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Leave a Legacy

RSS By: Kevin Spafford, Legacy Project

Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project.  He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.

Get 'SMART' About Your Goals

Feb 26, 2014

iStock Green FarmFrom Legacy Moment (02.07.2014).
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Your dreams define your succession planning goals. For most families, their goals for succession—their intentions, wants and desires—will fall into the following three broad areas:

1. Creating, maintaining and transitioning a viable operation.
2. Preparing the next generation for leadership roles.
3. Enhancing the family's long-term financial security.

Each succession goal should be broken down into attainable objectives. What has to be accomplished in order for the family to enjoy the experiences you dream about?

Goals should be written in the "SMART" format—meaning they should be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound.

Specific: Most people who suffer bouts of indecision and frustration are handicapped by a lack of vision. If you know exactly what you want, decisions are easy.

Measurable: A goal must be measurable. The objective is either met or not. If not, how close did you come? Will more effort get you there? How much harder should you try?

Actionable: Nothing happens until someone takes action. A person can wish, hope and want all day long, but the only way to accomplish a goal is to take action.

Relevant: The decisions you make and the actions you take determine your success in reaching a goal.

Time-bound: It's well-known that without a deadline, nothing would ever be finished. Time serves two functions: There must be a sufficient amount to ensure a successful outcome but not so much available that it fosters procrastination.

Set goals and then take the action necessary to achieve your vision of what's best for everyone.

News & Resources for You: 

It can be challenging to get specific about goals. Our worksheet can help.

You've outlined your vision and defined your goals. Take the next step to building your dream farm by writing a business plan.

Learn more about how to achieve your goals through the resource library at  eLegacyConnect.

Be sure to sign up for an upcoming Legacy Project Workshop. We'll be making stops in Lansing, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; and Syracuse, N.Y.

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