Setting Goals As A Single Mum
Earlier this week I wrote about how to find your identity again as a single mum. As part of that I touched on goal setting. As a new single mum, goal setting is a great way to get back to finding yourself if you’ve lost your identity in your last relationship. It’s a great way to get yourself back on track and back to feeling confident and good about yourself.
Having children does put our own dreams on the back burner and it’s not easy for us mums to work out what WE want. When was the last time you thought about what YOU wanted to achieve?
For me it was two years after I became a single mum. And do you know why it took me so long? I was so focused on doing what was right for my daughter and trying to provide a good life for her that I completely forgot about myself. But a relationship break up is the BEST TIME to work out what it is that you want in your life! And it’s going to make you – and your child – HAPPIER!!
It’s time for YOU to think about YOUR goals and what you want to achieve.
Once you have determined a starting goal, and gained clarity on what it is you want to achieve, work out WHY you want to achieve this goal. If you do not have a clear purpose, you are not going to be motivated to carry it out.
Let me use the goal I set two years ago as an example. I wanted to create a platform for single mothers to connect, feel motivated, be inspired and get informed. I had gotten really passionate about helping and supporting single mothers in my local area and I wanted to help single mums not only in my area, but on a national, and even a global scale. I didn’t want any new single mothers feeling as alone and lost as I had. I wanted to make a difference in the world and help people. Hence Single Mother Survival Guide was born.
Initially Single Mother Survival Guide was only my passion project as I was still working four days a week as a consultant.
After my daughter was in bed, I would work on Single Mother Survival Guide from 9pm to midnight, or even 1am. I knew it wasn’t sustainable but I couldn’t help myself. I was so passionate about creating this platform. I wanted to gather information to share with others, I wanted to create a podcast for single mums, and I wanted to write about things I had learnt (as well as share my own experiences) through a blog. Obviously I was a single parent too, a full time single parent at that, and so there wasn’t much time.
I was burning myself to the ground. I was leaving the house at 6:30am so I could drop my daughter off at day care at 7am to go to the gym before work, then I would work all day, collect my daughter from day care, and then try to get home as quickly as possible so I could make dinner and spend time with my daughter. Then I would get back into my passion project – Single Mother Survival Guide. I did a course on setting up a website, I learnt how to make a podcast, I did a blogging course, and at the same time I tried to implement it all.
At this time, I wasn’t enjoying my consulting work as much anymore. I didn’t feel challenged, and I started to question where I could go and where I wanted to take my career. The logistics of my life were a struggle and my stress levels were through the roof. I felt on the verge of a break down. Even getting to work was stressful. A tantrum from my daughter (or one of her giant weet-bix sneezes) could put my whole morning off, and result in me being half an hour late to work, which increased my stress. And if my daughter was sick, I’d feel guilty for working from home. I was always the last one in the office and the first to leave, despite being in the office for the official working hours. I felt an immense amount of stress from that. At the same time I was always one of the first to drop my daughter off at day care and one of the last to pick her up. I constantly felt guilty. Guilty for not being there for my daughter, and guilty for my shorter working hours, compared to my colleagues. I thought, there HAS to be a better way.
After struggling on for a few months, my position was made redundant. It was scary and a huge shock, but it was also a blessing because it forced me to look at my life and re-examine my goals. I thought, This is my chance to mould my life to how I want to live it, life is too short to feel constantly stressed and tired. So I didn’t even look for another job. I thought, Single Mother Survival Guide is my passion, and I’m going to turn it into a business. So that’s what my goal shifted to, and that what I did.
I wanted to create a business in something that I was passionate about and something that enabled me to help others. I wanted to be able to work for myself. I wanted to action my ideas. I really disliked the whole 9am – 5pm working hours. It didn’t suit my lifestyle, especially as a single mother. I wanted to work the hours that suited me and not when a building happened to be unlocked. I wanted to be able to work around being a mum. I wanted to be able to drop my daughter off and pick her up from school, and be involved in the school community when she starts school next year. I want to go to the parades and performances and afternoon teas. These were my ‘whys’.
Once you are very clear on why you want to achieve your goal, you are more likely to reach that goal. There is nothing more powerful than motivation. Thinking constantly about your why is what is going to motivate you. That is what is going to drive you, and that is what is going to get you up in the morning and back at it every single day.
Next, you need to schedule in some time each day or week to work on your goal. Don’t be a ‘think-er’, be a ‘do-er’. The difference between people who reach their goals and people who don’t, is that people who are ‘do-ers’ don’t just think about it, they set up a plan to actually carry out their goal. It’s fun thinking about your goals, but to carry them out, you actually have to work out a plan and DO IT!!
Get your goal and break it down: What steps do you need to take to reach your goal? Write them down and work out your action plan. Think about the steps you need to take in order for you to reach that goal. If you have a big goal, such as buying a house, participating in a triathlon or starting a business, it can be quite overwhelming to think about. But if you break your goal down into individual steps, you will be able to achieve your goal.
In my case, I wanted to start a business helping single mothers. I wanted to create a community to inform them, support them, motivate and inspire them. I wanted to do this through building a website with information and resources, writing a blog, developing a podcast, and offering services to single mothers – specifically mentoring them, and creating an online course. If I had been a ‘think-er’, I would have thought I don’t know how to set up a website, let alone create a podcast. How will I get the word out? What if people don’t like it? How will I get the money to set this all up? It’s a great fantasy, but it just seems too hard. Maybe I can think about it again in a few years’ time or find something else I’m passionate about that’s EASIER. But instead, I focused on having a positive mindset, working out the steps I needed to take to reach my bigger goal, and finding solutions for all my barriers. I don’t accept statements such as “It’s not possible” or “I can’t do it“, and those that have worked with me will know that. Something I have learnt is that there is always a solution.
A helpful method – and fun activity – is creating a vision board. I wasn’t a big believer in things like manifestation or the law of attraction until I decided to try it out for myself at the start of last year. I wanted to pictorialize my vision for what I wanted for the year, so I included pictures of what I wanted to achieve. These included a microphone (to symbolise the podcast I wanted to launch), an image of the website which I wanted to launch, a picture of Fiji (where I wanted to take my daughter after a legal dispute with her dad to get her a passport), and more. I also included inspirational quotes.
I put the vision board on the wall opposite my bed so it was the first thing I saw when I woke up and the last thing I saw before going to sleep. I looked at it every day and imagined myself doing the things I put on my vision board. I imagined myself talking into a microphone and recording a podcast, I imagined my daughter and I playing together on the beach in Fiji, and I imagined all the other things that I had put on my vision board.
The crazy thing is, it worked! As the year went on, I began to achieve everything I had on my vision board, and by the end of 2016, every single thing I had put on my vision board had come true! And actually, it’s not so crazy that it worked. Each day I spent time looking at it and visualising my future. I saw myself reaching my goals, and imagined what that felt like. It motivated me to put in the work to achieve my goals. And having put in the work, I did. I’m not there yet. I am yet to launch my online course to help single mothers for example, but I AM on track for everything I wanted to achieve to get me there. And you know what? It feels GREAT!
When I first created my vision board for 2016, I felt a bit ridiculous. These goals seemed crazy, but I did it! I did it using the steps above. And so can YOU.
As I go on, more goals are being added. And every time I find myself questioning if I can achieve them, or doubting myself, I think back to the start of 2016 and how silly I felt, and how great I felt by the end of the year when I had actually achieved my goals.
If you can find a goal and reach it, you will feel really happy and proud of yourself. You’ll be doing something for you, not anyone else, and it will help you on your path to empowerment.
P.S DID YOU KNOW?
- Have you just parted ways with your partner, and feeling lost?
- Have you been single for a little while now and need assistance with getting your life back on track and feeling empowered?
The purpose of the Clarity Call is:
- For me to get to know you and understand an overview of your current situation and where you are at.
- For us to establish what you need assistance with to move forward.
- To see if we are a good fit to work together.
Know someone who needs to read this? Share it with them via the links below.