by Kellee Williams
It's the most wonderful time of the year... back to school! Well, maybe this year isn't the best example but it's still a pretty good time to take advantage of a "do-over". By do-over, I mean the opportunity to set goals that can change our lives for the better.
Let me explain. Back to school time is the perfect time to try something new. Both parents and children have been given the opportunity to springboard growth. This opportunity is presented to parents and children from preschool to college. So, what do we want to try that's new? How about new attitudes, new ways of eating, new schedules, new habits, or new bedrooms or study spaces? Or if you are like me, I am setting a goal to potty train a two-year-old. The possibilities are endless, but they all start with one thing, setting a goal to get that thing accomplished.
Class name: Goal Setting 101
In order to really reach those goals we set, there are some things that will make our efforts more effective. We do this so that we can set boundaries and clearly identify the steps and necessary resources to be successful. We use the SMART goals method in order to organize the process for our success.
Specific: Be as specific possible with what it is you want to achieve. The more specific you are, the more you will understand the steps that you need in order to achieve the goal. For example, I will have my daughter potty trained and only wearing a diaper at nap/night by January 1, 2021.
Measurable: How can you determine if you are making progress towards your goal? For instance, if I were trying to eat healthy I might say that “I will cook 4 nights out of the week". Assign a measurable value to the goal.
Attainable: Determine if this is a goal you can actually achieve. Is it realistic? Be careful not to set goals that are so far out of reach that you become discouraged from even trying. If I had set a potty goal to be complete in 30 days, I would never reach it. Now, I know there is some expert out there who can... but that mom lives on Pinterest and Instagram and not a part of MY reality.
Relevant: Is your goal really something that will get you to the end goal? It is not reasonable for me to give my daughter an earlier bedtime when ultimately I want her to be toilet trained. The steps and milestones must help us get to the goal.
Time-Based: Set a date or time. When would you like to see this goal completed? Is it a month, 6 months, by this time next year? The best part of this is that, time can be broken down into smaller increments, giving you "mini-goals" that can successfully be met.
Okay, so you have set some pretty good SMART goals, now what? Let's celebrate! We have got to remember to give ourselves credit for a job well done. When we reach milestones in our goals or new levels of achievement, we need to recognize and celebrate them. I remember when I set a goal to lose my baby weight after my last baby, I told myself for every 5lbs I lost, I could get a new pair of workout pants from TJ Maxx. It really encouraged me to keep pressing toward my goal. And after some time (too much time), I met my goal!
We can do this. Our children can do this. Goals don't have to be set on January 1st, they can be set every morning. All you have to do is think about what you want and make the commitment to go for it. Set a goal you can achieve and SLAM it. This is the most wonderful time of the year, and once your goal is met, you will be proud of the life you are creating for yourself.