Crushing your goals and completing resolutions is hard. There’s a lot of reasons people fail all the time. But there are ways to set yourself up for success and learn how to achieve your goals even if you’re already overwhelmed.
I’m a mom of three kids five and under. Life is… hectic, challenging, chaotic. But I am also addicted to personal development, goal setting, and try to do and be more. So I’ve had to teach myself how to achieve goals in the midst of motherhood.
It ain’t easy, but it’s doable. These five tips will help you get there!
Choose goals YOU actually care about
I don’t know about you… but I get the comparisonitis.
You know, when you see a mom you think is basically perfection, living the dream on IG, and then you decide your whole life is shit and you suck because you’re not her?
We ALL do this to some extent, right?
It’s easy to fall into that trap unless you never use social media and live off the grid on a quaint little homestead and are yourself living some version of an idealized 1850’s life.
Alas, most of us have to interact with others and any time we see other people our brains tend to categorize and compare. It’s our nature.
Don’t berate yourself for this. But also do your best to catch yourself doing it, and do NOT set your goals from this space.
How often have you made a goal to lose weight, or read more, or run a 5k, not because it is actually important to you, but because of what other people might think?
You can cut down on a TON of overwhelm if you cut out the opinions of others or your perception of what others are thinking.
Bonus points if you cut out your own judgmental beliefs about what you “should” be. These beliefs are usually the voice of someone else in your head anyway, whether it’s your mother, father, siblings Aunt Sally, that kid who told you were fat in 8th grade, or the popular girls from High School.
Start small and make it a habit to achieve your goals
I am so guilty of making these grandiose plans that never seem to come to fruition.
You know like after eating fast food and not working out for months I think I’m going to suddenly start living off of kale and easily complete one of those Insanity workout video programs.
Yeah… it doesn’t usually work like that.
One of the reasons so many people fail at their goals and resolutions is because they overestimate what they can do.
I love this quote that is sometimes attributed to Bill Gates: “People tend to overestimate what can be done in one year and to underestimate what can be done in five or ten years.”
Over that last year or so I’ve been training myself to stop focusing on getting huge results or massive change, and instead, taking small steps every day.
So instead of joining a gym when you haven’t worked out in 10 years, try just going for a short walk every day. Start with something small and manageable that you can keep up for a few months or even a year.
This isn’t the sexy thing to do. The sexy thing is to create this mythology about yourself in your head where you’re going to have this Cinderella story of going from the bottom to the top in 60 seconds.
But that is the path of failure my friend.
Choose one small thing to change and do it every single day. Turn it into a habit. Then add, make it bigger, grow some more.
Involve your kids in your goals
I’m a stay-at-home mom who also runs this blog part-time. I don’t really have a ton of “me” time or alone time. I have to be crafty in how to achieve goals if I have any hopes of getting there.
So in order for me to start anything new, or accomplish anything I need to take them into account. It’s definitely not always feasible to get a babysitter or have my husband watch the kids.
Instead, I figure out how to squeeze in what I need to do while the kids are with me, or better yet involve them in the process.
Right now as I type this post my 5-year-old is creating a masterpiece with some crayons and paper while my twins have some yogurt.
I used to wait until my kids were in bed to write, but I like having that time for myself or with my husband (which are also very important goals of mine).
When it comes to health and exercise I like hiking and going for walks and the kids always come along. I either pile them into the stroller and we walk all over the neighborhood, or we go to a hiking group of other moms when we can.
Another option is the local YMCA. They have childcare hours, as do a lot of gyms. So if I ever need some time to work out or even sit alone and be in peace for a few minutes, that’s a great option that many moms have access too. They usually even have income-based programs you can apply for.
The point is that with some creativity, you can still accomplish what you want while you have your kids.
Share your goals and ask for support
According to recent studies, sharing your goals, especially with people who are successful themselves, will help you achieve your goals. In this article it says:
“’If you don’t care about the opinion of whom you tell, it doesn’t affect your desire to persist — which is really what goal commitment is all about,’ Howard Klein, lead author and professor of management and human resources at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, said in a press release. ‘You want to be dedicated and unwilling to give up on your goal, which is more likely when you share that goal with someone you look up to.’”
The key here is sharing it with someone whose opinion matters to you. Is it your mom? Your boss? Your partner? Your oldest friend? Your high school English teacher?
Share with someone you look up to in order to add an extra layer of accountability.
You also need to share your goals with people who play important roles in your life because you’ll need their support, like your partner. So if your goal is to run a 5k then you’ll need to have that on the calendar.
Just for basic logistics, you’ll need to get those closest to you on board for many goals out there.
Don’t give up
You’ll want to. There will come a day when you want to just quit, and maybe you even do just quit.
But having a bad day, week, month, or even year doesn’t have to mean your dreams are crushed.
The key isn’t in never failing, but in getting back on the horse when you do fail. Because you are a human, we all are. We all screw up, lose momentum, and fall short. That’s ok!
Learn whatever lessons you can from your failure and just keep on going.
Sometimes the overwhelm we feel is what we place on ourselves needlessly. Expecting perfection is too much pressure. All you can do is make the next best choice you can.
To quote Frozen 2, just do the next right thing, even when it’s all going wrong.
Being a mom means being overworked, stressed, overwhelmed. But the point of setting goals and going for them is to help us live a happier and more fulfilled life. It’s a bit of a paradox, but you CAN do it.
These tips will help you figure out how to achieve goals even if you’re a bit overwhelmed.
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