Mid January, most of us mortals have been to the gym once, perhaps had a couple of healthy meals, maybe got to chapter 2 of that new book and maybe even downloaded that app that someone recommended would change your life… but you can’t remember what it was or where it goes when you download it!
New Year’s Resolutions get a pretty bad rap. Most are considered flippant and, at best, aspirational. Not something to really stick to… but what if you did.
The origin of New Year resolutions
Interestingly, the practice stretches back some 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians who are said to have been the first people to promise to right their wrongs! I would be remiss to also note that these sensible antecedents were the first to celebrate the new year and did so in Spring when the new crops were planted. (See, there’s roots in Agriculture everywhere!) Anyway, during this festival of Akitu the Babylonians made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return borrowed items. If the Babylonians kept to their word, the gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year.
How to achieve your goals?
Fast forward to today and you’d likely be surprised to know that US Professor John Norcross found 46% of people who made New Year’s resolutions (e.g. weight loss, quitting smoking) were 10x more likely to succeed than those making life changes at other times of the year.
Ok, I hear you say, what’s this got to do with farming?
Well, in my own family lineage of agriculture I like to envisage that each generation as custodians of our land have around 30 seasons to experiment, trial and make new resolutions. (That’s simple math of generational handovers). So, the point is, if you are going to be efficient with your experiments and truly affect positive change then you must do so with quantitative science as your crutch. Otherwise, you’re just throwing darts – and more power to you if so – but for those genuinely looking to make a positive financial, sustainable, tangible gain from your farm you simply must record your data. Not just “about right” in your head or on a bit of paper, but digitally.
There are a plethora of apps and softwares and drones and sensors offering you fool’s gold of a guaranteed change. But the only resolution that is guaranteed to enable you to make a robust improvement is to find a method to repeatedly, regularly and accurately record all the movements, inventory, costs and expenses on your farm. I can’t promise that you’ll lose those extra Kgs you’ve been piling on… but, if you really commit to make that digital data recording change, you might just find next year is celebrated with a pop at midnight!