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10 Ways to Stick to Your Goals (Even with Kids)


The New Year has started and chances are you've got some resolutions to keep. When you have little ones it can be more difficult to reach your goals than ever before.

We want you to be the best you possible, so here are some tips to help you stick to the plan. Go mom!

1. Set Simple Goals

a lot of goals written up on a chalk board

Would you like to lose 20 pounds, save enough to buy a new car, become president of the PTA, finish your book, have at least one date night per month, train for a 5K, AND completely reorganize your kitchen this year? Having goals isn't the problem—not focusing on one goal until completion is where we tend to go wrong.

Review your goals, choose the one or two most important ones, and work on them until they're done.

2. Mark Your Calendar

a pen circling a date in a calendar

Setting appointments ahead of time makes it harder to cop out when it's time to work. Whatever your goal is, sit down with your calendar and set a schedule. For example, if getting in shape is your plan, pick a day and time that you can commit to the gym and pencil it in. This will help you avoid overbooking yourself and take away an excuse to not follow through.

3. Plan Your Snacks

a bag of pretzels spilling out

If you're like most of us, you find yourself falling into the snack trap, which keeps you from reaching your weight loss goals. Buy a box of snack-sized baggies and dole out a week's worth of snacks ahead of time. Keep a small stash of pre-measured snacks in your bag to help you avoid making bad decisions when you're running errands, and have a selection of bagged-up treats in your refrigerator or cabinet at home.

4. Pay Yourself First

a young woman holding up a piggy bank

Do you have a big purchase coming up, or a debt that needs paying off? Lots of us set goals to save money, but doing it is another story. If you can set up direct deposit with your work, try opening a savings account that isn't attached to a debit card; that way you can send a set amount directly to the account each payday without a simple way to access it. Money that's harder to get to is harder to spend on other things. Directly depositing even $10 a week will leave you with $520 at the end of the year that you wouldn't have had otherwise.

5. Get Others Involved

a couple of women stretching in a gym

No matter what your goal is, having somebody to back you up and cheer you on is always a help. Whether it's finding a gym buddy, a mommy friend who will commit to daily walks, or even getting your spouse on board with a new financial plan, not going it alone will help make reaching your goals easier and more enjoyable.

6. Find Extra Help Online

a close up of someone using a keyboard and mouse

These days there are support forums for every topic imaginable. Look around for a forum that fits what you're looking for and has active members. While it used to be odd to form instant connections with complete strangers, as long as you don't offer personal information, finding a few people in the same situation as you can help you bounce ideas around and get some extra support. If a forum isn't your speed, you could start a blog to chart your progress and invite friends and family to follow your journey.

7. Get a Sitter

a mom looking at a tablet with two young kids

Sometimes you need time to get things done. If you don't have a friend or family member who can watch your little one for a while, set up a running date with a babysitter. Even two hours a week will help you catch up and check in with your progress.

8. Install an App on Your Smartphone

a young woman smiling while checking her phone

If you have a smartphone, you've discovered there are apps for everything. This informative article from Forbes lists some apps you should check out to help you stick with your goals this year.

9. Set and Celebrate Milestones

two women blowing confetti from their hands

Sometimes getting started on your goals can be overwhelming because it seems like a really big deal. If you're trying to lose weight, instead of focusing on the big number, divide your weight loss goal into smaller steps and celebrate each minor victory. Even if your only goal is to clean out your cabinets, you can finish it in a day if you pick a cabinet to sort, and then give yourself a break to listen to a song, text a friend, or read a short book to your child after each one. Every little thing you do takes you one step closer to finishing.

10. Don't Give Up

a mom doing yoga with her young daughter

Like Thomas H. Palmer said, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." If you stumble, get back up. Each day is a chance at starting over. The important thing to remember is that you've set these goals for yourself, but your child is watching you. Lead by example and teach them how to keep going, even when they feel like giving up. You can do it, we know you can!

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