Goals provide you with a north star: you can wander towards it and stop to smell the flowers as often as you like, but you need to have a sense of direction, a purpose, and a way to get there.
As I’ve gotten older and become a mama, I find that there is one major theme that keeps popping into my life. The time will pass anyway. I used to believe in going wherever the wind took me. I was so open to all opportunity that I forgot to put up my sails. “Someday” kept passing me by, and before I knew it, I was pregnant and still working full-time building someone else’s dreams instead of mine.
I love the quote, “If you’re coasting, you’re going downhill”, as it made me realize that when you’re too “go with the flow,” you accidentally end up with no direction. Goals provide you with a north star: you can wander towards it and stop to smell the flowers as often as you like, but you need to have a sense of direction, a purpose, and a way to get there.
It’s not about writing down the first thing that comes to mind and going from there. Good goals take time. A lot of what we really want to get out of life has been tucked away in the backs of our minds. Especially as mamas, we put everyone else first and forget what we truly would love to achieve for ourselves. Take the time to draft out several different goals before really committing to the ones you plan to act on. Whether you journal for 2 days or a week, really give yourself time to think about what it is you want to accomplish.
Do you ever notice how many people set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight? Or to be able to fit into a certain size dress? If we are all so different at heart, then why do all of our goals look the same? If your goals are not connected to meaning, then they are just going to end up being ideas that will likely fail. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve planned for them, or what kind of roadmap you have designed to achieve them. If your goals are not connected to your heart then you won’t do the work.
Being a good mother or a good wife is not a good goal: that is a journey and something that you can never “cross off” your list. But doing something thoughtful for your spouse every month? Or taking your little one on a special date every month? Those could provide amazing opportunities for you to be a good mother and a good wife, and those are tangible goals you could eventually cross off your list.
Getting too specific can mean that you’re only achieving what you need to get you through the next month or two. Good goals can be big – launching a new e-commerce website, buying a house, paying off a credit card completely. Those are big goals that can certainly be achieved.
To achieve the “big goals”, you’ll need a roadmap. Dividing up your goals to have mini goals within them is not always intuitive, but once you start, you’ll never be able to go back. You’ll feel so much more accomplished when you cross off those mini goals, and you’ll know the exact next step you need to take after each one is completed.
You don’t have to sign your name in blood or anything, but if it’s a goal that needs to be accomplished, you’re much more likely to do the work and make it happen. You can be flexible about the journey, but not the goal itself.
This all comes back to the prep work you put into it – good goals take time, remember? Focus on the goals that bring out your passion and your work ethic. If you truly want to achieve it, you won’t take no for an answer.
Here’s one sure-fire way to make sure your goals aren’t flexible: have a serious deadline. Something real, with actual repercussions if you don’t get it done. Think child-specific end dates, like needing to get all your content submitted before your little one’s dance rehearsal schedule gets too serious. Or try holidays – upgrading your vintage inventory so you can sell at the Williamsburg Flea before the holidays start, or launching a new product to coincide with Mother’s Day. Having a deadline will make you work harder and plan smarter.
Visiting your goals and the progress you’re making (or not) is a monthly, weekly, even daily necessity. This is why I love having printables or notebooks to really “brain dump” all my thoughts, to do lists, worries, and deadlines. It helps to prioritize when you visit your major goals on a consistent basis.
It’s also important to revisit goals on a weekly basis because it helps you stay on the path – life happens and things might come up that might force you to transition your focus elsewhere for the time being. But coming back to the goals that matter to you will remind you to keep your eye on the prize.
And if you find yourself making no progress on a monthly basis for seemingly no reason, perhaps it’s time to make sure those goals are connected to what really matters to you. You won’t do the work unless your goals are truly aligned with what you really want, not what you think you want.
There’s a time and a place for everything – including goal planning and going with the flow. If you are too lackadaisical about your wants, they might remain wants instead of haves forever. While there is no magic spell to force you to get to work, knowing that the time will pass anyway certainly lights a fire within! And no one knows how quickly time flies like mothers do – we all know how everything feels like it was only yesterday. Planning for success and setting good goals will make sure that you’re taking charge of your life instead of letting life take charge of you.
Coasting can be a good thing – after pedaling up a mountain you’ll inevitably come back down. You’ll take a break from the hard work it took to get you up there, and you’ll want to relax for a bit and enjoy the ride. But eventually you’ll need to start focusing and start pedaling again. You’ll need to put in the work to get where you’re going. Having good goals to guide you will make sure you don’t stay coasting for too long.
To get started organizing your goals, head over to the We Heart Branding Shop for free printable downloads.