Don’t be a stick in your mud

So Januaries are notorious for resolution making and breaking, yes? Yes. So since the majority of you reading this (assuming my main audience is in Ontario) are stuck in lockdown 2.0, and a good chunk of you are moms with school-aged children, let’s put this time to some good use, shall we? Don’t be a stick in your own proverbial mud. Put your big girl pants back on, put the joggers away. They smell at this point, and you kinda look like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown.

Ok let’s start by setting a GOAL for this month. Small bites. Without setting yourself a goal, you’re just wandering aimlessly with no tangible end. I mean, that’s all well and good if that’s what you want, but this isn’t our first rodeo. We’ve been in lock down for the past 329123y623-9841 months. Snap out of it. So set a goal. Here’s a few tips on setting a goal that isn’t just “i want to make a million dollars.”

  1. Set goals that motivate you. Your goals should be important and relevant to you. If you’re not super interested in making them happen, you’re not likely going to achieve your goal. You need to have a vested interest, so once you’ve determined your goal, ask yourself why your goal is important. Write this down: Goal — Why is this important to you? — now why is that important to you — and keep asking yourself why until you can’t answer the question anymore, until you reach the root.
  2. Don’t set a goal that’s not SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound. I didn’t make this up. I’ve heard this in other trainings before, and it’s in a bunch of productivity related online articles. Make sure your goal is clear and well-defined (Specific); Include precise, specific details so you know when you’ve actually reached your goal (Measurable); Don’t set a goal that isn’t realistic for your situation, but make sure it’s enough of a stretch (Attainable); Your goal should be Relevant to the direction you want your career and life to take; And finally, set yourself a time, a deadline. If you don’t have a time limit set, you’ll never really be motivated to get there (Time Bound).
  3. WRITE. IT. DOWN. Put it on a post it, stick it on your monitor. If you’re a visual person, make a vision board. Just thinking of a goal won’t suddenly make it happen, and putting it down on paper almost makes it real — yknow?
  4. Make an action plan. Grab a block of sticky-notes and write down all of the actions you need to take broken down into bite sized bits, one bit per note. Stick it on your wall. Then, put those sticky notes in order, kind of like a timeline. Do one task at a time, and pick one every morning to focus on.

I ping-ponged a bit with my emotions this January, when the online learning started, rumours of a curfew were coming out (which thankfully the government has rejected for now), the reality of not being able to work was setting in… But having a tangible goal for myself is really helping my brain focus on being productive. I’ve personally factored in the home-schooling aspect into my timeline, and i’m being gracious with my timing. I know Peter and I both have work to do, and although i’m dumping the teaching task on him pretty heavily, there will be days (like today) that i have to show my 4th grader the difference between an obtuse and acute angle, or walk my 1st grader through silent ks, silent gs, silent ws — and I won’t get to my desk until noon. But having an end goal, a tangible success is a great motivator. I want to hear some of your goals! FOR REALS. Who’s going to be the first to comment below with your Jan/Feb 2021 goal? Don’t leave me hanging!!

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