As mothers, sometimes we may feel like we are living day to day as if we are on auto pilot, like we are just going through the motions, like robots without thinking. Everyday, we wake up at a certain time, we have to get the kids ready for school, get ready for work, head out the door, come back home, clean the house, feed the kids and make sure everyone gets to bed on time. Then you wake up the next day and do it all over again. It may feel like it’s never ending and not fulfilling. Everyday there is a routine and our daily goal is to just get through the day…alive! LOL!
But our lives need to have more meaning than that. We need to see the bigger picture. We need to look forward to something. In one of my recent posts, I talked about the importance of balance in making us happier moms. One of the components included purpose and meaning, well today, I’m going to elaborate on that. Here is my post on the importance of knowing what you want and knowing how to get there.
HAVING A GOAL IS NOT ENOUGH
As a child, I have always been one to have goals. I was a list maker (and I still am!) I love making lists! I would write my goals on a piece of paper or on a board in the hopes that just looking at it, being reminded of it everyday would be enough to motivate me to attain that goal. Now that I’m older and have a bit more life experience, I’ve realized that having a goal is good, but not quite enough to accomplish it.
CREATE A PLAN
I’ve had many goals as a child. I’ve wanted to learn to play a new instrument. I’ve wanted to learn how to sing really well. But they were just general goals or wishes that were just listed on big board. But the thing that was missing was a plan. As an active participant in social media, I’ve come across a lot of inspiring quotes and one of the ones that have stuck with me is this, “a goal without a plan is just a wish“. A wish is just something you say out loud, and you hope and pray that somehow, it will be granted to you like from a genie in a bottle. But a goal is something you work towards. A goal is specific. It’s something that you can measure. It’s something really great that you want really bad.
OUR TIME IS LIMITED
Now that I’m older, busier, have way more responsibilities and always feel that the days are going by faster and faster, I feel the urgency to work towards my goals and dreams. Even though I’m still quite young, I realize that our time is limited and I want to create a better life for myself and my family. I want to have a better lifestyle. I want to spend more time with my kids. I want to be able to travel to places I’ve never been and have new, fun and exciting experiences. I want to live a life to be proud.
In my profession, I’m faced with the reality that our time here on earth does end. One day, we will be on our death beds, just waiting for our time to come. Then again, we’ll never know how or when it will happen. I know this sounds really depressing, but it is the truth. I always ask my oldest daughter, “when I’m old and dying, will you take care of me?”. She happily responds, as she’s playing with her iPad, “Yes, mom”. It doesn’t phase her. LOL. When I tell people I have three daughters they say to me, “you will be well taken care of because daughters take such good care of their parents.” I tell them, I hope so! LOL!
WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?
Since our time in life is limited and precious, we need to wake up from our zombie-like existence and focus on what we really want. We need to realize that we can control our reality and every decision we make has an effect. We need to look at the bigger picture and find out for ourselves, what’s really important to us. Instead of being focused on the mundane happenings of everyday life, we need to focus on our purpose. If we do this we will find happiness and fulfillment.
WORK BACKWARDS FROM YOUR GOAL
We need to start with the goal in mind and work backwards from our goal. Once we have a target, then we can figure out the steps that need to be taken to get there. The new year is just around the corner and so many of us will have new year’s resolutions- maybe it’s to lose weight, to pay off debt, or to save money for a down payment on a house. Whatever your goal is make sure it’s what you really, really want.
If your goal is to lose weight, you need to first:
- identify how much weight you want to lose
- clarify your time frame. In three months?
- clarify why you want to lose weight
- visualize how you will feel once you have lost the weight
- identify how you will reward yourself once you have achieved your goal
Then you need to figure out what you are going to do to achieve this:
- are you going to have a diet/meal plan?
- are you going to exercise for 30 minutes daily?
- are you going to do a combination of cardio and weight training in your exercise routine?
- are you going to fast after eating dinner?
- are you going to avoid or limit certain foods?
- are you going to keep a food journal?
- are you going to monitor your progress weekly to make sure you are on track for your goal?
All of your actions have to be in alignment with your goal.
If your goal is to save money for a vacation, you need to first:
- identify where you want to go for vacation
- determine how much the vacation will cost
- decide when you want to take the vacation
- calculate how much money you need to save to go on the vacation
- determine how you can lower expenses to save money for the vacation
- visualize how good it will feel to go on a vacation
Your action plan for saving money:
- make dinners at home
- pack a lunch for work
- stop buying unnecessary clothing or toys
- stop buying unnecessary groceries, stick to the grocery list
- make more money
- monitor the expenses on a regular basis
- stop using credit cards
- monitor your progress weekly to see if you are on track for your goal
BE INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR LIFE
In summary, we need to be intentional about our lives. Having goals and knowing what we want gives us purpose and meaning which in turn makes us feel happier and more fulfilled. It allows us to be clear about our priorities and what’s really important to us thus making our actions in alignment with what we want. With this change in thinking, we will no longer feel like the hamster running aimlessly in the hamster wheel. Let’s jump off that hamster wheel and jump into 2017 focused on our goals and more importantly, our plan to get there.
Now your turn! What are some of your goals for the new year and what are you willing to do or change to achieve those goals? Don’t forget to be very specific! Good luck!