Becoming a mom is a huge transformation. You hear it from a lot of moms, and the same was true for me. For a long time after my daughter was born, I had a feeling that a large part of me went missing. For a long time my life revolved around just being a mom, and each day I just lost a little bit of myself. That is until I decided that I wanted a change and started to make life goals for myself. This is something I am naturally good at, but let go after I became a mom. In this simple promise to set goals that I made to myself, I stopped emptying my cup and started filling it instead.
There are so many wonderful benefits to setting goals that pay off in the long run. Change doesn’t happen overnight, it is slow. But change cannot happen if you don’t take the first step.
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How to Set a Goal
To set goals isn’t necessarily something we are born into. It is a skill set that can be learned though. It is important to set goals with the proper method because otherwise it can lead to failure. For example, say you want to declutter your house, but you don’t lay out a plan. You start in one place first, and then next thing you know you are scattered between projects and finally give up. But, if you break down decluttering to small portions that you focus on, you will in time accomplish the goal of decluttering your house.
When you set a goal, keep the SMART method in mind.
Each letter represents a different aspect of setting your goal They are:
- Realistic (or relevant)
Instead of making blanketed goals, be as specific about your goal as you can be. For example, instead of “I’m going to declutter my house” be as specific as you can. Most importantly write it down. When you’re writing out your goal list the steps you are going to take and any obstacles you might encounter and how you will overcome them. There’s a psychological reason for this, basically if you write it down you are turning an abstract idea into something tangible.
This is where you break down the steps. By measurable it means that you can basically have a check list so you can see how far you’ve come. There will be times you feel like giving up when you have a goal, but that check list can be a great reminder of why. Speaking of why, part of “measurable” is a why. Why are you doing this? What is motivating you? Take a picture, write it down, and stick it somewhere you can look at it every day. Vision boards are great for this. I started one this year, and it has helped me stay so focused on my life goal. It’s literally in my face every day, I can’t ignore it.
I’m just going to be bold enough to ask what you think the number one reason for failing a goal? Because I believe that it is setting unrealistic and unachievable goals. I don’t mean don’t dream big, do dream big, but don’t give yourself unrealistic standards to live up to. Going back to the decluttering example, because it’s consistent, an example of achievable is “Every day I am going to declutter one area of my house.” Where as an example of unachievable is “I’m gonna have this house minimalist by sun down.”
Low ball your victories enough that you can accomplish them. Even if it is a little victory, those count – because they add up. Don’t discredit them, because they are the backbone of achieving your life goal.
This builds off of achievable, in that they are sort of the same. Realistic means be real about your dreams. It’s all about finding the balance between the big dream and what is realistic for you. That’s not to say that you get to that landing post of goal achieved and you don’t go any further. The goals we put behind us is what personal growth is.
I’ve heard two takes on what timely means, and I will tell you what they are and why they work or don’t work. But before I do I just want to say this, do not ever let yourself give up on the simple need to rest. For example, say you’ve set a goal to exercise 3 days a week. But, one day you aren’t feeling it. Just let yourself have that day. You also need to rest, because you can’t get anywhere on an empty tank. Listen to your body and what it is telling you.
Okay, back to the subject – timely. The first way that I have heard the timely aspect being utilized is by issuing a specific target dates. Which, if that is realistic to you then go for it. Personally, I don’t do good with firm deadlines, I do better with the second utilization of timely.
The second way that you can think of timely is to look at it as daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Your daily goals build your weekly goal, which builds your monthly goals, which build yearly goals, and so on. To me this feels like a much more realistic way of ensuring my goals are timely.
Tools to Help Along the Way
Staying motivated can be challenging when you are setting out to set and achieve a goal. So it is important to lean on outside help from time to time. Here are a few great items that you might find handy to lean on:
- Bullet Journals (Check these ones out, click here, here, and here)
- Vision Board (Really just a bulletin board – here’s some options here, here, and here)
- Motivational Quotes (You will need to be psyched every day to smash out goals check these out here, here, and here)
- Personal Planner (An option, I like to use calendars to plan. There’s some options when you click here, here, or here)
- Goal Planner (Also an option – There’s some super cute ones found here, here, and here)
- Daily Meditation (Check out my article here) to help you focus.
Reasons Why You Should Set and Achieve Goals:
I’m not a life coach, so I am not sure I am even allowed to make these bold statements. I am somebody who went from floating through life to smashing out goals. The benefits are immeasurable and rewarding. Even if the victories are small it’s still worth pursuing, and here are 7 very good reasons why you should set goals in life.
- Gives you purpose – After I became a stay-at-home mom I lost purpose in my day. I felt listless and I really had a hard time feeling that way. Especially since I can be a super motivated, super driven, super focused person when there is something I want. By establishing goals you have a purpose in your day. Ones that goes beyond waking up, feeding everyone, rushing around like a mad person, and then going to bed in a heap of exhaustion.
- Keeps you motivated – I don’t know about you, but when I feel motivated I feel like I can take on the world. Constant motivation can be very impowering.
- Ups your confidence – When you feel like you are impowered you also feel confident. You start to realize that you are indeed a capable person and you can do whatever you put your mind to.
- Keeps things positive – How can you not help it but to start to feel positive and see things in a positive light when you are knocking out goals?
- Improves relationships – If you are feeling better about yourself, and with a more positive outlook. I think naturally your relationships with those around you improve also.
- Personal Growth – Every goal you smash out you grow a little, becoming a better version of yourself with each milestone passed.
- Sense of Accomplishment – Maybe this isn’t the same for everyone, but I feel that if there is a sense of accomplishment in a day I feel like the day is fulfilled. Therefore I feel better about my situation and self. It’s cyclical because the more sense of accomplishment there is the more you want to accomplish!
The Tidy Up
Maybe there is something that you have always dreamed of doing, maybe it’s as simple as finishing a task. Whatever it is, a good plan and a path to the finish line is all you need to get there. Setting goals is like giving your life a road map and directions to the destination. Keep in mind that the more detailed your directions are, the better the chances are of you reaching the destination.
If you use the SMART method and lay out a detailed plan the big dream that you have can become a reality. Don’t give up!