To me, goal setting is like motherhood. As soon as I find out I’m expecting, I vow to be the perfect mother. My child will only eat healthy, organic food; watch 10 minutes of educational TV a day; listen to classical music; and of course, they will never disobey due to my superb parenting. Shortly, the mac n’ cheese comes out, they are watching a movie at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and we are arguing over why there is a picture of a dinosaur in permanent marker on the wall .
Just like trying to be a good mother, goals need to constantly be set and reset. After doing a bit of research and looking at my own trends when setting goals, here are some steps to help you set and achieve goals.
- Set realistic goals – Being a 5’3″, married, mother of two and pushing 30 pretty much nixes my chances of ever being Miss America. That is an example of an unrealistic goal. But I can make specific goals to have a healthier, more succesful lifestyle. Don’t sell yourself short, but be realistic in setting goals that fit into your life.
- Set specific goals – Setting a goals to “get healthy” is to ambiguous. Make goals more specific. For example: “I will exercise five times a week,” or “I will only eat sugar on Saturdays.” Make sure your goals have specific, measurable marks.
- Set goals for different areas of your life – Have goals to meet your physical, spiritual, emotional and mental needs.
- Publicly declare your goals – If you announce a goal to a group or have one individual responsible to hold you accountable, you’re much more likely to meet your goals. When you’ve accomplished aspects of your goal, report that to these people as well.
- Have an action plan to meet your goals – If you plan to eat healthier, plan weekly meals that fit into your plan. If you plan to read two books each month, have a specific reading time set aside every day. Whatever your goal may be, schedule time and make a plan to meet that goal.
- Continuously reset your goals – Just like being the perfect mother, we often slip up in achieving our goals. This doesn’t mean we should give up. No matter how many mistakes I make, I will always strive to be the best mom I can be. If you miss a day working on your goal, pick up where you left off the next day.
- Keep a record of your goals – Keep a written (or typed) record to show your progress on your goals. This can be a spreadsheet, list or journal. Just be sure to have a visual measurement of your goals if possible.
- Celebrate achievements – Celebrate either with rewards, activities or some kind of mention of your achievements. It’s important to look back on how far you’ve come when you achieve a goal.