Day 3 on prioritizing: goals.

Let’s take a step back here. I think it’s important to do that whenever I’m thinking really hard about something—take a step away, look at the big picture, remind myself of what I’m really aiming to achieve. So, what’s our aim?

We’re trying to answer a big question: what is the best way for moms (each of us individually) to spend the time that’s left over after we’ve taken care of the necessities (work, basic parenting duties, etc.)? I think the way many of us would handle this question at first glance would be to reply immediately, “what time, you crazy person?!” and then return to the hustle bustle. However, even if it’s only ten minutes here, half an hour there, most of us have some free time. And, because that bit of time is so precious, we should put a good amount of thought and care into what we decide to do with it.

To prioritize our time, we are working toward identifying: our broad values and the goals that align with these values, what activities will bring us closer to accomplishing those goals, and where in our busy lives these activities fit in.

Phew…okay, back on track. So, last time, we made a list of our values. Now, it’s time to think about goals. But, one more thing before we dive in: let’s think about how we will define goals. How ambitious should we be here? Are we talking short-term or long-term goals? Should we keep goals general or should we make them specific? For me personally, I’ve found that goals are most helpful when they:

  • are ambitious, but realistic (achievable)
  • focus on a specific time frame
  • clearly state what needs to change (or be maintained) and how

So, for instance, instead of “I want to be healthier,” I might say something like “Prepare a meal using natural, fresh ingredients at least twice a week” or “Start exercising for 30 minutes at least three times per week.” Instead of “I want to be more organized,” my goal might be “Go through all my random papers once per week and file or toss.” Using the criteria above, some goals may actually be activities. Again, I think that’s just fine.

Alright, already! Let’s do it! Pull out your values lists, and let’s go!

Values Goals
Kids’ Health and Development
  • Take Jackson to the library at least twice a month.
  • Read to Jacob most days of the week.
  • Take kids on walk to park once a week when weather warms up.
  • Set up a play date for Jackson at least once a month.
  • Look up online different activities to enhance Jacob’s development at least twice a month and share with sitter and husband.
Relationships with Family
  • Spend time with husband at least three times per week.
  • Call brother, sister, and parents at least once per week.
  • Call grandma and aunt at least once a month.
  • Check at the beginning of each month to see what birthdays are coming up. Record birthdays in calendar with reminders so I remember to send cards/gifts.
Relationships with Friends
  • Check in with out-of-state friends every couple of months.
  • Have friend(s) over to the house at least once a month.
  • Go out with friends at least twice a month.
Physical Fitness
  • Do something active for at least 60 minutes 6 days a week.
  • Lift weights three days a week.
  • Limit dessert to once per week; substitute fruit or healthy dessert on other days.
  • Cook dinner using fresh, natural ingredients at least twice a week.
  • Cook batches of healthy food on the weekends to pack in work lunches and freeze.
  • Have fresh fruits and vegetables and dips ready to grab for the weekdays.
Maintaining Sanity: Being Happy
  • Get 8 hours of sleep most nights.
  • Read for fun at least once a week.
  • Find time to make a piece of jewelry at least once a month.
Learning and Growing: Trying New Things
  • Check the news online or on the radio once a day.
  • Try a new recipe at least twice a month.
  • Find out more about the blogging world—try to post at least 5 days a week.
Becoming a Better Person: Learning from Mistakes
  • Reflect for a few minutes each day on how the day went, what I learned, what I could do better next time, or who I can go to for help/feedback.
Being Thankful
  • Reflect every day on what I’m thankful for.
Integrity: Being True to Myself
  • Reflect at the end of the day on how that day fits with my values and goals and what could be better tomorrow.
Making a Positive Difference in Others’ Lives
  • Carve out some time to explore what kind of service/volunteer activities I could reasonably fit into my schedule.
  • Reflect each day on interactions with others, how positive I was, and what I could do better.
Keeping Life (House, Car, Office) Clean and Clutter-Free.
  • Work a little each month to clean out attic.
  • Go through old clothes, purses, and shoes a little each month and give the ones I don’t use to Goodwill.
  • Set a weekend every two months to clean out car.
  • Set a weekend every month to dust and vacuum.
  • Go through the mail and Jackson’s old school papers once per week.
  • Work a little every couple of months to put together photo albums and scrapbooks from memorabilia in the attic.

I’m not sure how comprehensive this list is for me, but the reflection alone was helpful. I’m going to print mine with some extra space so I can add to it as things pop up.

What about you? Is anyone out there? If so, how is this process working for you?


Posted on April 10, 2011, in The Balancing Act and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Loving this values/goals reflection. I’ve made my own list which is nice to have it all laid out. The cynic in me is saying that it’s great to have all of this listed but still doesn’t understand how to fit all of my goals into the short day/week/month. Hopefully, you have a solution for that too 🙂
    Thanks so much for the blog; I will continue to read!!!

    • Hi 🙂 Yes, I promise I have a plan. I just had to break away from all the structured thinking on priorities, goals, etc for a bit. I will get back to “activities” sometime this week and attempt a solution!

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