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Do battle every day for what you want most

Progressive Dairy Editor Walt Cooley Published on 07 May 2021

I love the photo I’ve included on this page. I took that photo last year of the green bean rows coming up in my garden. What I love about the photo is the hope I feel when I look at it.

What do I see? Soil that is mostly weed-free. The promise of another year’s crop.



Often, the promise fades and the end results aren’t perfect. Throughout the summer, weeds creep in. The plants don’t get quite enough water. Pests see the same prospect I do and attack for their own benefit. The end result may be a crop that isn’t as bountiful as it once seemed. I’m sure you’ve had similar feelings about your own fields.

Regardless, looking at that photo gets me going. It makes me want to help realize all the promise it shows.

Two of the inspirational leaders I follow have suggested a practice I’ll describe here that has recently been helpful to me. I share it with you in hopes that maybe it could help you as well.

The concept I’m referring to is a battle board. What is a battle board? Well, you may have heard of a vision board, and it’s something similar. The term vision board was too fluffy and dainty for me. I made vision boards in elementary school about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m a grown adult now.

The term “battle board,” however, I can get behind. That’s because my battle board represents what I’m fighting for. And as an adult, I’ve come to recognize that any meaningful progress or achievement is a fight.


The battle for achievement is a fight against the weeds of life that creep in. The most noxious of them all is a lack of time. How often do you hear someone say, “I wish I had time to do that.” “When I have more time, I’ll do more of …” Let me remind you that what you really want is achievable, but you have to fight for it – every day.

So the practice I suggest to you now is to create a personal battle board. What should you put on your battle board? Consider including photos of people or things you care about. Images that represent the meaningful progress you’re striving for this year.

Next, and this is the most important step of a battle board, look at it first thing in the morning – especially before you start scrolling through your phone. The science shows that doing this one activity will prime your brain to work toward what you really want instead of what just comes along and fills in the gaps. My battle board is a half-sheet of images glued into my daily planner. I’m a desk jockey, so maybe that doesn’t work as well for an on-the-go dairy farmer like yourself. Consider making your battle board your lock screen image or phone background. That way you can see it regularly and first thing each day.

The images on my battle board represent my goals this quarter. That’s another way a battle board is a bit different than a vision board. A vision board is an illustration of hopes and dreams for the future. A battle board is a strategy for goals and action for this week.

I’ve noticed a difference in the days where I look at my battle board first and not my phone. There truly is something to be said about priming your brain for action on the things that are most meaningful to you. If you like what you’ve read today and want to see an example battle board, I’d be happy to share the rest of mine. Send me an email or give me a call and I’ll pass it along.

As for the garden this year, things are looking good so far. I hope to be able to produce a crop of green beans sufficient to can 100 pints and store them up for use during the next year.


Weeds and pests beware – I’m ready to do battle. end mark

PHOTO: Green bean rows. Photo by Walt Cooley.

Walt Cooley
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