If you’re a mother, you know how hard it is to juggle a variety of schedules in order to keep your household–and everyone in it–running smoothly.
According to Insure.com’s 2012 Mother’s Day Index, the variety of household tasks is worth about $60,182. Seem like a low estimate to some of you? Sometimes you can’t place a price on a mother’s work–both inside and out of the home.
Christina Linnell, owner of Linnell Media Group, said her days start at 5:30 a.m. and although she focuses on wrapping up most of her work before her children get off their afternoon school bus, but there are times that she still needs to work into the night.
“It takes a lot of organization and a lot of time management,” she said.
Linnell has a binder that holds not only her professional goals, but a daily “to-do” list. She crosses them off as she gets them done and sending weekly updates to her clients for additional accountability. She said goal planning needs continual re-evaluation and has seen several women grow frustrated with it.
“If I don’t have it written down on a daily basis, it doesn’t happen for me,” Linnell said. “You sometimes genuinely feel that you are accomplishing nothing, especially working at home.”
Heather Bennett, a social media and community development manager at the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Homes, said setting goals and goal planning around the daily schedules of her and her family’s is important to getting everything done.
“Goals and objectives come into the life of a mother, whether we want them to or not,” Bennett said.
For all you mothers (or those just wanting some great motherly advice,) here are a few tips for goal planning and to setting effective goals and objectives:
1. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely in order to be effective. Bennett said she sometimes works backwards based on a deadline when setting goals to make sure that they can be attained.
“I try to timeline things real and imagined that will or might come up that I need to be ready for,” she said. “I also give myself space to realize what I thought was a goal might have changed on me!”
Don’t feel pressured to set huge goals, or several of them. One or two large goals with well-defined objectives help everything become much more manageable.
2. Have a vision.
Just like cutting out pictures of that gorgeous dress you want to wear on the fridge for motivation, visualization can do a lot for goals and objectives.
Jewel Fryer owns a social media business where she teaches as well as manages several clients’ social media needs. She uses several things in order to set and see her goals, including notebooks, a whiteboard, and chalkboard paint on her desk.
“I set goals with list,” Fryer said. “I usually have a list of what I need to do for the week done by Sunday night and I always have a running list in chalk on my desk of what I need to do each day.”
Having a vision not only keeps you focused, but motivated. When you see the big picture, all of the pieces come together to complete it–otherwise known as your objectives.
Fryer said that setting goals and objectives keeps her on track when she has several things to do.
“There have been days when a goal has been to take a shower and do my hair because I have a meeting or someplace to be,” Fryer said. “If it don’t make it a priority I can find myself behind the gun on the way out the door.”
Setting a couple long-term or larger goals is key to simplifying. Objectives can then be placed within each goal, allowing you to see the steps needed to reach it.
4. Be accountable.
Goals aren’t realized if they’re not worked on, as Bennett knows.
“Whether a “bite-size” goal or a huge “chunk” of a goal, to have a sketched idea about what you want to accomplish helps with focus. It can help the person who struggles with accountability to keep reverting back to the goal when everything else distracts,” she said.
Not only is it a good idea to regularly look at your goals and update your progress, but it helps to enlist a friend or colleague to be a stakeholder in those goals. They can inspire, cheer you on, or give some much-needed advice.
“Having a couple of friends that I can call and brainstorm with once or twice a week helps motivate me and keeps me on track,” Fryer said.
Having a stakeholder cheer you on not only helps business goals, but personal goals as well.
Francie Larrieu Smith once said, “the most important factor for motivation is goal setting. You should always have a goal.”
So go ahead. Set some goals! Maybe a little motherly advice is what we all needed.
Recommended related blog post: 3 Types of Goals
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