Today I want to talk to you about something that I have fought long and hard against. Me, I am a planner by nature. I am a list maker. I am a note taker. I am not a goal setter. *sigh* I know, I know, it goes against every fiber of my being to not naturally set goals. I think the reason for this is because I was never taught any of these things. I have just developed into this person the older I get. As I get further and further into our homeschooling journey I realize just how important it is to set goals. Planning is very important… it is what gets you to your goal. Lists help you complete your plans. So together they help to accomplish goals.
Why set goals?
Simply put: when we don’t have our goals in place we are not working toward anything.
Recently I sat down and assessed my life. I am
31 in my early thirties. Where am I going in life? I am homeschooling my children, yes. I am working at home, yes. But what is my end game? Where do I want this to end? Of course I want to graduate both of my children. That is my long term goal. But that is years away. I need to start thinking more in the short term. Without deciding where I want to be 6 months from now we are all just going through the motions and not gaining ground.
Let’s talk about how to set goals.
Goals should be personal to the task that lies ahead. Are you trying to get your child caught up to grade level? That is your goal!
Are you trying to teach your child to spell all of their site words for the year? That is your goal!
Simple right? Not always.
What is you just need to survive the day? There is no chocolate in the house and that third cup of coffee isn’t doing the trick. Pen and paper my friend! It’s goal time!
- Talk with your spouse – When setting goals you want to be sure that it is going to fit into your family life as much as it is going to fit into your own life. Your spouse should always be considered when setting goals. I am betting they can help you attain them and push you toward them!
- Talk with your children – How do they feel about the way things are going? What do they want to work toward? Maybe they want to learn Spanish, learn long division (don’t laugh they might!) or count to 300 without missing a number. The thing is, unless you include them in this process you may end up working toward goals for them alone… you know where this is going don’t you? Yep, long days of tears and prayer requests.
- Write them down – I mentioned it before but if you do not write your goals down, have them in front of you, then what are you working toward? Plaster them on the bathroom mirror. Ok, not really. Just put them on a post-it and stick that thing on the mirror. Print them out on pretty paper and hang them on your wall. Write them down on your dry erase board. It doesn’t matter where you write them, just write them down.
- Check yourself – You have a goal, you have it written down, you are working… now what? You need to check your progress. Don’t obsess. Make it a point to check in about a quarter of the way through your journey. Are you on target? What do you need to adjust? Make adjustments that need to be made and move forward. Who knows, you may be way ahead and need to up your game!
Some things to consider when setting goals
Sometimes we just don’t meet our goals. You know what? That is okay! Really, mom! Don’t beat yourself up. Tomorrow is a new day. Write down a new goal and start over. You may find that you need an accountability partner. Find someone who can help motivate you and push you toward your goals. I mentioned your spouse but often times men aren’t as good at “getting it” as women are. Find a close friend and ask her to join you or to check in with you regularly to see how much you have progressed. Get a notebook, planner, agenda, anything to track yourself.
The bottom line is… set a goal, write it down, and move forward!
Tools I recommend when setting goals
Homeschooling: My Well Planned Day from HEDUA