprisingly, it become abundantly clear that it would be impossible for me to regularly work on and grow a flower farm, two blogs, AND my photography business. So I have pivoted my focus and my goals in all of those areas, which is what the majority of the changes made below include.
Additionally, after we’ve now lived in our new home for more time, I have slightly different priorities for the work I want to complete here in the near future than I had before moving in. Some projects have become significantly less important, while other projects — that weren’t even on my radar — have suddenly jumped up in priority. Not super surprising, but my list definitely needed some updating to reflect that.
Note: There are affiliate links to books and products mentioned below, which means I may get a small commission on any purchases made, at no extra cost to you.
The Goals I’m Removing From the List
Basically, almost all of the changes I’ve made came about because I recognized that so much of my time is going to be tied up with running the flower farm business that I won’t have time for many other time-consuming pursuits (where I can help it, anyway). That’s why you’ll notice that most items cut had to do with major time commitments, like reading longer works or reading a certain numbers of books, as well as the goals of growing two other businesses (blogging and photography).
Others changed simply because they no longer became priorities (such as certain house projects) or because they no longer interested me.
Here are the goals I’ve cut:
- Get a second type of animal
- This one is less about time than it is about SPACE — we’re converting so much of our fenced-in backyard to flower farming that it really isn’t feasible to acquire a second animal right now. In the future this might change, but for now, I don’t see this happening in the next few years. We’ll just enjoy our chicken flock for the time being!
- Read 100 books in a year
- Flower farming is a full-time (often more than a full-time) endeavor, which means there is literally no way I could feasibly complete this goal (and I’m weird about audiobooks and don’t count them towards my # of books read each year). While I would LOVE to set this as a goal in some future year, I have to recognize that this is not the season.
- Read the unabridged version of Les Miserables
- Ditto the reasons as above.
- Reread Jesus the Christ
- I read this life-changing reference work while serving a mission for my church, and I’ve wanted to reread it ever since. Once again, while it’s still something I want to do, I’m just calling my daily scripture study good for now.
- Read the entire Saints series
- This is a series of volumes on church history, and I think I’ll save this goal for when the whole series has been released (and when I’ll hopefully have a slightly less hectic schedule).
- Blog 20 times or more in a month
- Blogging is still one of my favorite hobbies, but I don’t see this kind of blogging frequency happening anytime soon. While I intend to keep posting as regularly as I can, actually growing the blog is currently taking a backseat to the farm.
- Complete Module 3 of EBA
- I purchased Elite Blog Academy a couple years ago, but I still haven’t finished it. If I’m in a position to start focusing more on blogging as a money-making thing, I’ll definitely revisit this, but for now I’ll just continue to post my occasional affiliate links, which basically just cover my hosting and domain costs.
- Complete Module 4 of EBA
- Reach 1,000 people on my email list
- I am still occasionally sending out newsletters to my email list with exclusive content only for subscribers, but once again, this isn’t a priority for me right now.
- Update featured photos on all posts
- Still need to do this on my older posts from the archives, but it’s not a priority right now.
- Try vlogging
- I’ve gotten super into watching YouTube vlogs (esp. of flower farmers lately), and while I’m still interested in trying it out myself, there’s no way I have time for that right now. Maybe in a couple years?
- Upgrade to a better tripod
- My tripod still isn’t the greatest (especially on the rare occasion I need to use it to shoot directly downward, like for a flatlay), but it functions fine for what I need it to do during this current season (which is to allow us to take our weekly family picture), so I’m shelving this particular want for now.
- Buy a full frame camera
- Now that I’m not pursuing client work in my photography, there really isn’t much of a need to upgrade to a full frame. Do I still WANT a full frame? Sure. But now that I’m no longer making money from my photography, I can’t exactly justify that price tag…
- Take an online photography class
- One thing I had to relearn over the past few years was that it is usually better for me to sink more money into education than equipment when it comes to building a skill, but now, any time for education is all about the flower farm and flower arranging. I still enjoy photography and will continue to take pictures, but developing that skill is taking a backseat at the moment.
- Take an online Lightroom class
- Ditto as above.
- Photograph a(nother) wedding
- The natural way to pivot this goal would be to now provide the FLOWERS for a wedding, but I’m not there yet 🙂
- Reupholster a piece of furniture by myself
- I still think this would be a fun skill to start working on, but now’s not the season.
- Update laundry closet area
- I definitely want to do this still (I’m thinking of updating the shelving and adding some fun wallpaper is all), but I want our time and budget to go towards other house projects first.
- Safely remove gas heater in basement
- As the gas is shut off to this, it’s not as big of a safety concern as I was thinking. I still do want it removed eventually, but it’s not a super high priority at the moment.
- Paint the kids’ dresser
- I’m going to put this one off until the kids are a little bit older and will actually care a little bit about whether or not (and in what color) this gets done.
The Goals I’m Adding to the List
This is a new category that will be replacing the old categories of blogging and photography. While I will still be blogging (because for me, it truly is one of my favorite ways to relax), I AM taking a break — perhaps permanently — from doing photography for clients. My thought is that I only have so much time and that as the flower farm has been a true dream of mine for quite awhile (and by “true dream,” I mean “not something I just fell into doing,” like I did with the photography business), I need to give it my 100% effort and dedication for at least 3-4 years to see if it’s something I want to continue to do long-term. Only time will tell, but I’m loving so much about it this first year, and I think we could see some real success with it after a few years. Here are the new goals I have under this category (some of which I’ve actually already completed):
- Expand farm in back all the way to the lilac bushes
- Right now, the flower farm is mostly contained in 8 (soon to be 9) raised garden beds and 3 larger field beds in the former cow corral, chicken run area, and front yard. However, as our yard is just over a half acre and we’re only growing on about 1,200 square feet this first year, there is plenty of room to expand. Right now there is just lawn between the raised beds and the backyard deck, which is broken up only by a lilac hedge. If we end up expanding the flower farm from just the raised bed area to the lilac hedge, that will get us an additional 400 square feet or so of growing space. (For the reference, this is probably where we would be setting up the hoophouse I’ll be talking about below.)
- Expand front garden bed
- In the front of the house, we currently have a garden bed that’s about 5′ x 20′, which I’ve planted with hardy annuals and some perennials, in addition to the forsythia and mock orange bushes that were already present. We have plenty of space in the front yard to expand (as it’s almost all just lawn at this point), so we’re going to try almost tripling the size of the bed over the next couple years. We’ll have to put a walkway into the bed to make it usable, but it would give me a lot more planting space.
- Try a high tunnel (or hoophouse)
- A high tunnel is basically where you plant your crops into the ground, but you cover it with a greenhouse-like structure to protect from the more extreme weather. It’s usually not heated, so the biggest cost is upfront, for the frame and for the special plastic covering. A high tunnel would allow me to plant more weather-sensitive (but very high value) crops like ranunculus and lisianthus. I can still grow those crops without a high tunnel by using frost protection and low hoops, but the nice thing about a high tunnel is that you can actually walk into it to water, weed, etc.
- Try landscape fabric
- Just like with pretty much any farm, weed pressure is huge, and it can be hard to stay on top of, especially once the weather starts really heating up. My dream would be to put down landscape fabric with pre-burned holes in it on each of the in-ground beds so that I could just plant my seedlings into the holes and call it good. Landscape fabric isn’t terribly expensive, but it will be a time-consuming task to mark out the correct spacing, burn the holes, staple in the fabric, etc. However, it will make the farm look 100% better and also help significantly with the weed problem, so I think it would be worth the investment of both time and money.
- Install drip irrigation in the raised beds
- I’m quickly learning as a new business owner that TIME is one of my most valuable (and my most scarce!) resources. Anything that saves a lot of time on a regular basis is definitely worth looking into, and installing drip irrigation to all the beds would save us a TON of time. Between Matt and I, we currently spend about an hour and a half PER DAY to water all the crops and seedlings, so we are both definitely keen on the idea of installing drip irrigation in the future to cut down on the amount of time we have to spend on that chore.
- Expand to both a spring and summer CSA
- A CSA is where a customer pays upfront at the beginning of a farmer’s growing season for a “cut” of the produce (in this case, flowers). I offered just a single, all-season CSA option this year, which basically just meant that people could pay at the beginning for a certain number of bouquets throughout my growing season. Next year, I want to trial breaking it up into two parts: Spring (April, May, June) and Summer (July, August, September).
- Do a bouquet bar
- I got this idea from Flower Hill Farm on YouTube, and it’s basically where you just set up buckets filled with all your harvested flowers, filler, and greenery, and people come and make their own bouquets. I think it sounds like a ton of fun!
- Donate flowers to the local nursing home
- One of the things that most excites me about flower farming is the potential for serving others, and I think it would be super fun to donate buckets of flowers to our local nursing home for a build-your-own bouquet night.
- Host an event at the farm (like a u-pick day)
- I think I’ll maybe make this an annual event for CSA members, but we’ll see how it goes this first year!
- Try a seedling sale
- Okay, so I’ve actually already completed this, but it was a great experience and showed me that there is potential there for sure.
- Turn a profit
- This first year, we have spent a LOT of money getting the flower farm up and running. I also anticipate that we’ll have quite a lot of costs next year as we work towards getting more infrastructure in place (like the projects mentioned here). However, by Year 3, I want to actually be making money on this not-so-side hustle for sure!
- Have Matt build me a roadside flower stand
- While I haven’t had a ton of extra flowers yet so that I can sell bouquets other than those meant for CSA members, I anticipate that in the next few weeks, I should be swimming in surplus blooms. Ideally, I’d like to have a cute little roadside self-serve flower stand where people could stop by the farm, grab a bouquet, and leave cash in the cash box or just Venmo me the money. I don’t think it will happen this year, but I’m hoping we’ll have this done by next year for sure!
- Put up backsplash in kitchen
- Backsplash had never been on my radar at all for our kitchen, but now that we’ve painted the walls and cabinets and updated the lighting, the kitchen looks, well, a little plain. Putting up the shelf I have in mind will help, but a backsplash would go a long way towards infusing some personality into the space.
- Replace the sink + faucet in the kitchen
- This is one of those things that I didn’t even really notice until we moved in, but the kitchen sink is not in the best shape. I don’t know exactly what it’s made of, but there are gouges in it, stains that won’t come up (and it’s white, so they’re more noticeable), and something about the caulking or the angle of the counter or something causes water to pool down and leak down from the front of it. Since we’ve redone so much of the rest of the kitchen, it would be nice to have a new sink to complete the look.
- Clear out junk room in the basement
- Bleh…I mentioned The Room That Shall Not Be Named in one of my decluttering posts, but it’s BAD…so bad that it’s reminiscent of the second bedroom in our first apartment that literally took me a year and a half to clean up enough so that we could even use it as anything other than a storage unit. Although the room here isn’t nearly as bad as it was soon after we moved in, it’s still stacked high with boxes and other odds and ends and is unusable as anything else. Time to clear it out!
- Get quote on adding plumbing for 3rd bathroom in basement and sink out in workshop
- Our house has an odd layout, and perhaps the oddest part of it is that there are two separate basements (not connected to each other), each with their own staircase. In the newer basement, there is a strange closet-ish space that the former owners were using as a bedroom (though it lacks a window and you really shouldn’t) that they called the Harry Potter room. It would be the perfect size for a bathroom, and as we only have one main bathroom for everyone to use at this point in the house (the other is in the master bedroom), it would be nice to add a third bathroom down in the basement, where there isn’t any at this point. I have no idea how much a big project like that would cost, so the first step is just getting a good general idea of what kinds of funds we’re looking at to take on such a thing. As for a sink out in the workshop, that would just be super convenient to have one located out in that outbuilding, as it would mean I could do all of my seed starting and flower arranging out there rather than having to do it inside in the middle of our kitchen.
- Replace cracked window in the front room
- Didn’t really notice this when we first saw the house, but as this house has crazy high heat and A/C bills (even though we’re pretty conservative in our use of both), we need to start doing bigger fixes to hit at the root of the problem.
- Come up with organizational scheme for playroom
- This room gets soooo insane, and it drives us all crazy. Part of the issue is too many toys, but now that I’ve parted with around 100 of those, I think we just need an easy-to-use organizational system that is simple enough for both me AND the kids to understand.
- Move Raven to her own room and the boys in together
- We haven’t done much to decorate the kids’ rooms at this point because we know they’ll be switching things up soon enough. I don’t know for sure when this will happen (I know that for now, Raven really doesn’t want to sleep alone), but I anticipate that we’ll make the change sometime in the next couple of years.
- Prepare 72-hour kits for each family member
- As part of our current focus on being more prepared for emergencies, I really need to put this one on the list so that I stop putting it off indefinitely.
- Participate in (and complete!) a book challenge
- Since I took so many reading goals OFF the list, I thought it would be fun to add at least one to help make up for it. Over the past several years I’ve become more aware of several book challenges out there (and have even attempted a couple), but have never actually completed one. I like this goal because it can be as small as I want to make it, but it will still feel fun and new just because it will shake things up for me.
And there you have it—all of the changes I’m making to my 101 in 1001 list. Now go treat yourself to a couple congratulatory chocolate chip cookies for making it all the way to the end! 🙂