If you’re like many, you are bound and determined to make 2021 kick 2020’s butt. However, even the best intentions often end up in the rubbish bin after January passes and the new year’s resolution glow fades.
If you want to reach your dreams, you need to make an actionable plan and make daily progress steps. Here are eight ways for moms to set and achieve their goals this year.
1. Identify Your Hurdles
Sometimes, your hurdles are apparent. If there’s no way for you to obtain your degree without taking out student loans, you have every reason to wonder whether the effort and repayment will be worth it. It’s wise to sit down and make a list of pros and cons, including those that don’t readily come to mind.
For example, as the recent pandemic taught folks, having a degree improves your chances of finding work that you can do from home. It’s challenging to put a dollar value on such a perk — you never know when life may happen and hinder your ability to clock in physically each day. However, it’s also true that lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio when determining whether to extend a mortgage — how long can you tolerate renting?
Other times, your hurdles are more internal. You might not say out loud that you’re terrified of failure, but it can hold you back from trying life-changing things. Tackle your intrinsic fears by writing a list of the worst that could happen if you fail to achieve your goal. Once you see your fears in black and white, it’s often easier to dismiss them.
2. Select Something Meaningful
Having a sense of purpose to your goals helps you find your flow, that magical state where time seems to have no meaning, and you completely immerse yourself in the task at hand. Many endeavors that are worth doing take considerable time, like writing a book. If your only objective in doing so is to make money, you’ll find yourself dragging your feet. However, when you have something meaningful to say, your fingers fly — at least, sometimes.
Consider why you didn’t achieve your past objectives — were you not losing those last 10 pounds because deep down, you feel fine as you are and would rather enjoy your meals than sticking to an overly restrictive diet? Guess what — that attitude’s A-okay once you stop “shoulding” and stressing yourself out over it.
If an external factor, like time and energy constraints, holds you back, how can you free up those resources? Even working a distasteful second job becomes less burdensome when you remind yourself that you’re doing it to save money for backpacking through Europe.
3. Set SMART Goals
As the cliché goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you want to meet your goals, you need to make them achievable. That factor alone isn’t enough, though — after all, you have to fill the hours somehow, meaning that you did achieve something with your time, even if only the world’s laziest person award. Your goals must also be specific, measurable, relevant and time-bound.
Think of it like the five W’s. You already tackled the why, but what precisely do you hope to accomplish? Who will you impact when you achieve your goal, and where and when do you want to see results? Most importantly, how are you going to break large tasks down into manageable chunks?
4. Get a Planner
Even if you are on top of your game, procrastination can interfere with your best-laid plans. Achieving your goals means working toward them — even when you don’t feel like it. A planner serves as a visual reminder to get to grinding.
Old-fashioned paper planners work best for those who include tons of detail in their entries — or have big, loopy handwriting. Those with a more electronic mindset can find no shortage of apps to keep them on track and send them reminders.
5. Plan for Contingencies
Robert Burns once wrote that the best-laid plans often go awry — how can you keep the unexpected from derailing your progress? You need to plan for contingencies.
For example, if you want to start a successful blog, you must post regular updates. If you know you will be going out of town or moving, let your readers know when you expect to return. If you’re struggling with weight loss and a celebratory meal approaches, can you plan your indulgence so that it doesn’t make you entirely quit your weight-loss plan?
6. Celebrate Milestones
Completing any task that takes more than one day requires dedication. You deserve to honor your labor by celebrating each milestone.
Make your celebrations meaningful. Maybe once you step on the scale and see that 5-pound loss, you snag a new pair of workout leggings. After writing nonstop all week, indulge yourself by spending Saturday vegging through a Netflix marathon.
7. Build Your Support Network
Even the most determined benefit from the encouragement of others. As weeks become months, you need an attaboy now and then to stay on track.
Surround yourself with a positive network of friends who support your goals. Here’s one area where social media can encourage you. Each little “like” can feel like a pat on the back.
8. Never Stop Growing
It’s a rush when you accomplish a goal. However, even those who summit Everest still have to face the return trip.
Keep growing. If you built a successful side business, what’s to stop you from making it a full-time gig? Maybe you could help someone else someday achieve their dream — of working for you.
Moms, Set and Achieve Your Goals This Year With These Tips
Anything worth doing takes effort. However, even busy moms can set and achieve their goals this year with these tips.