You have big dreams, friend. But it seems like there is no time and you don’t know to get it all done. There is so much modern parents manage, but I’ve figured out the secret to accomplishing big goals.
You want to run a marathon or start a side business or pay off your debt. Maybe you want just to get your mounds of family photos organized or clean out the overflowing garage.
You just want to reach your reading goal for the year. Or you want to lose 20 pounds this year. But you’re juggle carpool and kids’ sports or tantrums and therapy appointments.
At Printable Parents, we want to have realistic, easy-to-implement solutions for better days. These better days aren’t just through teaching your children to manage their behavior and responsibilities. You, friend deserve to have better days, too.
You are a busy parent and you deserve time to chase your dreams. Here’s the secret to accomplishing big goals as a parent.
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Problems with Goal Setting
A lot of us set New Year’s Resolutions but fall flat. You beat yourself up because you feel like a failure. You think you just need to get more motivation or wait until the children are older and you have more time. But here’s the truth; you are not the problem, there are a lot of problems with traditional goal setting that get in the way for busy parents
Modern parents have to deal with so much overwhelm. We’re constantly bombarded with an endless stream of information: paperwork from school, advice from the pediatrician, and recommendations from our friends about their children. Goodness knows how much input we get from social media. Our brains are so full from all this information, so we have very little mental bandwidth to think strategically about our big goals.
All or Nothing Thinking
Most of us also underestimate the power of small steps. If you want to lose twenty pounds, you might think you need to run five times a week and do a low carb, whole foods diet. You think you need to do it all, all at once. When you can’t sustain the running or the diet, you might throw in the towel and return to your normal habits because you think you need to make big changes to see measurable success. So you decide to do nothing.
Similar to the All or Nothing thinking, is the one coin loophole. Gretchen Rubin has shared as part of the argument of the growing heap. The idea is if you add one coin to a pile, it won’t make you rich. But eventually if you keep adding coins to the pile, eventually one of those coins will be the one that makes you incredibly wealthy. This is a loophole because we tell ourselves just one positive or negative activity doesn’t matter.
In your life, you might say to yourself “it doesn’t matter if I skip my run today” and that’s true. But if you run regularly, you eventually have a habit. You could argue that one of the those runs would ultimately be the run that makes you fit and healthy. You might say to yourself, “it doesn’t matter if I eat McDonald’s today” and that’s true. But eventually one of those fast food meals will be the one that makes you cross the line from healthy to overweight.
The bottom line is that each individual action is inconsequential but the sum of the actions has tremendous value. This is why small steps are incredibly powerful.
Lack of clarity
One of the biggest hang-ups for achieving our big goals is not having a clear path from A-Z. You’ve got the big goal: you want to lose 20 pounds. But if you don’t flesh out your goal, you’ll likely stumble.
Similarly, if you want to start a side business so you can save for a hew home or a big vacation, you need to think through how you can get there to achieve those goals.
Here’s the ultimate truth about accomplishing big goals and failing: you are not the problem, you just need a better strategy.
Strategy for Accomplishing Big Goals
Here’s the secret for accomplishing big goals: you just need to figure out the next step. Asking yourself constantly, “What’s next?” solves all the problems.
We break down the next step each time in something you can accomplish in less than 10 minutes. Every time. And then you focus on just doing the next step.
It battles overwhelm because you develop a habit to block out the other noise, think about what you want to accomplish and devote mental bandwidth to figuring it out just your next step.
It prevents all or nothing thinking because the next step is never all the things and it’s never nothing – instead of nothing, it’s always just ONE thing. And it’s always small.
It combats lack of clarity because you just need to get clear on one thing. You don’t need to figure out the whole pathway – you just focus on the next few steps.
Often big goals seem unmanageable because we don’t take the time to identify the next step.
How to Break Down a Big Goal
Here’s how to accomplish your big goals by figuring out the next step. First print our a few copies of my printable goal planner. I have color and black and white copies in the file you’ll download so chose your favorite or print them both.
Then grab your favorite clipboard and pens and sit down for five minutes to think. First, use this planner to identify your big goal and the reason why you want to do it. Then think how you can get started on this goal immediately.
Keep breaking down the next step for your BIG goal. Take the time to figure out the next six steps. If you give it your attention for five minutes, you will have a solid plan to start accomplishing your big goal.
I chose to make an example using the goal to clean out the garage. First, I thought: How can I start in five minutes? I decided I could collect obvious garbage and recycling and dispose of it.
Then, I thought “What’s next?” I know we have several broken pieces of electronic equipment – it’s there because neither Kyle nor I have figured out how to dispose of it. So my next step is to research where to dispose of the broken electronics and I circled my estimate of 10 minutes.
For the next task I thought “What’s next?” I decided to find 5-10 items I can sell on Facebook. I estimated it would take 10 minutes and I circled that.
You can see how I broke down the big goal or project into enough tasks to get started and give myself momentum. Using this planner will help me accomplish my big goal.
Friend, you have big goals and big dreams, too. You can achieve them. You can beat overwhelm, all or nothing thinking, and get clarity. Just use my Next Step Goal planner to achieve your big dreams.
Get the printable here.
Here’s to Better Days.