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Why Moms Need to Set Goals

I wrote about the importance of goal-setting over on MomLife Today:

As moms, it often seems like we do the same things over and over again.

We cook a meal, only to turn around and find that it’s all been eaten up before we even had time to finish the dishes! We scrub the floor, and by the afternoon, it’s hard to even notice any difference.

It’s hard to see progress amid the sea of never-ending responsibilities. We long to just actually finish something, anything.

If you’re feeling like you’re not really getting anywhere, never really finishing anything, and going to bed only to wake up and put out the same fires again the next day, may I encourage you to consider setting goals?

Most women have great ideas and huge ambitions, but very few actually turn those big ideas into tangible, realistic, bite-sized, doable goals.

…Read the full post over on MomLife Today.

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  • Jen says:

    I’ve been struggling with discipline lately. I feel like me kids never listen to me ages 3 1/2 and 5. Ive been in tears alomost every night because I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. Any suggestions from other moms out there would be great. 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Choose one goal a week, either per child, or as a group effort, since older kids tend to like bossing around younger ones. Make sure anyone in contact with your kids (husband, baby sitter, grandparents, your friends) knows it, and encourages it, and make sure to give yourself credit for every bit of progress you make. I sometimes feel like I never get anywhere with my son, but when I look at old notes where I’ve written done goals (say PLEASE, stop interrupting, be kind to the cat, etc.) I’m amazed how far we’ve come.

    • Kerry D. says:

      I felt very discouraged when my kids were small… and they were very challenging (3 kids, three very different mild special needs.) My best advice looking back is to not sweat it–not to sweat the mess, craziness, noise–and just spend time loving and keep at whatever it is you are trying to get them to learn (kindness, whatever) and think about your priorities. Talking with them, explaining, setting an example… And to not worry if you don’t see results right away. My kids are now 15, 18, and 21 and I realize the things we modeled personally and taught day in and day out, they totally got–they are very kind and compassionate people. The things I was too disorganized to teach (house cleaning, work ethic) they’re not so good at, but I figure that they can learn. I’m pretty satisfied that they have the qualities that mean the most to me. And no one seems to care that the house was messy.

    • Kimber says:

      I understand, Jen. I was having jaw problems and headaches a few weeks ago, and I realized it was because I was spending so much time clenching my teeth hard, trying not to yell at my kids! They really are very good kids, but my four-year-old was having a hard time listening to me. I felt like I was having to ask her to do something three or four times before she complied, and by then I was pretty ticked off. So this is what I’ve started doing – when she doesn’t listen to me the first time, I calmly send her to time-out for four minutes. When she gets out, we talk about why she got sent to time-out, and I give her the opportunity to do what I asked her. This really seems to be helping me – I am able to keep my cool, and she is learning that it works out much better for her to listen to me the first time. This might not work for every child and every situation, but I thought I’d share.

      One more tip – sorry this is so long – but, whatever kind of day I’ve had, I always try to end it on a good note with my kids. After teeth brushing, pajamas, scripture, and prayer, I take a moment with each child to sing them a song. Granted, when I’m tired, it can be a very short song. :o) But when I’ve had a really tough mothering day, there is something to special about tucking my child in bed, kneeling beside him or her, looking into their eyes, and singing a song. I try to touch their faces, kiss them – make it a moment to truly connect with them. I like knowing they are going to sleep feeling secure and loved, and I treasure those few minutes of my day.

      Good luck, sweetie! Motherhood can be SO tough, but you’re doing the most important work of your life.

  • This is something I’ve been focusing more on lately. It’s amazing how setting and accomplishing even small goals gives you momentum toward larger goals. As a mom of four little ones I would encourage moms to make goals baby-bite-sized 🙂

  • Katherine says:

    My children are 31 and 27 now, but when my they were small, when I had days that seemed like nothing really got done, (I didn’t get at that laundry pile, we ordered a pizza for dinner because I was too tired to cook from scratch, the blanket “tent” was still set up in the living room when I went to bed, etc.), my mom would say with great reverence, “You got them another day older and that’s everything!”. Thanks Mom, I needed that 🙂 ! It’s nice to remember what is important in life–loving your kids and taking it one day at a time. If today was kinda bad, maybe tomorrow will be better!

    • Diane says:

      I agree completely! Mykids are 21 & 24. I remember when they were little, and we were going through tough challenges like teething, potty training and sassing, and it seemed like it would go on forever. Then, in the blink of an eye, that challege was in the past and we were on to another one. Now my kids have grown up into wonderful, happy, caring & productive adults, and I cherish the memories of those days gone by!

  • Rebecca says:

    This is a really great post. I can completely relate! Since having a baby two years ago, it seems like every time I finish something, it’s time to do it again. Cooking, laundry, cleaning! It really does help to make tangible goals, even if it’s just small ones to start.

  • LoriBeth says:

    I was bemoaning the fact I didn’t get anything done the other night, and my daughter piped up and said “You made the Barbies not naked”. She didn’t notice the dirty house, she was focused on the Barbie doll clothes I had helped her sew that morning. It makes you remember that 20 years from now, she’ll probably still think about us making those clothes together, and have no memory of what the bathroom floor looked like.

    • Lisa says:

      My friend constantly tells me dirty floors=happy kids. I try to remember that on the days I go in a circle which is honesty most every day! I have very active just turned 3 year old twins and boy does this post sound like me literally!! Just reading this and knowing I am not alone helps!

    • Kimber says:

      “You made the Barbies not naked” … I love that! Thanks for sharing! Great reminder to treasure the small things we can do that make our children so happy!

  • Amanda Collins says:

    Good knows me so well. I need to read this. Momma of 4 ages 17,15,9,6. So blessed to be a stay at home mom. Lately have had mommy burn out. So I have been foucsing on getting the readys for back to school. I am planning on homeschooling one of my teens. I have not taken care of my self health wise. Seeing a weight doc and exercising. My husband and are looking into taking davids ramsey class. We both try to budjet. My flaw is cooking dinner. It has a lot better but still have those days and we really need to more on it. Would you all please pray for me. Love this post and websites:) Amanda

  • Debbie P says:

    Really good article! I am pretty good at making lists of goals, but following through is another story! I have lists and lists and lists. How do you pick just one? Or know where to start?

  • Cassi says:

    I have never been very good at setting small goals but I do have goals that I strive for 🙂 After two years of teaching and being a part of my content area organization (South Dakota Council of Teachers of English) I knew that is was an organization that I wanted to contribute to in a big way…I set a goal to become president of the organization some day…that day is now just around the corner. I am entering my 8th year of teaching and my second year as VP-in just one small year I will be president of SDCTE! It is a professional goal that means a lot to me! So , while I think I am doing good with big goals (my next one is to become a family of 5 🙂 ) I know that I can certainly work on more goal setting! Thanks for the post.

  • susan says:

    it is four years later than the last comment, but I saw this article on being a mother and having to set goals with children and with yourself. I raised four children who are now each married and in parenting phase of their lives. I discovered that if I spend the first bit of time filling up the children’s vacuums–that being their never ending need for love and attention–then I had a little while to do the normal household chores for the day before they needed more love and attention.
    With little children, it is pretty easy to get them excited about helping mommy. With middle aged kids, it is not so. I recall several years just shutting doors in the kids’ rooms, rather than trying to conquer their messy rooms! But I insisted they change sheets once a week, and do their own laundry. My children who got the message always had clean clothing to wear. It may not have been hung up properly (and probably still is left in the laundry basket rather than folded or hung up) but it was clean. Routines helped a lot. Having a check list, or a stars on the chart with a reward after so many stars also helped kids become motivated (that is, until their own inner motivation kicked in). Some of the rewards were breakfast out with their dad before school, or a special trip to their favorite park in town. Other rewards were time spent with a parent alone. We figured positive encouragement was a lot better than taking something away if they fell into an old habit. I did try to get complaining out of their language, by starting with 20 nickels in their cup. Each time they complained, they got a nickel taken away. At the end of the time period (usually a week, possibly a day) they could keep whatever was left in the cup. Not a real great motivator, but it sure taught them to watch how often their language and thoughts got away from being positive!

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