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Are you ready to meet your goals this year and turn your dreams into a reality? Here’s help!
Getting in shape.
Starting a business.
It’s the time of year when most people are thinking about goals and how they want to improve their lives by this time next year.
I know I didn’t used to meet any of my goals. I’d jump in wholeheartedly and then fizzle out around February. I constantly felt like a failure.
But then something changed a year ago.
I realized something essential about meeting goals. And this new knowledge changed everything.
In the past year, I’ve dropped weight, grown my business enough that my husband could stop working, and read more books than I have in the last five years combined.
If you’re tired of never reaching your goals, this post is for you. I share why I was able to make progress this past year, and give you plenty of tips to help you do the same.
Are you ready to meet your goals? Keep reading!
1. Break Down Your Goals
You will never reach your goals if you don’t have a plan to get there.
And, if you’re like me – an overwhelmed mom trying to get things done – big lofty goals are way too intimidating. They seem too far away to reach, like they are unattainable.
After all, you can’t just wish your goals into existence.
So you have to think about it a little differently…
You have to break it down into baby steps.
Want to lose weight?
One baby step you can take is to walk more.
Another would be to drink more water.
Or eat more vegetables.
Any one of those baby steps, when taken consistently, would move you towards your goal.
Let’s look at another goal, of starting your business.
There are lots of baby steps in this one – deciding what kind of business to start, determining the legal steps you need to take, and then finding clients. You may need to take a course and consistently complete lessons.
One after another, take the baby steps. Don’t focus too much on the end – instead look at the path. Do it one thing at a time and before you know it, you will so much further down it.
Action Step: Make a list of your goals. Then make a list of baby steps for each one. Seriously break things down as small as possible. You want to have achievable, non-overwhelming steps to take.
2. Don’t Take Too Many Baby Steps At Once
Baby steps are small, but they are still changes. And if you try to do them all at once, you are going to get overwhelmed.
It’s much better to slowly add your baby steps, as you adjust to the new normal.
Take it slowly. Slow progress is still progress.
Small steps everyday will lead you to victory!
Action Step: Pick a baby step and get started. When you accomplish that one, or make it a natural part of your life, pick another. Don’t make too many changes at once!
3. Don’t Despair If You Miss a Day
Kids get sick.
The car breaks down.
And when these things happen, you might temporarily stop making progress. You might throw your diet out the window and eat that bag of Skittles that’s been calling your name.
Messing up a couple of times doesn’t mean you are a failure.
I used to truly struggle with perfectionism. I thought if I didn’t do something perfectly, it meant I shouldn’t do it at all.
I really took that old saying to heart – if something’s worth doing it’s worth doing right.
But, the truth is…there will be a lot of times when it won’t be done well. Especially when you are learning.
And most often, I’ve discovered that done is better than perfect.
Because none of us are perfect. And if perfect is what you’re striving for, you will never get there.
So give yourself grace. Celebrate the wins and if you fall, pick yourself back up and try again.
You will still be way further along the path then when you started. But, if you stop because you aren’t racing along without falling, you will stay stuck.
Learn from your progress. Do better next time. But don’t stop.
This tip helped me the most when it came to weight loss. I used to start a diet and as soon as I cheated, I threw the whole plan out the window. But, I’ve embraced that there will always be days that are harder than others. And that eating a treat after dinner one night doesn’t mean that I then have to binge on everything else…
Action Step: Recognize that failure is part of the journey. But, it doesn’t have to be your final destination. Get back up and try again.
4. Practice Contentment
When reflecting on the past year, I was trying to figure out why I was able to do so much more than in the past. Then I realized that contentment played a large part in it.
I used to confuse contentment and complacency. In other words, I thought that by being content, I must never strive to be more.
And I wanted more.
I didn’t want to be super broke for the rest of our lives, or drowning in debt. I didn’t want to be so burdened with my weight that it affected how I interacted with people.
Yes, I wanted more out of life. But I struggled, because I thought I wasn’t “supposed” to.
Contentment Does Not Mean Complacent
Thankfully, trough a lot of prayer, Bible study, and working through Rachel Cruze’s The Contentment Journal, the difference in the two words become clear.
You can absolutely want more out of life. But, along the way, you need to be thankful and grateful for what God has provided. You need to realize that everything comes from God and that He has a plan for you.
Because we absolutely have a ton to be grateful for.
No matter how broke my family was, guess how many times any of us went to bed hungry because we didn’t have food for a meal?
Guess how many times we didn’t have a roof over our heads?
We never had to go out naked because there weren’t any clothes. Or barefoot because we didn’t have shoes…
I’m sure you get my point:
Even though we were totally poor financially, we still were abundantly blessed.
And I had to learn to see that. To be grateful. And to let gratitude be my starting point instead of want.
Contentment changes everything. The desire for more was no longer consuming. I didn’t feel like I ‘had” to achieve X,Y, or Z to be of value. It took the constant pressure I was trying to put down off.
And when I stopped and started being grateful, and recognizing that I could live my life well even if none of those other things happened…
That is when the tremendous growth in my life started occurring.
Are you content? If not, I challenge you to work on that this year. Pick up a copy of The Contentment Journal, and work through it. Your copy won’t come with these lovely cover art additions my toddler added, but it can still help you practice contentment.
Action Step: Do a self-check – how content are you? Are you also feeling that content means complacent? Start counting your blessings daily, even if it’s just writing down one or two things that you’re thankful for.
Mompreneur Tip: How to Find Time to Do the Contentment Journal with Kids
Honestly, the journal sat on my shelf for a couple of weeks after purchasing it. In my mind, I had to have a quiet, reflective time to get the most out of it.
But, as a busy mom with nine kids, that time time didn’t happen. And so there it sat, collecting dust.
Then one day, I pulled it out during our family morning Bible time. I asked my kids to each go get a piece of paper and a pen.
And I read the prompt.
We all spent a couple of minutes writing. Then we had a time where people who wanted to share could.
And we made this a habit.
Sometimes I had to tweak the prompt to make it something relevant to the kids, but I just did this on the fly and then I answered the “real” one while they were writing.
Was it always quiet and reflective? Nope.
But it got done. And if I forgot, the kids were quick to remind me – that motivated me to actually get through it.
My point is that you shouldn’t wait until things are “perfect” to get started. They will never be perfect.
Do what you can. Adapt.
5. Seek God’s Plan for Your Life
You can set all the goals you want in life. But, the best way to work towards achieving them is to make sure you are following God’s plan for your life.
Spend time in prayer. Seek God. And He has a way of prompting you in the right direction.
Sometimes that will involve seasons of rest. Seasons to recover. Or to learn skills.
But you can trust that His plans for you are perfect. And learning to trust God and His timing is so important.
This might mean changing your goals for the year. And that’s okay!
Action Step: Spend time in prayer, seeking God’s will for your life. Ask yourself if your goals are in line with that plan, and if not tweak as necessary.
6. Pick Goals You Are Happy With
Just because you set a goal doesn’t mean it’s the right goal for you.
Before you jump wholeheartedly into doing the things to achieve the goal, make sure it’s the goal you want.
If you hate running, setting a goal to run a marathon doesn’t make sense.
Yes, maybe you will learn to love running along the way. But in the beginning? It’s going to be torture. And you decide to give up because you hate it.
It’d be much better to set a goal to exercise four or five times a week. Then if you want to run, run. If not, ride a bike. Do some Tae-Bo, or run around the park playing soccer with your kids.
Locking yourself into one single option may not be the best choice.
Pick goals that you can be happy with. That take you closer to where you want to be, while still keeping your interests, talents, and passions in mind.
Action Step: Evaluate your goals. Do they make you happy? Can you visualize yourself achieving them? If not, tweak as necessary or scrap them completely and try again.
7. Build Habits That Support Your Goals
Remember how I said small steps everyday are important?
That’s how you build habits. And once something is part of your habit, it becomes a natural part of your routine.
It may feel strange at first. You may need to set reminders on your phone or write it down in your planner.
But, if your goal is one you want to achieve, you must make working towards it a part of your day.
And that means being intentional and doing the work.
You have to take action before you can see progress. And that action will come much more readily if you build a good habit.
Action Step: Start building habits around your goals. Want to write each day? Decide when you can fit that into your schedule and set reminders until you just do it naturally. Want to go on a walk everyday? Ask your kids to remind you to do it, and put it into your routine. Maybe you go everyday after lunch, or after your spouse gets home.
Build the habits that enable you to do the things without taking all of your brain power.
You Can Meet Your Goals This Year!
If you’re ready to make this year the year that you actually meet your goals, then commit to taking the baby steps.
Do the work. But don’t equate your personal worth and value with the work.
I know that 2020 wasn’t the year that many of us planned, but that doesn’t mean that 2021 will be awful. Work on your mindset and pray for abundance.
Here’s to a fabulous year!
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Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.