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Goal Setting for Busy Work at Home Moms

Updated on August 7, 2015

Create Your Own Path

Setting goals is about creating your own path in life.
Setting goals is about creating your own path in life. | Source

Being a stay at home mom isn't easy. But being a stay at home mom who also works is even more difficult. Work at home moms have to find the time to run their business and take care of the family as well as the home. Being a work at home mom (WAHM) myself, I know how difficult this really is, and maintaining motivation is one of the many reasons new WAHMs fail (or give up) within the first year.

In order to keep myself motivated, I have found it imperative to set and prioritize my goals. When I was in the workforce, it was easy to stay motivated. If you don’t go to work, you don’t get paid, and you’ll probably get fired.

But when you work at home, you set your own hours and there is no one to fire you, and without a boss looking over your shoulder, motivation tends to wax and wane. Setting goals can help get and keep you motivated and they can also:

  • Help you balance your business life with your family life.
  • Help you understand where you want your business to go, and give you direction.
  • Realistic goals will keep you focused on building your business.
  • Breaking goals down into manageable steps also creates a step-by-step plan for reaching goals.

Getting Started

Obviously, the first thing to do is decide on what goals you want to achieve and then define them. But that’s not as easy as it sounds. When you’re starting an at-home business, you may not know what your goals are, especially if (like me) you don’t know what your business is going to be, much less how to start it.

Time to Create Change

By setting goals, you create change in your life.
By setting goals, you create change in your life. | Source

I only knew that I wanted (and needed) to make money at home. I wasn’t sure what I could do from my computer that would make our family a supplemental income. But after doing some research, I decided on freelance writing, mainly because I enjoyed writing, but also because the pay would be enough to cover some bills and still have money left over for incidentals.

If you don’t know what kind of a business you are going to start, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you just want to make extra money, or do you want the business to become your primary source of income?
  • Is it your business, or a family business? (It’s important to make this distinction for both you and the family.)
  • Do you want to sell a product? Is it a homemade product, or manufactured?
  • Do you want to provide a service (such as freelance writing or photography)?
  • What did you do when you were working a regular job? Can you use those skills in such a way that you could turn them into a lucrative business?

The First Step to Setting Your Goals

Once you’ve decided on the type of business you want to start, it’s time to define the long-term goals for that business. In other words, ultimately what do you want your business to accomplish? The answer to that question is your primary goal.

But don’t forget about the rest of your life. You’re not just your business. You’re part of a family, and you have individual interests that you should have time to explore. All of these things are the roles we play each and every day. Think about the roles you play in your life, on a daily basis. To get you started here are some of the roles I used in setting my goals:

You can find plenty of forms on the internet to help you plan your goals.
You can find plenty of forms on the internet to help you plan your goals. | Source
  • Mom
  • Wife
  • Lover (believe it or not, this is a separate role from wife)
  • Sister
  • Business owner
  • Teacher (homeschooling)
  • Pet caregiver
  • Friend

There are many more, but you get the idea. Write out each of these roles, and define what they mean to you (I used a journal for this part). Once you define your roles, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to accomplish within each role, which will help you more clearly define your goals.

You will also have a better idea of what your values are. Most of us don’t sit down and define our values, but we should. Knowing exactly what your values are and prioritizing them can help you make future decisions that are perfectly in line with what you value the most. You’ll always make the right choice.

Know What You Want

It's important to know exactly what you want. Goals don't work unless you know exactly what it is you want to achieve. It doesn't matter how much you plan or how many deadlines you set, you can't achieve a goal that isn't clearly defined.

For example, a goal that states "I want to have enough money to take a vacation" is more of a statement of what you want. It also sends a message to your brain that "this is what I want, but I have no idea how to get it."

But a goal that states "I have enough money to take my dream vacation to Australia" is a well-defined goal, and it sends a message that "this is what I want, and I'm open to any opportunities that allow me to attain it." Stating the goal in the present tense also helps you visualize having already achieved success, making you more likely to achieve your goal.

There are quite a variety of goal planning worksheets online.
There are quite a variety of goal planning worksheets online. | Source

Start Prioritizing

Once you've defined and prioritized your goals, it's time to break each goal down into “bite-size” steps. For each goal, you’ll need to decide what steps you need to take and what tasks you need to accomplish to achieve success.

If, for example, your goal is to get your business up and running, you’ll have quite a few tasks to accomplish to make that dream a reality. Write down all of these tasks, and then prioritize them. As you complete each task, you may end up adding more tasks, and that’s okay. That just means you’re making progress!

Prioritizing is a necessary evil. But it's also one of those things just about everyone dislikes doing because it requires making a decision. But, you'll need to prioritize your roles and values as well as your goals. You may hate it, but it's an important step, so don't skip it!

You’ll also want to set a deadline for both your long-term goals and your “bite-size” steps. Make sure you make the completion date realistic, however. There’s nothing worse than setting a deadline for yourself and then not being able to meet it. It will devastate your motivation.

You can find 15 minutes to plan during your morning coffee.
You can find 15 minutes to plan during your morning coffee. | Source

Planning for Success

Another task that many people dislike is making time every day to plan. Daily planning isn’t just about writing a “to do” list. In fact, it’s really not about that at all. It's really about refocusing your mind each morning on the goals you want to achieve. In essence, you're reminding yourself of what you want to accomplish and why.

Daily planning is the act of setting “mini-goals” that you need to reach in order to make progress toward the main achievement. Your “to do” list should be a list of tasks that you need to accomplish in order to eventually reach your goal.

Even busy moms can find time to plan daily. All you need is about 15 minutes which you can find just about anywhere. You can plan:

  • During your morning coffee
  • While you wait in the drop-off lane at school
  • While watching TV after the kids have gone to bed
  • During your lunch hour
  • Before you go to bed at night
  • Whenever you can find 15 minutes of quiet time

Once a week, you should review your daily task lists and see what kind of progress you have made. Hopefully, you’ve checked everything off your to-do list, but if you haven’t you may need to re-evaluate the task because it may not be necessary. If it is necessary, move it to the next week. You should repeat this process monthly as well. It’s a great way to keep you on track and motivated. It also reaffirms the progress you’ve made toward success and can allow you to change your goals or prioritization as you make progress.

Make it a Habit

Lastly, you need to make goal setting a habit. Because your goals will be constantly evolving, you’ll need to stay ahead of them which means you’ll need to evaluate and re-evaluate your goals frequently.

It takes 21 days to create a habit (or so they say). This is where self-discipline comes into play. If you can do this every day for 21 days, you’ll be in the habit of planning daily and that will help keep you motivated, as well as on track to reaching your goals.

If you want to be a successful work-at-home-mom, setting goals is an absolute necessity. It keeps you motivated and focused. It also allows you to decide where you want your business (and your life) to go. It allows you to take back control of your life. That is pure motivation in and of itself.

© Copyright 2012 - 2015 by Melissa "Daughter of Maat" Flagg ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you caseymel! I totally understand. I have found that if I have a set routine, I get a lot more done in a day! :D

    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 3 years ago from Indiana

      Great advice! I am a stay-at-home Mom and I make money online, but not as much as I would like. If I were to have a schedule and a plan, I would do much better.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Esther! I know writing this hub actually helped to re-motivate me, so hopefully it will motivate others!

    • Esther  Strong profile image

      Esther Strong 4 years ago from UK

      Great advice giving a logical step by step guide for setting goals and sustaining good habits for the long term. Voted up etc.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @thekatydid You're quite welcome! I think the hardest part of goal setting is making them a habit. But if you break down the process into smaller "chunks" It makes it less intimidating I think and that's what I was aiming for with this hub! Welcome to Hubpages!!! I look forward to reading your work and watching your writing here evolve! Btw Congrats on the 47 years of marriage! Quite a feat in this day and age!!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Phoebe Wow! I'm so glad I could inspire a fellow hubber! Such an honor! I'll be sure to chek it out and link to it if that's okay with you!

    • thekatydid profile image

      Kay Comer 4 years ago from Metropolis, Illinois

      I LOVED the simplicity and do-ability of this hub! You really made it sound so simple to set goals and stay on track. I'm a wife, mom, grandma and great grand and even after 47 years in a super wonderful marriage, I wear many hats every day. I'm new to Hub pages but I'm looking forward to reading more of your hubs and of many others on these pages AND writing many of my own. Thanks for this thought provoking hub!!!

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

      Awesome hub.

      I wrote one that was inspired by this hub. I hope you'll check it out.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @drmiddlebrook Thank you, I agree. I only recently started setting goals, but I have been so much more productive since. It worked so well I had to write about it!! Everyone needs to know this!! lol

    • drmiddlebrook profile image

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 4 years ago from Texas, USA

      Good article. I'm not a mom, but I do work at home. I'm a writer as well, and I am also getting ready to do customer service work from home. Getting organized is so important, and this well organized article really hits the nail on the head for achieving goal setting. That's the first step in getting organized, and the step that pays off in spades!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @paula Thank you!! lol Lucky you to be free of the frantic mommy life! I only have one little girl and it feels like constant chaos around here!! I can only imagine what moms who have more than one feel like! Hopefully this hub gives them a chance to take a deep breath and get control of the craziness!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @phoenix thank you!! The new year is a wonderful chance for a fresh start, and I thought this hub might inspire moms who have been thinking about starting a business to actually make a plan and get started as well as focus on what's important.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Janine thank you! This hub I wrote while attempting to plan my blogging goals, and it really shows the direction I want to take with the blog. It helped get me in the mindset! Plus it reminded me that I have to write my own personal goals as well!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      DOM....How smart and generous of you to offer this excellent article to your young readers with children and busy lives! To be able to organize and "plan" and set realistic goals. Getting the rhythm and honing the habit is the key.......I enjoyed reading this hub that I'm sure will be well-received by frantic Moms everywhere.

      Know what I enjoyed MOST of all?

      I'M NO LONGER ONE OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yayyyyyyy!up++

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Love the easy, step-by-step approach here. And the timing is good too with a new year just a few hours away. Have a good one.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Simply wonderful and very truly terrific how you laid this one out. Being at stay at home mom that works from the home is not easy, but you are truly correct that you have to sit and plan things out. Love your goal setting here and have voted this one way up and tweeted, too. Could very much relate and think so many others could, as well!!