Goal Setting for Ambitious Mamas
Multitasking seems to come with the territory of being a mom. It's amazing how many things you can do at once when you have to. It's not uncommon for me to find myself holding the baby while making dinner and listening to a business podcast. I feel like superwoman. Look at me, I'm bringing home the bacon and frying it up - all at once!
But here's the thing. Multitasking is not actually possible, even for moms. Our human brains cannot focus on 2 things at once. When we think we're multitasking, we're actually just rapidly going back and forth between multiple thoughts. Not surprisingly, women have an easier time doing this.
The problem is that this is not efficient. It feels like it should be, but every time we have to switch and reengage with what we were doing, it takes the brain time to get back into that flow. And if we're constantly asking our brains to jump around like this, we end up feeling incredibly busy and overwhelmed, but never actually accomplish anything.
I know I have had those days as a work-at-home mom. When it comes to naptime, I have a million things on my to-do list and am almost paralyzed by the options. I end up starting a blog post, then getting distracted by the sink full of dishes. After the dishes are done, I remember that client I was supposed to call. Before I know it, Tim is home from work asking me about my day, and I'm not even sure how that much time has passed with nothing crossed off my list.
Choosing just a few key priorities is the only way to combat this constant call to multitask. I'll be the first to admit that this is really hard for me, but has helped me make HUGE strides in my business.
You get 3
Start by thinking about what you want out of your life. We have to know where we want to go in order to get there. How would I know what day-to-day tasks to work on if I don't know the overarching goals for my biz and life? What are the 3 goals for your life? Here are mine...
Always put my family first
Make true connections with friends and family
Now that you have a general idea of what your life's priorities are, you can start breaking down your goals for the year. Fall is a great time to do this for the coming year.
In this post I'm focusing on business goals, but you could certainly do this with your personal life as well. For example, some goals for your family could be to take a week-long vacation this summer, plan a weekly date night with your spouse or do a headstand in yoga class.
What are 3 long-term (6 months to a year) goals for your business or career? If you're just starting out as a mom boss, maybe your goals would be to create a blog or ebook. You could focus on learning social media strategies or attending a conference or class.
Here are my 3 long-term goals...
Launch my freelance writing course
Grow my email subscriber list to 5,000
Increase my number of content marketing clients
And now comes the hardest part for me... just pick 1 goal at a time. I can't possibly do all 3 of these things at once (though I often still try). Look at the goals you've written and come up with an order for how you'll tackle them. I think you'll find that you often need to accomplish one before the others will be possible.
For me, I know I need to grow my email list before launching an online course. Otherwise, I'll have no one to sell it to! However, in the meantime I need to pay the bills, so I'm going to first focus on growing my writing clients first. Once I've accomplished that, I can move on to the more fun tasks of growing this audience and creating valuable courses for them.
Once you've picked 1 long-term goal to work towards, come up with 3 priorities that you will accomplish in the next 2 weeks to a month to move you towards that goal. These should be very specific tasks that you will know when you've accomplished them. To grow my writing client base, I will focus on...
Send 10 pitches per day
Check-in with current clients via email
Update the writing samples on my website
Don't spend too much time worrying that you're not picking the right short-term goals. You're going to be knocking these out pretty quickly, so just keep moving forward. You'll learn as you go. The most important thing is to take steps forward.
Okay, now we're back at that daily to-do list. Looking at your short-term goals, come up with 3 tasks that you will accomplish in the next 1-2 days that will get you closer to accomplishing these goals. Limit yourself to 3, because truly, you're not going to accomplish more than 3 in a day, so why stress yourself out with trying to add more?
You'll be updating this list every couple days, so pick tasks you know you will make the time for. What happens if something comes up and you don't get to them? Don't beat yourself up or just accept the fact that you're not cut out for creating a business from home. Life happens, especially when you work from home. Just brush yourself off and start fresh the next day. This happens to everyone, so don't let it derail you.
To grow my base of writing clients in the next 1-2 days, here's what I plan to do...
Gather links of my current published articles to add to my website
Come up with a list of 50 health & wellness companies to pitch my services to
Send a check-in email to my top-paying client
So there you have it! A clear business plan for the next year! Doesn't it feel good? After going through this exercise, I always start to feel my shoulders relax and my breathing slow down. Getting everything down on paper means less for your brain to try to keep track of.
What did you think of this goal-setting exercise? Let me know in the comments below! And I'd love to hear your favorite strategies for knocking your goals out of the park.