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Goals: How to Discover and Define Them

I have a tank top that reads “what’s life without goals”.  There is a soccer ball in place of the “o” in the word “goals” so it is meant for me to wear to my kids’ soccer games, which I do.  Often, since we have a lot of soccer games. However, I think its a true general sentiment, because really, what is life without making goals to achieve?  It would just be a bunch of people aimlessly wandering around with no direction, no purpose, and no higher calling to achieve success in something that excites you or makes you feel good. It is your heart that often leads you towards your passion, but how do you turn those dreams into something attainable? Keep reading for some simple steps to create your plan of action.

Discover and Define Your Goals + Boost Your Productivity

Discovering Your Goals

We all have goals.  Big ones, small ones, crazy ones, really crazy ones, but have you ever actually taken the time to record them, or create a plan to reach them?  So often life gets in the way of setting out to pursue our goals. For a mom, that life is the kids that she raises. Not that her kids get in the way of other dreams. She wouldn’t change a thing when it came to her duties as a mother, her kids were her first dream and most definitely her greatest accomplishment.  However, mixing kids and goal chasing can be a bit, well, tedious. It requires a good amount of discipline and drive to work on creating a balance between the two worlds that ultimately cross paths on a daily basis.

The one thing that needs to be done before any real traction can be gained is to get a clear picture on the direction you are going. What are the exact goals you want to accomplish? Giving yourself a destination makes it so much easier to figure out what path you need to take to get there. It also gives you the opportunity to prepare for any road blocks, detours, or pot holes you might hit along the way.

Taking just a small amount of time to narrow down your goals will not only give you a good vision of what you really want, but it will make things a little easier to mix in with your mom life and all that comes with it.

Defining Your Goals

#1 Write them down.

When I say write them down, I don’t mean for you to scribble down a vague idea of what you would like to achieve if the the universe lined up perfectly with the zodiac signs.  Also, ideally you should use something other than a Post-it note or a scrap piece of junk mail for this exercise, like a piece of card stock or a shiny new notebook. Or your best option, of course, would be to grab my goal worksheet. 😉

Click the image or HERE to get your worksheet

Before writing down your goal ask yourself what it is that you really want to accomplish.  Be as specific as you can. For example, if you have a fitness goal don’t just write down something like, “I want to run a 10K”.  Say “I want to run the Coastal Edge Festival 10K in under 1 hour and 10 minutes”. 

If it helps, and this is especially suggested for large goals, create a vision board to give your goals a sense of realism.  You can even do this virtually on a Pinterest board or by putting together a PowerPoint slide show. If you prefer the old school method, cut out pictures from magazines and paste them on a piece of poster board. It’s like craft time for adults. For instance, if you have an income goal you are striving for, make a vision board of the things you will do with that increased income, such as paying off student loan debt, buying a house, or giving to your favorite non-profit organization.

If you are having trouble getting specific with your goals or narrowing down exactly what you want to achieve then visit this link to help discover what your passion really is.

#2 Write down your why.

Again, be as specific as you can with your reasons for wanting to pursue whatever goals you wrote down.  If your goal was to lose 10 pounds, then write down why you want to lose 10 pounds. Not, “because I want to weigh less”.  That is obvious. But why do you want to weigh less? What will that do for you? Will it give you more energy to get out and play with your kids?  Will it raise your self confidence in how you look? Will it get you back into your favorite pair of jeans that you wore pre-baby and miss more than a normal person should miss wearing a pair of jeans?  Whatever it is, write it down.

#3 Give yourself a deadline.

Be sure to set a timeline and completion date for your goal. Just by doing so it motivates you to spring into action and allows you to visualize your goal coming to life.

Some guidelines to follow when deciding on a deadline are:

  • Keep it realistic. Make sure you give yourself enough time to complete your goal and take into consideration that there may be obstacles along the way.
  • Be willing to adjust.  Sometimes it can be difficult to gauge just how long it should take to reach a goal. So if you find that you need to pull your date in a bit because you feel you can reach it sooner, then move it up a week or two. If you misjudged your original deadline and discover it is going to take you longer, then push your date out a little. Just be sure you are not moving it back because of complacency or laziness.
  • Celebrate. You may have one single deadline or multiple deadlines you have given yourself depending on your action plan.  When you do meet your deadline, or deadlines, feel free to reward yourself, within reason, and celebrate your accomplishments. Perhaps with a new pair of jeans. 😉

#4 Break your goal down into smaller goals.

One way to make your ultimate goal seem less intimidating is to break it down into smaller goals that you can set your sights on one by one.  For example, if you are a writer who is working on a manuscript that is required to be at least 50,000 words total, then you can break it down by chapter, or smaller words counts such as 5,000 words per day.

If you are someone who is just getting back into the fitness scene and want to workout 5 days a week, start with a smaller goal first, for instance 2 workouts per week for two weeks and increase your frequency from there.

#5 Create an action plan.

Having a plan of action is like laying the stepping stones to reaching your objective.  Take a look at your goal, or goals, and decide what actions it will take to reach them.  These actions are things you might need to do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Then, write them down.

For instance, if your goal is to run a marathon, then your action plan should consist of a regular training runs that increase in distance each week. If you want to grow your business, then contacting potential clients, marketing, and a social media presence might all be things you include in your action plan.

This step in the making goals process requires some organizational skills.   I am not naturally an organized person, so when it came to making an action plan, I had to learn what worked for me and then make a continuous effort to practice those skills.

One way to set up your action plan is by writing them in on your goal worksheet.  However, because your actions may change on a daily basis or as you get closer to reaching your goal, I highly encourage you get a planner that includes an hourly schedule for each day.  This will allow you to enter your tasks that need to be completed and utilize time blocking to get them done.

You Already Have What it Takes

You had it in your heart. Now you have it on paper, and everything you need to take action towards reaching your goals is right there. The first step is always the biggest, and most difficult. But girl, you already have what it takes. So get going, keep reaching, believe in yourself, and maybe say a little prayer because that never hurts. 😉

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE and check out our series on goals in our Mom Mindset section, including Why Being a Mom With Goals is Good for Your Kids and Balancing Goals with Mom Life

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