Why Moms Need S.M.A.R.T. Goals to Thrive
The end of 2020 is finally here. Whew. Can we say that again?! Which means, that it’s about time to set some goals for the next year. Now, if you’ve read my post My Year Has A Theme and Yours Should Too, you know I don’t believe in new year resolutions. They simply don’t work. What works though is Goal Setting. So, I would like to share with you not only why moms need S.M.A.R.T. goals in their life, but also how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals so that you are thriving in your life and not just surviving.
What Are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?
Let’s first start by defining S.M.A.R.T. goals.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for: Specific, Manageable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Sensitive.
This type of goal setting was first introduced by George T. Doran in 1981 issue of Management Review, and was later adopted into many workplaces as a way to successfully set goals and increase productivity. But these goals can be used in any area of your life and not just in business settings.
How Can S.M.A.R.T. Goals Make Moms’ Lives Easier
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, let’s talk about why they are especially important for moms to set.
Moms are often the architects, CEOs, presidents, and COOs of their households. They keep track of assignments, appointments, birthdays and other special occasions, housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal prep, and so on. Having so many balls up in the air is overwhelming and, frankly, leaves almost no time for self-care, hobbies, self-development, or learning. And it’s a shame, really. Because moms are amazing and capable of so much more than just being bogged down by the day to day. And that’s where S.M.A.R.T. goals come in. They allow you set up bigger goals, and not lose track of them in the minutiae of the everyday.
Also, when you feel like you’re working towards something bigger than just cleaning never-ending messes, you feel more focused, energized, and like you have a purpose. And all of that is important for optimal day-to-day functioning. Once you learn how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for bigger things, you will also be able to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for the everyday things that will make you more efficient and less bogged down by it all.
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Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals To Fit Into Your Busy Mom Life
S – Specific
First and foremost, when setting yourself up for success, you need to make sure your goal is specific. When the goal is specific, it is much more likely that you will succeed with accomplishing this goal.
For example, saying you want to lose weight is not specific. What does that mean? Do you want to lose 5, 10, 20lbs? Do you have a time frame for achieving it? How are you going to measure it?
A much better way to set this goal is to say “I want to lose 10lbs by March, and maintain the weight of X for the remainder of the year”. Here you have a specific target weight, a timeframe by which you want to accomplish it, and a plan for when you meet the goal.
Or maybe your goal is to be more social this year (yes, it’s still possible even during the pandemic). A Specific way to set this goal could be, “I want to make 3 new mom friends this year”. You now know the target number you want to work towards, and you have a time frame for accomplishing it.
In general, when you are setting the goal ask the “w questions” (who, what, where, when) to help make it more specific.
M – Measurable
The next step in successful goal setting is figuring out how to measure your success. In the previous example of weight, you can set a monthly target that you would like to meet to measure your progress towards the big goal. And in the example of making friends, you can do the same. Set a monthly milestone by which you will be tracking your success. While making friends is a two-way street and isn’t solely dependent on you, you can then set a goal of reaching out to X number of people per month to make a connection.
A – Achievable
Making sure the goal is achievable is very important in being able to succeed. If the goal is not realistic for you, mama, to achieve, then setting it will only discourage you. So, make sure that when you are setting this goal that it’s not impossible.
Think of what tools you have that will help you attain your goal. And if you don’t currently have the tools or the necessary skills, think about how you can learn the skills necessary to achieve you goal.
One of the things that may make it easier to achieve your goal is changing your mindset. And if you need help in that department, please read The Benefits of Adopting A Flexible Mindset for Parents for tips and trick for getting into the right mindset.
R – Realistic
Making your goal realistic goes hand in hand with being achievable. If your goal is not realistic, then it won’t be achievable either, thus making it that much more likely that you’ll give up on it altogether. So, make sure you’re seeing how this goal fits into your life overall.
If your goal is to lose 10lbs in 3 months and the only way to achieve it is through exercise, make sure you’re being realistic about the time you have, and the resource you can spend on exercising. Maybe going to the gym 5 times per week is not realistic. But doing an at home video work out 5 times a week is doable. Same goes for making new friends. Maybe right now you are unable to reach out to 5 new people every month in an effort of making new friends, but you can join an online group of people and strike up a few conversations.
So, make sure that you keep your goals realistic. You will be much more likely to succeed that way.
T – Time-Sensitive
The last piece of a S.M.A.R.T. goal is making sure that the goal has a time limit. When you have a deadline that you are working towards, you are much more likely to put in an effort. We, humans, need an end date in order to implement change. Otherwise, we all procrastinate and find way too many excuses for why we can’t do something. So, make sure that all your goals have a time limit in mind and stick to it.
A Word of Caution About S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Before you dive into creating some amazing S.M.A.R.T. goals for the upcoming year, I want to caution you against the downside of the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting method. The only problem with this method is that it’s a bit too rigid, which means you need to get a bit creative to allow flexibility into your goal setting.
Imagine that you created a goal of making a new mom friend every month, and you were doing great for a few months, and then your kids got sick. You have been stuck at home, overwhelmed, and catering to every need of your sick children. This will undoubtedly throw you off your goal for the month, but it’s ok. This is the time to be flexible and allow life’s unexpected challenges come at you as they may. What is important though, it that once things get back on track, you get back to working towards your goals.
And don’t forget about setting smaller milestones on your way to achieve your big goals. Those will help keep you motivated, will show you if what you originally planned is or isn’t working, and will help you refine the goals as needed.
Just remember that goals are a living breathing thing, just like you. They can and will change according to life’s circumstance, and it’s perfectly fine. It’s ok to go with the flow when needed.
Products That Will Help You Achieve Your S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Before we part ways, I want to give recommendations on some products that will help you achieve your goals.
Some Encouragement for Your Goal Setting Journey
You got it, mama! Set those S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2021. There is nothing you can’t do when you have the right system in place!