I’m so thrilled to be taking this week off from blogging to share another fabulous mama resource with you. Kelly runs an awesome site ‘Project Me For Busy Mothers‘ where she’s committed to helping moms seek balance and feel less overwhelmed in daily life. What a perfect feeling to kick off a new year, right?! Today she’s going to catapult us into 2015 with some practical goal setting and planning. Ready? Let’s get to work.
Happy New Year! It’s that time again when everyone’s buzzing about goals and resolutions. You want to join in and set some goals for yourself for the year ahead, but it’s kind of hard to know where to start. And there’s a part of you that knows your motivation levels dip after only a few weeks, so what’s the point anyway?
Well there is a point and, as the self-proclaimed Queen of Goals, I’m only too happy to give you a pep talk on why goals are super important to your health and happiness and to show you an easy way to create goals that’ll make a huge difference to your everyday life.
Living a life without clear goals is like being in a small boat out in the ocean without a sail or rudder. You may kind of know where you want to go, but each day takes you in a different direction. On calm days, it feels ok to drift. But when a storm arrives and starts tossing you and your little boat all over the place, you feel really out of control. And when the storm passes you’re lost and can’t even figure out where you’re meant to be heading anymore!
Goals are like a map of where you want to go and how you’d like to get there. Once you put up your sails and grab your rudder, you can steer yourself there much easier. Having a plan of action enables you to avoid a lot of storms and sail through calmer waters.
You’ll enjoy the journey a lot more!
So where do you begin to draw this map and figure out where you want to go? You’re a busy mom with everyone else to think about too, not just your own life! Isn’t it a little selfish to go off sailing without the rest of your family?
That’s where my unique style of Goal Setting for Busy Mothers comes in.
The ultimate goal is happiness. You’re steering your way towards happiness each and every day. You’ll need to make plenty of mid-course adjustments along the way, but if you keep your focus on happiness, you’ll sail more smoothly through the choppy times.
Happy mothers make happy kids and so this is not about being selfish. You create the weather in your home. Doom and gloom, or sunshine and warmth – it’s up to you.
It’s hard to feel happy when you haven’t got a good handle on some of the everyday stuff, so usually that’s a great place to start. Once you feel a better sense of control, it’ll open up the possibility to explore what’ll give you a greater sense of fulfillment.
Here are some great first steps for setting goals that will make life feel easier:
- Grab a notebook. Goals must be written!
- Create a page for each area of your life and brainstorm what would make each area feel happier or flow more smoothly.
- Now choose three things you’d like to focus on first. It’s tempting to want to dive in and make everything better all at once, but you’ll have greater success if you stick to three at a time and give those a leg-up first before moving on to others.
- Write your three goals using specific, present tense, positive language. Then write down the first three steps you’ll take to give your goal lift-off. Also include when you’ll do each step and schedule them in. (Use an Ideas Into Action printable to help you with this.)
For example, if your goal is to improve your productivity, choose one specific part of it to focus on first.
Maybe it’s meal planning so you know what you’re going to feed your family each day without the stress. You could write: I meal plan every week and feel great that I’m on top of this part of my life! (That’s what I call present tense positive – as if it’s already happening.)
Step 1 – Print off a stack of blank meal planners (here’s a link to mine!)
Step 2 – Schedule in a non-negotiable day each week to meal plan
Step 3 – Organize ideas/recipes to make it super easy (Use a 21 Meal Ideas Planner so you have an instant source of inspiration to draw from each week.)
Remember to write down ‘when’ you will take each step. This is the key to making it happen! Schedule steps into your calendar as if they were important appointments.
Let’s take one other example with photography, shall we? Let’s say you want to organize your photos this year. You could start: “I organize my photos a little bit each week and feel great that I’m making time for this important task!”
Step 1 – Take stock of where all your photos are and get them into ONE SPACE (like an external hard drive)
Step 2 – Schedule in a 20 minute non-negotiable block of time each day to work with your photos
Step 3 – Develop a folder and tagging structure to sort and arrange your photos. Year > Month > Event is my folder structure and then my tags could be the subject of the photo (the person’s name, the location, the type of object, etc…)
Remember to schedule your time to sort and organize in to EVERY day! It takes time to make something into a habit. So be sure to stay consistent.
Once you begin to experience success with your goals, you’ll feel inspired to keep going. You’ll begin to see problems as challenges that just need some focus and a plan of action.
Here’s to a smooth sailing 2015!
In the comments below, share one goal you’re going to create an action plan for. We’re all here rooting for you!
Kelly Pietrangeli is the creator of Project Me for Busy Mothers, helping women find a happy balance between the kids and everything else. Grab her Getting Started With Goal Setting video series. It’s free, fabulous and a great way to get started on your own Project ME.