Last week I shared the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goals and how you can apply them in your mothering life (or any area of your life).
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This week I want to help you turn your SMART goal into action.
First, let’s do some PREPARATORY work:
We do this because we want this to be different to all the other times you have wanted to do something differently and then been unable to follow through. All the times you may have tried and given up after a while, or found yourself distracted.
Here are some questions that will help you decide if you are ready and serious about making this change. Even something as seemingly small as spending 30 minutes of quality time with your child per day requires preparation. Because the consequences of doing it, or not doing it are equally significant.
Here are your questions:
1. Is your goal in true alignment with your values? Does it support one of your deeply held values? If not, it will be hard for you to keep the momentum going.
2. Are you willing to learn from experts, and do what has been proven to work? I.E finding, accepting, and applying the help and guidance that is available, rather than reinventing the wheel or trying something that has not worked for you before!
3. Are you ready and willing to do whatever it takes, even if those things are outside your comfort zone, to move to where you want to be?
4. Are you willing to accept full responsibility for your actions? This means no blaming your partner, your schedule, your parents or the economy or anything else. Of course, it means taking credit for your success and acknowledging yourself for that!
5. Do you understand that no-one is coming to rescue you, or do it for you? You are the one that has to do the work.
Okay, so NOW that you are ready, let’s take action by making an ACTION PLAN:
An action plan is like a to-do list but it focuses on the achievement of a single goal. You will list all the steps in order, and as such it allows you to track your progress.
An alternative way of devising and action plan is the Backward Planning Process. In this process you write down your ultimate goal and by what date you wish to achieve it.
You then work backwards, asking yourself what milestone you need to Asks accomplish just before that. You continue to work back, in the same way, until you get to the very first step you need to take to get your plan into action. This is where you begin.
Finally, you can think about structures you can put in place that will support your action. In our example from last week, Jennifer wanted to spend 30 minutes per day with her daughter. A structure she might use would be to set a daily reminder or alarm her cell phone alerting her 20 minutes before the time she will spend with her daughter.
Secondly she decided that she will make herself accountable to someone.
Both these structures give Jennifer a good chance at being consistent with her goal and her plan.
Best of luck!Kim
PS. Don’t forget that one of the best ways of making yourself accountable is by hiring a coach.