Let’s talk about goal setting for mothers and why moms need to set goals, how it can impact not just their own life but the future of their kids and family.
Do you set goals for your family? Whenever I talk about Goal Setting, moms ask me how that works. They want to know why they should set goals, or how it is important? What change will it make to their life? And also, won’t their families suffer if they have a purpose beyond being ‘just a mom’!
Well, actually, a little planning is going to help not just you but your family as well. Let me explain…
I believe in living an intentional life . Like you, I want to raise good kids and a happy family too. I have some goals for my family because I believe that if I intentionally show up to bring change in my family’s life, it is going to be a positive change rather than just a ‘drift with the wind’ and ‘let life steer my ship to the shore’ change.
Every mother should learn to set goals and go after them. I’d like to share with you my experience of how goal setting impacted my life, making me more confident in not just being the driving force behind my family’s success, but also in realizing my own dreams.
We all want to be good mothers.
Like you, I want to be a good mother and raise good Muslim children. I want to raise them well, not just let them grow up by themselves. I want to enjoy them and I want them to enjoy their childhood.
I understand that it’s my responsibility to prepare my children for their future life. And I also know that the foundations I set in my home will impact how they turn out as adults in the future.
My parenting, me as a human being, how I show up as a mother to my family and how I interact with them – – all of these things impact their life and future. My children are learning more from what I do, than from what I preach to them.
But motherhood is so hard. Raising children, doing all the housework and then attending to everyones’s needs amidst pregnancies, babies, toddlers, sicknesses and life events – it is so difficult for me to give my full attention to all aspects of my children’s lives.
Years ago, I was this overwhelmed person wondering how to be a better and more loving mother to my children. I was overworked and being pulled in so many directions. My children were growing up so fast, that I felt I wasn’t enjoying them fully. It was at that time that I decided, I had to set aside some time every month to think about them and how I wanted to parent these kids.
So I started writing Monthly Goals.
At the start of every month, I would sit down with my diary (which was just one simple, plain, 300 page notebook) and I would brain dump all my thoughts into it. I would think about my home, kids, marriage, my busy-ness and then what I wanted for the future and how I would go about it.
Five reasons why moms need to set goals
You know when children are growing up, it is not just them, but also us. We are growing up too. Nobody taught us how to be a mother. We had to learn it hands on – one experience at a time. Our milestones and failures taught us how to get better at this job.
A thing I learnt as a result of a raising my kids, was that mothers aren’t supposed to serve. We are not doing our children any good by doing everything for them.
Mothers are meant to lead. We are naturally born to be CEOs of our homes. And as a CEO – as a leader of our home – it is our responsibility to guide our families like the captain of a ship.
Mothers steer their homes to success.
Our responsibility is to create a home where our children feel safe and nurtured. We guide our children to be the best they can be.
Whether it is schooling and education, or faith and manners, or even responsibilities and life skills, we have to create that home where our children are encouraged to try things safely and learn from their mistakes (naturally) and then to choose to amend their mistakes and make the right choices.
We cannot be living our children’s childhood. Our children need to be given that freedom to explore, tinker and test – and that is not just in play, but in limits too.
For all of that to happen, it is important that we show up as a leader. We need to think about our families like a leader leads a team. We have to plan.
Goal setting can change your family life.
When I started taking out time every month to just simply think about my children, I saw how my life improved bit by bit. I was becoming a more patient mother.
I was enjoying my children and taking out time for them. Motherhood did not seem that hard. In fact, I realized I was enjoying my children and being their mother even more.
My relationship with my children improved too. They started coming to me and sharing little and big things with me. We started working together on things that mattered more to them, than me.
I got less angry and more peaceful. I learnt to use better words and how to keep my voice calm. Things bothered me less because I felt more in control.
Goal setting can give you a better marriage
When I started goal setting to raise a happy family, I found myself connecting with my husband better.
Because you see, while I was planning my monthly goals every month, I was also telling my husband what I felt and thought. It made me a better communicator. I was unintentionally sharing my journey with him and guiding him to be a better father.
Because I was always talking about what I was doing that month with the kids, or what my children were working on, he felt like a more involved father. I didn’t realize it then, but through my goal setting, my husband and I felt like we were working on some special project.
My husband and I started seeing eye to eye on things and when we disagreed, it was to make each other understand each other’s perspective. Our children became a cause for “discussion” rather than disagreement.
Goal setting will make you confident
There are many advantages to goal setting for your family, but the thing that I have loved most is that it helped me feel more confident as a mother.
I mean I knew what mattered to me. So when people picked out faults in my children, or someone compared my child’s milestones to another, I didn’t care. I knew where my child was coming from, and where he was going. I had assurance that I was doing a good job with my kids. I measured my own results.
Goal setting helps you keep competition away.
You will stop comparing your child to another child. You will stop feeling less of a mother. And you will look at hurdles in your parenting journey as just “hurdles” — something you can overcome – not as failures.
You will understand that your child and YOU are a both a work in progress.
The best thing to do is focus on PROGRESS in your life, rather than just standing there and pondering over failures or setbacks. When things go wrong or are delayed, we start looking for alternate ways to get things rolling. It is like being “solution focussed” rather than complaining and cribbing at life.
They say ‘what you focus on will grow‘ and this has definitely been the case I have seen with goal setting for my family. Whatever it is that I wanted to work on that month, I was really working on that.
I stopped saying “I have to think about this too“; instead I found myself saying “this is what I am going to do about it”.
From “just a mother” to “more than a mother“
When I started setting goals for my family, my family started not just cooperating with me, but also encouraging me to try new things in our life.
Goal setting gave me opportunities for self growth and starting dialogues on issues which concerned me.
My children could see my life and how hard I worked. They felt empathy and understanding which gradually turned to encouragement and appreciation for everything I was doing.
Goal setting helps mothers focus both on their families and on themselves.
You start carving out time for yourself – your growth and self-love. It starts with just a few minutes of free time and then, before you know it, you have hobbies and then those hobbies lead you to finding your own purpose.
I thought I would have to give up my career as a college lecturer when I got married and had kids. I chose to be a stay at home mother, but it never occurred to me what a blessing in disguise motherhood was. I had so much more time at home, even while they were babies and toddlers.
The children’s nap times and bedtimes became my me-time.
As my children grew bigger and started school, they developed the skills to work by themselves and look after their own responsibilities. This gave me the time to dream some ‘impossible’ dreams.
Gradually, my goals that were just family-centered, became more all-rounded. I wasn’t only thinking about home and kids, but also my own personal growth. If someone had told me years ago that I’d be starting a company and working full time from home even with little kids in the household, I doubt I’d have believed them. But here I am.
How does goal setting work?
I know you are wondering if this is really possible. How can goal setting help you do all this?
How is just thinking about your life and home once a month and picking out things to work on, give you the freedom and time to chase impossible dreams?
That is because when you are actually THINKING about things, you are saving time- your thoughts will turn into a PLAN of what things to do. Most people don’t realize how much time they waste by just wondering what to do first or where to start!
Goal setting gives you your “what to do first” item. And all you need to do next is decide “when” you will do it and “how” you will do it. It is as simple as that.
Where to start with setting goals as a mother?
I am sure that after all this, you are wondering how to start goal setting. Well, I can help.
The first step before you learn goal setting is to have a Life Plan for yourself. Once you are clear about your life goals and what you really want to do, you can really start making the right kind of changes in your life.
I teach life planning and goal setting in a course called Life Planning for Moms.
We open registration to Life Planning for Moms course on 22nd January, inshaAllah. LPM is my signature course that I teach to Muslim mothers worldwide.
Life Planning Moms is a online course where I walk you through writing your life plan, setting a list of life goals for yourself and then looking at your present life to create a path of how you can make your big and small dreams come true.