You’ve been so busy taking care of everyone else, there’s no time left for you. The life you want seems to be on hold. And you’re left wondering how to achieve your goals and dreams.
What if I said accomplishing your goals is possible in this season of life?
7 Powerful Secrets to Accomplishing Your Goals
Picture Yourself Living the Life You Want
What does your ideal life look like? What are you doing? How does it make you feel? Who are you with?
This is my vision.
7:00 a.m. Wake up and check in with myself, see how I’m feeling
7:30 a.m. Practice my morning skincare routine
7:45 a.m. Take the dog on a brisk walk, enjoy the outdoors
8:30 Eat breakfast
9:00 a.m. Get fully dressed
9:45 a.m. Make the bed
10:00 a.m. Open my computer to work
10 a.m. til 2 p.m. Work with a snack break built in
2:00 p.m. Stretch or practice yoga
3:00 p.m. relax until dinner time
6:00 Eat dinner together at the table
7:00 Spend time with family
9:00 Take a leisurely bath
9:30 Practice evening skin care
9:45 Read a book
10:00 Go to sleep
That is the picture of health, of wholeness, in my mind. And I can’t seem to stop comparing my current reality with that picture. And that’s downright disappointing.
It’s okay to be disappointed. Let’s use that emotion to help us in accomplishing our goals.
Use Emotions As Guideposts to Accomplishing Your Goals
When I’m not living up to my goals, there’s a battle between grace and guilt waging war in my mind. Chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Guilt says you’re not taking care of yourself and you’re letting yourself down.
Grace says you need rest.
Guilt shakes a finger at you, trying to shame you for the bad habits that are keeping you from accomplishing your goals.
But Grace gets the final word.
“And the moon said to me – My darling, you do not have to be whole to shine.”
Something about those words remind me of all the ways I am indeed showing up, and even shining, despite not being well.
Take a little time to think about all the ways you’re showing up. Write them down as remembrance stones and refer to them when you need encouragement. Because all these little ways are progress. And progress counts. In fact, it’s the only way to get where you’re going.
Guilt will eventually surrender to this reality. At least for a little while.
Sometimes that nagging voice rises up again. In my case, I recognize her. She’s my inner taskmaster. She is all about work, getting stuff done, and driving me the ground. My guess is you know her as well as I do.
Here’s some helpful advice from a couple of health professionals in my life. Talk to her. Thank her for her service and tell her you can take it from here.
Get Out of Your Head
At some point, it’s really good to stop trying to figure everything out on your own and seek accountability and advice.
In my case, I turned to my husband. I shared that not being awake with everyone else makes me feel like a loser and a failure. He reminded me nothing is normal right now and asked me if enjoy my time alone.
“I love it.” I had to admit.
I went on to confess how discouraged I am that when I do finally go to bed, I need twelve to sixteen hours of sleep.
Then, I asked him, from a counselor’s perspective, if he had any insight.
“Yes. Don’t try to change anything right now. Just take the next step with your doctor and go from there.”
Then said something that completely shifted my perspective.
Practice Self Compassion
He asked me if I would tell someone else who was dealing with inflammation and who stole the alone time she desperately needed whenever she could that she was a loser.
“No. I’d tell them the same thing, to just take it one step at a time with their doctor and let everything work itself out.”
In other words, we need to practice self compassion.
Another powerful exercise is to picture yourself as a child. What would you say to her?
How to Set Goals and Achieve Them
We accomplish our goals one step at a time. And that happens by setting realistic goals. What are realistic goals? I define them as a small step based on your time and ability at the moment.
Common advice is to make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. This is also known SMART goals.
Using the example of my day being less than ideal, I’m going to back it up to the number one reason that’s happening. My poor sleep habits.
I stay up all hours of the night most of the time. When I wake up, I’m not rested, and I don’t have enough energy for the day.
- Smart – I can make a specific by goal by setting a specific bed time.
- Measurable – I’m able to measure the success of this by putting a check next to each day I go to bed on time.
- Achievable – The time I choose needs to be achievable. I cannot make myself suddenly go from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Realistic – Midnight is realistic for me since it doesn’t require a sudden shift in my behavior.
- Time Bound – If I keep a midnight bedtime indefinitely, I won’t make my 10:00 p.m. goal. So, I plan to set time perimeters around this by moving my bedtime back fifteen minutes each week until I reach my goal.
Understand Your Needs
Sometimes that vision we have of our dream life is actually pointing to a deeper need.
One way to figure out what those needs are is to ask yourself what your vision represents. Or you can ask what you feel like you’re missing out on. Every time I ask myself those questions, I come up with same needs.
- Connection – I crave community. I need to feel connected, bonded to others. That’s not easy when I think I might be one of very few people who are awake in the middle of the night, or who is sleeping when the rest of the world is awake.
- Contentment – My ideal daily routine represents health, wellness, rhythm, and enjoyment. It signifies fulfillment and satisfaction. When I’m able to carry out that routine, it will mean I gave myself room to become and find contentment with myself and my life. In other words, I’m no longer anxious and striving. I can say it is well with my soul.
- Consistency – There’s security in consistency. I like the idea of all the areas of my life flowing together and complementing each other. That rhythm feels authentic and natural, as if that is how life was created to be.
I feel confident these are good desires. That I was created with these needs. Connection, contentment, and consistency, to me, are part of the human experience. I believe I was created with these needs. I’m meant to long for community. I’m called to be still and know. A sense of ease, no matter what is going on around me, is a gift. In other words, I’m not being selfish. And neither are you.
I encourage you to write down the needs that rise up as you answer those questions. Read them. And know that your needs are not wrong. They are God-given sign posts pointing you down the road He called you to travel. These needs are your soul’s way of saying “I’m ready, willing and able to live a life of ease.”
Dare to Hope
Knowing exactly what you want gives a little substance to what you’re hoping for. What’s interesting to me about hope is I recently became aware of the fact that I’m afraid to hope.
There’s a scripture that says hope deferred makes the heart sick. I’m all to acquainted with that feeling. Of waiting only to have my heart broken by disappointment. I always feel put off, forgotten or left out.
That’s a pretty common sentiment for us moms. We serve everyone but ourselves. Then we’re left wondering when it will be our turn. As I say in my book, we cannot wait to be invited to live the life we want.
God extended the invitation when he created the heavens and earth.
When I listen to the truth, that I’m beloved, delighted over, and a part of something bigger than myself, I begin to come out from the shadows of dismay to discover hope.
For me, grabbing onto hope is an act of decluttering my soul and making room for my goals and dreams to become reality.
That’s what I want for you.
So, keep holding onto the vision. It gives you something to hope for and will inspires you to keep taking the next right step.
Somewhere along the way, you’ll start to realize the ability to enjoy life comes from the journey. And those busy nights in this busy season will become a part of the vision rather than an obstacle to it.
For more help accomplishing your goals, read:
Because we’re in this together!
Self Care Calendar for Busy Moms
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