How to Set Achievable Goals with an Unpredictable Life

January is for goal setting, or so it seems. If you’re like most solopreneurs, you start out the year with a huge burst of energy, excited for new possibilities and an even bigger, better year than the last.

And then life happens. Kids get sick. Schedules get shifted around. Somewhere in the middle of January you start to doubt yourself and your big goals for year…. because you can’t even seem to make it through one month before your plan gets thrown out the window.

So many productivity and goal setting books are written by men that it can seem like none of it applies to your mom life. But it IS possible to achieve goals even with an unpredictable life. You just have to set goals like a mom, not a man 😉

Step 1: Be Realistic

Ever come up with an incredibly productive plan for the day, only to a wrench thrown in it right away? Yeah… that’s mom life, right?

The truth is during this season of life, our lives are not completely our own. I have a 4 year old who loves to wake me up long before dawn, which means my brain is totally fried and useless by 8 pm. As much as I’d love to work in the evenings after my kids are in bed, it just isn’t a reality in my life right now.

The first step to setting goals for your unpredictable life is being realistic about what actually is possible right now. Remember you’re not in competition with anyone else’s goal. It really doesn’t matter if someone else can do a live video a day or post on Instagram daily. What can you realistically commit to doing?

Go take a long look at yourself in the mirror right now. That smart, beautiful woman you see staring back at you is actually your biggest obstacle to achieving your goals. Yup, not your kids, your dog, your husband, or your crazy life. You.

Why? Because you’re as a driven, passionate person, you tend to stretch yourself too thin and overcommit. When you’re trying to do everything, you’ll always end up feeling like you failed. Set yourself up for success by being realistic about the season of life you’re in and not trying to take on more than is actually possible.

Step 2: Be Flexible

I woke up this morning with the plan of spending the entire morning creating content while my husband took our kids out for the day. Here it is 10:30 and everyone is still home. Let’s just say the day has not at all gone according to my plan.

But that doesn’t mean the whole day has to be a wash!

Life and business coach for mompreneurs and mom of 7 Mo Spell once said she views her plan for the day more as floating blocks then a set in stone schedule. There is something incredibly freeing about viewing your day with that kind of flexibility.

Did I get to start writing at 8:30 this morning, feverishly writing while my body was freshly caffeinated with my morning cup of coffee? No. Not even close.

But instead of focusing on how my day didn’t go according to plan, I just shifted my writing block back a few hours. Because I am realistic about my day and don’t stuff my schedule, I’ll still be able to get through my whole to do list for the day.

The truth is it can be easy to get so frustrated that life didn’t go as expected that we just give up on the whole day. Instead of quitting on the day (and your goals), look at your day with some flexibility! Float that block to another part of the day and pick up with your plan when you can.

Step 3: Be Forgiving

I love the word grace. “An act of kindness, courtesy, or clemency” (Webster)

It can be so much easier to give other people grace than ourselves. Your husband is running late, but you don’t hold it against him because you know he’s doing the best he can. Your client doesn’t show up for a call, but you forgive her because you realize sometimes people just forget.

But when you don’t reach all of your goals for the week, you beat yourself up. You call yourself a failure and doubt whether you even have what it takes to succeed.

Lady, listen really good – you need to give yourself some grace! You’re managing a household, raising a family, and growing a business. You are juggling more balls in the air than you can even count.

Take a breath. Forgive yourself for what you didn’t get to today. Realize that tomorrow is another day. That thing you didn’t get to today hardly ever will actually keep you from succeeding anyway 😉

Step 4: Be Bold

Can I be real honest here for a second? Sometimes as moms we don’t accomplish our goals because we allow everyone else’s wants to come before our needs.

I know, it stings a little for me, too.

The truth is you are not a doormat for everyone to walk all over. You are a leader in your household, and part of leading means delegating. I guarantee there are things on your to do list that someone else can handle.

Will it be done perfectly the first time? No. Will life be over because of it? Chances are no.

My kids are 4 and 5. I realized a long time ago that letting them dress themselves means that they pick out some crazy outfits that do not at all match. Today my 4 year old has on these wild flower leggings with a pink tutu skirt over it. Does it actually matter in the long run? Nope.

Does letting them get dressed by themselves give me 15 minutes to get things done that I actually need to do? Yup.

Be bold to ask for what you need, and take the time to make it happen!

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