Monday, October 31, 2005

Reaching Goals With Baby

Many women give up their own dreams when they have a baby. Instead they decide to put their full attention into giving their baby the best they can. While it is admirable to devote yourself to your baby, you need to work on your own needs, too.

First, you need to set some concrete goals. Take a few minutes to think about what is it that you want. You will want to start with only one goal. You can jot down several issues right now, but you will need to focus. Be realistic. What goal can you accomplish in a week or a month, depending on how motivated you are? Try to select an initial goal that you can meet quickly - and with baby at your side. You may want something that is part of a larger goal. For example, if "getting in shape" is your larger, abstract goal, you may want to start with increasing the amount of fruits you eat and move from there.

The second key to having a goal once you have a baby is to make sure that you can allot a certain amount of time to the goal. You may be able to give up only 10 minutes a day, but you should know now what kind of time you have to devote to your goal. Be sure that you work this time into your schedule. While you should not beat yourself up if you cannot meet your time allotment, you should remember that it is especially important once you have a baby to be sure to take care of yourself. Make the time for your goal a key part of your daily schedule.

One of the things that may happen when you are a mom is that you will have so many things competing for your attention that you can forget easily. In this case, make your goals something that you can achieve without a lot of work. Your first step can be as small as, "I want to get the kitchen organized. I will work on it for 15 minutes everyday until I am done." Or, "I want to finish my novel, I will write at least 500 words daily." Then you have set a goal that is doable in the amount of time you have. Both of those goals can be reached during one of baby's shorter naps.

Goals are important, but the journey should not overtake the end result. If you had your novel as your goal, for example, you should plan to revisit the goal weekly. First, be sure that you are making good progress. You may need to move backward and rework some parts. That is okay because it is part of your goal. You also may find that your goal is simple to achieve, which is great because you will make it but it will not provide any challenge. You may want to increase your goal to 750 or 1,000 words a day. Be sure that your goal is challenging so that it will be important to you.

By Julia Mercer

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