A Mother And A Dreamer
Sister, you don't have to choose. You can have both - purposeful parenting AND a big ass dream. It's not an all or nothing equation. I'd love to share how I made motherhood and goal getting work side by side - it's possible!
I’m talking to all the mums out there that have a goal external to the extraordinarily challenging and admirable role of mama bear. All the mums that have a vision board up on the wall, a dream in their mind, a secret Pinterest board on their phone, a vision they live when their eyes are closed - yes, YOU mama! And I want to talk to you specifically because I know the feeling of wanting both the dream and the family and feeling a desperate need to choose between the two. I know the feeling so well.
First up, it’s possible. I’m walking, talking, living proof that you can cast the vision for the goal, create the time and space for the goal, and get the goal, as well as being a mum with presence and purpose.
I don’t like to spend too long on this topic, because it’s a drum that I no longer beat, but I’ll stop off quickly here because it’s relevant and important for some context;
I met a man, and after 6 weeks of “dating” (I’m not going to explain what those quote marks are for, just know that I’m winking right now), we were pregnant with twins (full story here). We moved to NZ when our girls were 4 months old, and we had no family support, no network, no community, nada. I started my business (my dream + goal) 8 weeks before I gave birth, and took 3 months off when my girls were born prematurely and lived in the hospital for 7 weeks. We had every reason under the sun not to pursue growth and goals - things were hard and we were literally riding solo in a new country with little babies, and also figuring out how to be in a relationship with each other as well (6 weeks is not a long time to get to know someone and then immediately have twins and move overseas, just FYI).
My strategies for getting the goal comes in two parts. The first part is about something very un-sexy (if you’re anything like me): discipline. The second part is about something wayyy sexier; devotion.
But before we even get there … you have to do something else …
Decide what your goal is. Seriously, define it. So often, parents (especially mums) don’t even allow themselves to dream and create visions for the future. Go for it, sister. You’re an amazing mum teaching your little peanuts how to dream, do and live their desires, and I think that’s pretty damn important.
Ok, now for the tactics (I’m a sporty gal from way back, and I can’t NOT have a tactic).
PART 1: DISCIPLINE.
This part comes first, because often when we’re going after a goal, we need to create new, fresh space for it. Which means that something else has to go, you have less time for leisure activities, it cuts into family time, you have less sleep, or something else that affects your daily life. One of the biggest cockblocks to success I see, is that people love the idea of the vision, but action towards said vision ceases as soon as there is a big imposition on daily life.
So, the first part of discipline is this: prepare yourself mentally for your daily life altering to make way for your goal. This is integral in order for you to KEEP GOING when things get tough (and they will).
Next, take a stocktake of your time expenditure in your life, and decide what MUST stay and what MUST go. Make these choices from you heart - not from obligation or necessity, but from your truth.
Decide how much time you are going to dedicate to your goal each week and schedule it in. Goals DO NOT happen when we try to fit it into non-specific times (trust me, I’ve tried this method and it’s total balls).
Depending on what your goal is - write a book, start a business, complete a triathlon, whatever - you need a goal-specific plan. That is, a plan that gives you direction, incremental steps towards the goal, mini milestones to celebrate along the way, and daily actions. I love spending 10 minutes at the beginning of every dream session writing my top 3 priorities for that time period. It gives me clarity, focus and direction.
My goal might be to hit the top rank in my company within 5 years (it is). But having that big goal doesn’t help me know what to do on the daily. So, when I break that down, I realise that I need to introduce essential oils (the product I work with) into 10 new homes every month for the next year (minimum), and then I make a plan on how I do that - classes, social media, workshops, online campaigns and marketing, etc. Then, my daily actions are based around getting oils into 10 new homes, rather than the grandiose idea of hitting the top rank in 5 years. The big goal is vital; I need to know where I’m aiming. But the small goals are just as important, because I need to have fun in the process and there is nothing like hitting mini milestones along the way and celebrating myself and my team to keep me aligned to the big vision.
The next thing that needs to happen is that you need to build integrity with yourself. You do this by showing up when you said you would in your schedule. When the goal isn’t essential (meaning that you don’t need to do it for your survival), it is rare that we have the discipline to turn up to our laptop/the gym/the studio/the guitar/whatever when we said we would. We subconsciously allow ourselves a back door strategy i.e. I’ll try to do it, but when it gets hard, I can just stop - this isn’t essential. This mindset will not get you to your goal. The process of building integrity is no different to building a habit - it starts off as an unused muscle, and you just need to keep flexin’ until it strengthens and becomes a natural part of your being. So, friends - turn up when you said you would. Once that has happened, and you’ve:
A. Got the clearly defined goal & dreamed the big dream
B. Cleared the unnecessary things from your schedule & you’ve scheduled your goal in
C. Created a goal-specific plan
D. Built integrity with yourself
…. It’s time for Part II.
PART 2: DEVOTION.
This is where things get explorative and personal. This is where we take the goal from being just the mechanics and logistics, into the heart and dedication as well.
There is a beautiful quote that I have stuck up on my vision board (cannot remember who coined this quote, but it most certainly wasn’t me - I just love it):
“Discipline does not outlast devotion.”
Meaning, discipline will get you to a certain point, but devotion to your goal is what will get you all the way there … and more. If you are not devoted to the goal from your heart and soul, it’s probably not the right goal to focus on. Devotion is necessary to your goal, because when things get tough, when the doubt creeps in, when there are inevitable bumps along the way, when someone close to you ridicules your dream, when you fail (most likely multiple times) and have to get back up - devotion will be the thing that holds you, helps you dust yourself off, and scoop you back up into possibility and dreaming.
Devotion is needed. The disciplined will tick the boxes, the devoted will revel in the experience. So, how do you bring more devotion into your goal getting?
Create a practice that helps you visualise your goal (I write out an emotional and specific journal entry about my dream, record myself speaking it on my phone in present or past tense, and then listen to it daily - I’ll do a blog post on this soon)
Spend time in stillness to imagine the feeling when you reach the goal
Create a ritual or practice before/after a goal session (your scheduled goal time) to connect to why it is important to you - make this your anchor that aligns you to the energy of the goal every single time you work towards it
Speak about your goal with power and conviction to the people you love and trust - rally the troops so you have a cheer squad when you get thrown off course (don’t play small here - no laughing about your goal, no “I know it’s silly but …”. NO. Stand firm, sister)
Speak to the relevant people in your life about your commitment, and let them know that changes are coming - preparing the people around you will create an aligned household, so everyone knows the expectations
Have the goal around you at all times - post it notes, vision board, pinterest boards, phone screensaver, computer screensaver, messages on the fridge, ask a friend to send you encouragement once a week, create an accountability arrangement with your significant other/a friend so they can check in and see how you’re doing.
Devote yourself to the task, not the distractions that happen around you. Your environment matters so much, so set up your environment to be conducive to goal getting. Your phone can be your enemy or your ally here - make it the latter. Do Not Disturb mode is your new bff, and checking your gram messages is not part of the devotion curriculum.
There are so many things we can do to bring our goals closer to us, and all of the above is what has worked for me - so take what you dig, and leave what you don’t. I still have goals (they just keep getting bigger and bigger), and so my discipline and devotion practices get tighter and more fierce as I continue to level up.
I’d love to hear your goals and serve as your accountability buddy while we both work towards world domination, I mean, our goals.
Go get ‘em, girl.