Goal setting is something new to me. I never really set goals for myself before. It is something new that I started after I read Girl, Wash Your Faceby Rachel Hollis. It really wasn’t until I read that book that I realized that I couldn’t tell you what I wanted my life to look like in 10 years. I didn’t know what my goals and dreams were for my future anymore. I had never really focused on me. It was always about my job/students, my kids, my husband, and everyone and everything but me. I had to take a long look at what I wanted and needed and began to formulate a dream. That book came at a time in my life when I was unsure of what I wanted. I was unsure if teaching was what I wanted to do the rest of my life. I was at a crossroads. Here is the excerpt from the book that really made me realize that I needed to make a change because I did have a stirring in my heart….
“If you have a stirring in your heart for something more, that is a gift and not everyone has that. It’s your potential knocking on the door. Embrace it. There is something more for you. The instinct or desire for more is not enough. You have to put in the work! Know you have the potential for more and don’t give up.”
Once I did some serious soul searching, I realized that I did have big dreams, dreams that were bigger than the way I was currently living my life. I started setting big goals for myself and attempted to make a plan on how I was going to get there. Within those big goals came smaller goals. Goals that were easily attainable IF I put in the work. That’s the key, though. You have to be willing to put in the hard work. That’s something that I have had to learn to do. Normally, I would always push things that I wanted to the side because I was always last. In my mind everyone else’s needs came before my own needs. I have had to learn that isn’t the way to do it. There are times when I have to put my needs and wants first. I have to take that time to put in the work if I am ever going to have a shot at reaching my dreams. That has been a really hard lesson to learn and one that I continue to struggle with. I think most moms, and women in general, often put everyone else before their own well-being. It is really sad that we have been taught that for years. We have been taught that women are the caregivers and that we need to put everyone else first. Women are the ones that stay home and take care of sick kids. Women are the ones to schedule and transport the kids to appointments. Women are the ones who are made to feel bad when they choose to work and put their kids in daycare. Women are the ones that go to work sick every single time. Women are the ones that juggle a million hats a once. Our dream is supposed to be to get married and have kids and take care of your family to the best of your ability. That is what the majority of the world believes and what society tells us to do. You can try to argue that it is not true, but just ask any single woman how many times people ask her when she is going to get married. Ask any newly married woman how many times people have asked her when she is going to start having kids. Ask any working mom how many times she has been made to feel guilty about working outside the home. I can assure you that they would all say a million times. It is no wonder that many of us don’t know what our dreams are or can’t ever attain them. We are a product of our culture. Yes, great strides have been made when it comes to women, but there is still such a long way to go. We as women have a right to dream and to dream big. We have the right to set goals and pursue them with all we’ve got. It is okay to put yourself first sometimes. Don’t get me wrong; I love my family. I love being a mom and a wife. I wouldn’t change any of that for anything, but it is okay for me to want more for my life, to do more for myself. It is okay for me to have goals and dreams, and it is okay for me to pursue them with all I’ve got. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.
Figuring out what my goals and dreams are was a big step in my life. It has definitely changed me for the better. Once I figured out what I really wanted for my life, I had to come up with a plan to get me there. I had to figure out how to become the best version of myself, the person God meant for me to be. I now set goals for myself all the time. Some of them I share and others I keep to myself. These goals are going to help me reach the dreams I now have for myself, for the person that I want to be. I set goals for things like this blog and for both of my small businesses. I set goals for small things like not drinking a Pepsi for a month. It doesn’t matter how big or small or silly it may seem, it is important to have something to motivate you. I like having something to reach for. It really motivates me to keep pushing through. What is really hard for me now is when I fall short of my goal. I tend to beat myself up about it. That’s when the negative self-talk comes in. I start to tell myself that I’m not good enough. That is something I am working on now and will probably always be working on. The one thing I have learned most of all is that it is okay to dream big and that is what I am going to continue to do. I am going to keep setting small goals to help me get there. Even when I fail, I am going to keep going. I encourage you all to figure out what your big dreams are and know they can be as big as you can imagine. Then figure out a plan for what is going to get you there. Set small goals that will help you to reach that bigger goal, and go for it with everything you’ve got.