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What are your goals? Have you ever thought much about setting goals? You may have graduated from high school, gone to college, gotten a “real job”, gotten married, been promoted into management, have 2.5 kids and a white picket fence… and those are all things that you thought you wanted. And maybe you are happy with that path; it’s the American Dream after all. Our culture tells us that when we have checked these boxes, we are successful. BUT what NOW? How do we define
It can be challenging to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, to think about how you want your life to look. However, when you step out of the trenches of motherhood, you can see where you’re headed and decide if that’s where you would like to go or not. If you’re not moving toward a life you want, you can immediately redirect! The trick is to make sure you pop your head up every few months to see where you’re going.
Several years ago, I read a blog post by Susie Moore, where she poses four questions that helped me tremendously! I regularly go back to these questions every few months to refine or adjust my goals. The reason why? Often because I’ve already achieved something I’d described previously and I need new goals! This is a fantastic problem to have! It feels nearly impossible to look into the future through the gigantic pile of dishes in the sink, but I’ve learned that the way around this is to imagine yourself in the future looking back at your current life. Susie’s questions do a fantastic job of walking you through the specifics, and I’ve added my twist, too.
1. Three years from today, what has to have happened during those three years for you to feel happy about your progress?
- How old will you (and your family members) be in three years?
- What vision makes you most satisfied?
- What will your life look like?
- Where will you be?
- What will you be doing this exact date three years from today?
Be as specific as you possibly can. You have to know precisely what you want for your life goals, and the first step is being able to use words to describe them. The universe responds best to passion, clarity, and intention. When you picture yourself, are you still wearing your favorite sweater? Have those few grey strands of hair turned into more of a grey streak? Write down every detail – from what your home looks like, to the exact amount in your bank account, to the activities that will fill your day, even where you’ll vacation and with whom (this can include children you hope to have).
Remember: Base this on what you want—NOT on what you think you should want or what other people want for you.
2. What are the biggest dangers that you’ll have to face and deal with to achieve that progress? Be brutally honest with yourself. No one else has to see this 😉 Do you:
- Drink too much alcohol or watch too much Netflix? A
nythingthat doesn’t let you be focused enough to start a side hustle or make an effort to meet new mom friends?
- Shy away from taking exercise classes or going to meetups that will allow you to make connections and learn valuable ideas from fellow moms?
- Sabotage yourself with thoughts of “I’m not smart enough/confident enough/ready to leap forward?”
- Refrain from looking up new parenting techniques even though you know that the discipline style you’re currently using isn’t working?
Of all the dangers and distractions in the world, the most significant limitation is often our mindset and limiting beliefs about our potential. Limiting beliefs are beliefs that we think of as facts about ourselves, but they are not real. When we consume all of the same fear-based beliefs over and over again, we limit ourselves. We don’t play full-out and live up to our potential.
3. What are the biggest opportunities that you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things?
- Could your husband take the kids for a few hours on the weekend so that you can indulge in a massage or lunch with your girlfriends?
- Are there efficiencies you could make to lighten your homemaking responsibilities so that you have more time for self-care or a hobby you enjoy?
- Could you swap child-care nights with a friend or find a sitter so that you and your husband can do regular date nights?
The opportunities are endless when you truly open your eyes and look. Remind yourself of what came up for you in question one and search for the breadcrumbs that surround you right now. I promise they exist. When you know exactly what you want, you’ll start finding evidence and little things to help you everywhere.
4. What strengths do you need to reinforce and maximize? What skills and resources do you need to develop that you don’t currently have to capture those opportunities?
This is the ultimate question, and it requires action. Nothing will happen without ACTION, mama.
- Do you need to reevaluate finances to see if you can go from working full-time to part-time so that you have more time with your kids?
- Do you need to see if there are childcare options available so that you can work on a side-hustle so that you have some extra intellectual stimulation and maybe some extra income?
- Do you need to develop a new bedtime routine for your kids, so that you have some time with your husband in the evenings?
- Do you need to work on your confidence in social situations?
- Maybe you need to read up on how to convert your hobby into a profitable side-gig or meditate to release anxiety?
I have read a lot about the Law of Attraction and its importance for setting goals. While I understood that being specific was essential, I wasn’t sure how to think of all the necessary details. As the author of Atomic Habits, James Clear puts it, “Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity.” These 4 powerful questions do an incredible job of walking us through all of the necessary details. It’s fascinating how even the small twist of imaging yourself in the FUTURE looking BACK instead of imagining the future from where you’re at now, gives much more clarity. Always remember the vision you have for your future. That’s my most important tool for staying on track.