Homesteading is more like a marathon…not a sprint. Learn how to stay motivated on the homestead when the farm and chores have you down…. and you just want to give up.
I can speak from experience, that homesteading is all fun and games in the beginning. When problems arise or the grind of everyday chores sets in, it can be hard to stay motivated, especially when convivence is all around. The convenience of modern-day life seems to speak loudly in those times of struggle on the homestead.
We use plenty of modern store-bought goods on our homestead but finding the right balance can be difficult. Ideally, I am constantly challenging myself to go further in the direction of self-sufficiency and learning new skills, where I can. It is not always easy. Here are my top tips to on how to stay motivated on the homestead.
Find someone you can share your passion with
Having someone to share an interest of farming with, can really help fuel the flames of homestead fatigue. Back in 2010 Grey and I were the only people our age in our town that had the interest to develop old fashioned skills. If it weren’t for us having each other, I would have felt very alone in my efforts.
Thankfully, we both shared what new idea we had learned and discussed our goals and aspirations about further developing our homestead. Other people to consider sharing your homesteading hobby or business with are grandparents, parents, teachers, other family, friends (older or younger), or even an acquaintance you met at a farmer’s market. Nowadays homesteading friends can be found much more readily. Especially with an internet connection.
Know what your “why” is
Homesteading isn’t easy. Knowing the reason behind why you are choosing this lifestyle is extremely important. In the beginning, like most things, it is easy to see farm work through rose-tinted glasses. Years, and sometimes, months into it and the feeling of drudgery can set in. Trust me, I know! That is when the answer to that powerful “why” question comes in handy. “Why am I doing this exactly?” Well, if you haven’t a good answer…that’s where a lot of people will throw in the towel. It is so important to define your personal reasons for why are homesteading in the first place. Here’s a list of common reasons that individuals and families choose homesteading:
- Have more self-sustainability
- Live a slower-paced life
- Have better quality and more control over food
- For Health benefits
- Farm-life nostalgia
- To build memories with children
- Escape the “rat-race”
- Eat more locally
If you are curious, here is our reason for homesteading.
Read Books/Listen to Podcasts by other homesteaders
If you have access to internet (which if you are reading this post, I assume you do) homesteaders are everywhere online! Blogs, videos, books, podcasts, and audiobooks are all a great source of encouragement, if farm chores have you down. Sometimes just knowing that we are not in it alone in it can be comforting.
Reading books, watching videos, and listening to podcasts is also a great way to learn new homestead skills. I have learned new recipes, how to make soap, and even how to shear a lamb, all from watching tutorials from my online homestead mentors. Having an online community is a strong source of inspiration, and education.
It is so easy to forget the good things all around us when we are knee deep in manure on the homestead. I find that practicing gratitude daily, during prayer/meditation time, or even writing in a journal can be highly helpful. Gratitude can change our attitudes about all of the difficult tasks on the homestead. It has power to shift our perspective from one of negativity to one of positivity. Next time, you are grumbling about gathering the eggs and feeding the chickens, try thinking about how grateful you are to eat farm fresh eggs. I like to remember, that there is someone wishing to have what I have right now. Here are a few quick ways to practice gratitude:
- Keep a homestead journal-this makes looking back on where you’ve come from a cinch. Remember when your garden was 1 tomato plant? Compare that to now and how far you have skilled up.
- Talk to someone that is aspiring for the homestead lifestyle, but isn’t there yet
- Write thank you notes to those that went before you and taught you something on the homestead.
- Stay present on the tasks that are in front of you today. It is so easy to look at too much of the to do list all at once. Just focus on today!
- Take up an artistic endeavor on the homestead-Photography, painting, wreath making, flower/foliage pressing are all great examples of artistic ways to enjoy the homestead. This helps bring a balance of work and enjoyment back to the homestead.
Look back at past successes
We all start somewhere. Chances are, if you have been homesteading for any length of time, you have grown. The homesteading lifestyle is one of a lifelong learner. There is always something to figure out, or a new problem to solve on the homestead. Your homesteading journey may have just started with a dream, and now you have something being produced at your own home. That’s a success! Any small step forward should be celebrated. Often, we quickly forget just how far we’ve come leaving us always wanting more. This can breed discontentedness so remembering our previous successes can provide some peace and encouragement, moving forward.
Keep the end goal in mind
Do you have a vision for this homesteading journey for you and your family? Keep that in mind. Keeping that picture in your mind of where you are going. Think of homesteading like a long car trip. The ultimate destination is the goal, and you can have a great trip or be completely miserable during the drive.
To have a great trip it is important to know you are going somewhere and the slight discomfort of the car ride is worth the outcome. If the discomfort arises and you are going nowhere with no vision, it is completely logical to get out of the car. I constantly remind myself of my ultimate goal to stay motivated, and you should to!