I sit and write this on the eve of a new month. The pure chaos of the last couple of weeks (well, the last couple of months) has settled, and I am left to reflect. I feel completely drained both physically and emotionally. My son wrapped up one of the most stressful school years we have experienced, and I struggled to be enough in all pieces of life. I hadn’t realized that I had been living in pure survival mode until I looked at recent pictures of myself and saw I was as drained and exhausted as I felt. Even the best concealer couldn’t hide it.
Luckily, I know what I need to do to regain control of the chaos. When life gets the better of me, I need to dial it in and refocus my goals. I am starting by cutting out and scaling back on things that take up time…like social media. I need to make sleep a priority. Then, I am doing what I know works for me. I thrive when I start setting goals. The process works best for me through a SmartLife Planner. But, it can easily be done without one, too. All you need is a few minutes to yourself, a notebook, and your favorite pen. Push yourself and start setting goals with these four steps:
Find your focus
To start, you have to identify which areas of your life need your attention. The big areas to select from including physical health, environment, personal growth, etc. Where should your attention be? For me, right now anyway, it is two areas: my mental well-being (Mama’s stressed out) and financial (Mama’s broke). Then, you take about five minutes and write down every possible way you can focus and improve on that area of your life. You can write, doodle, map it out…go crazy!
Set your goals
You then create a list of 10 sub-goals with the eleventh being your PUSH goal. Your goal can be out of this world big or insanely practical. Some of my sub-goals include clearing clutter (space, mind, etc.), getting outside, and exercising. At this point you give yourself a deadline and estimate the cost of your goal. Example: I want to sell outgrown clothes and toys to earn at least $200 in a month. (There is a lot of clutter to get rid of. A LOT.)
Schedule your way to progress
Now, we sit and brainstorm a second time. Think of tasks and action steps you can complete daily to support your goal! Each day you do three action items to inch you closer. My favorite piece is next: the schedule. You schedule the heck out of yourself. You can get as detailed as you want here. One thing I make sure to do before bed is to plan out the next day and reflect on my progress. Did I get it all done? What could I do better tomorrow?
Reflect on your goals
Whether you are using the SmartLife journal or not, reflect and evaluate your progress after 30 days, and be honest with yourself. Seriously. If the goal isn’t working, think about why. Are you holding yourself back? Tweak your goals as needed. It is yours; you own it. Maybe you met your goal on Day 29? So use Day 30 to adjust and set your next one!
For me, this intense focus is what I need to do to feel in control and achieve my big goals. The first time I did this and really worked the process, I landed my first teaching position. There are no goals too big or too small. Each one you master pushes you closer to the life you want for you and your family! Now, let’s get to work!