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6 Tips for Setting Goals (And Sticking To Them)

“Well, it looks like there are definitely THREE babies in there!” the sonogram technician announced, and I was left absolutely speechless. When I had a moment to wrap my mind around the concept of triplets, the first words that I spoke to my husband were, “We are going to have to become the best versions of ourselves.” Looking back on this moment, I stand firm on the idea that I never want to be satisfied or content with myself. I NEVER want to stop striving to be better.  

It is undeniable that the role of “mom” comes with many ups and downs. While you often feel like you are doing it all, at the same time you feel as though you aren’t doing enough. To excel in one area usually has to mean that another area has to suffer. Here is where goal setting comes into play. By setting well thought-out goals, you will be able to prioritize the things that are most important to you while continuing on your journey to be the best (and happiest) possible version of yourself. 

Tips for Goal Setting: 

  1. Determine your “Why.”
    • Determine what your motivation is for setting this goal. Is it self improvement? Is it for your own physical or mental health? Is it something that will improve your life and/or your family’s? Make sure that your “why” is specific so that you can think of that when you may get discouraged. To be honest, my “why” is usually my own mental health and THAT’S OKAY! There’s nothing wrong with setting a goal specifically because it’s something that makes YOU happy. 
  2. Make sure your goal is S.M.A.R.T.
    • S- Specific: Your goal needs to be clear and specific. Being broad or vague will actually make the goal LESS attainable. 
    • M- Measurable: Tie your goal to a measurable amount whether it is a percentage, number, or frequency. 
    • A- Attainable: Even though all moms have super powers, remember to be realistic when planning your goal. No matter how badly we want to, we can’t do it ALL.
    • R- Relevant: Make sure that your goal is something you are passionate about and that is beneficial to you and your family. You will not be successful if you’re not motivated.
    • T- Time Bound: It is incredibly important that you have a deadline for your goal so that you can know when you have succeeded. But don’t stop there, on to the next goal! If you are trying to start a routine or habit like I am your deadline may be on a daily basis. Research shows that it takes about 21 days to form a habit. With the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines, I was able to take a goal of “Keep the kitchen clean” and transform it to my current goal: “Wipe down counters and load dishwasher every night before bed.” When this has become a nightly routine, I will be able to move to my next goal. 
  3. Write out an Action Plan.
    • Break down your goal into as many mini-goals as you need. Think about every little detail that you will need to accomplish in order to reach your goal and write it down! Do you need to buy meal prep containers? Get a gym membership? This is also a good time to predict what obstacles may arise. For me, obstacles keeping me from cleaning up the kitchen each night could include: getting the kids to bed late, falling asleep on the couch, or getting occupied with other things, such as watching TV.
  4. Get an Accountability Partner.
    • Do not keep your goal a secret! Making your goals known to others will help those around you keep you accountable. By telling my husband that cleaning up the kitchen nightly was my goal, he was able to help me prevent obstacles or help me complete the task. 
  5. Stay Positive.
    • There is incredible power in positive thinking! Stay away from all of those negative thoughts telling you that it is too hard or making excuses for not following through. Remind yourself of your reason why and don’t lose sight of it. If it helps you, write positive notes or quotes to yourself in places that you will see them often (on your bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator, etc.) Let me be honest…I HATE doing dishes. I would rather do almost anything else. However, I LOVE waking up to a clean kitchen. Thinking of how happy I will be in the morning always makes up for the time I spend half-asleep at the sink. 
  6. Review Frequently; Adjust if Necessary!
    • Goals are meant to be flexible. If you do not allow your goals to be reviewed and adjusted, you are setting yourself up for failure. Decide on how often you need to review your progress and allow for adjustment at this time. 

Most importantly, just remember that any little step you take toward your goals is a great thing! What goals are you working towards?

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