The Miracle Story : Setting Goals for Your Family

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This morning I woke up and a miracle happened.

My house was clean. The dishes were done. The laundry did itself and was put away. As luck would have it, I also woke up before my kids and I had energy. I drank a glass of lemon water and then did an hour of yoga in the quiet of my house. My kids and husband were slowly roused from their sleep and joined me (with smiling faces) in the kitchen where we all ate a well-balanced breakfast that I made from fresh ingredients that showed up in my refrigerator without any planning. After breakfast my kids played quietly and independently while I got some much needed work done at my desk.

This sounds amazing, but it didn't really happen. This is my Miracle Story.

If I woke up and a miracle had happened, this is what my days would look like. 

There is something about parenting small children that forces us live day-to-day, in the moment. The "days are long, but the years are short," right? It starts to feel like life just happens to us. Tiny people join forces and gain traction on our sanity and sense of self. Life starts to feel like it's out of our control. We forget to set goals.

This survival mode leaves me yearning for a plan and predictably. It leaves me wanting goals.

Without goals I feel stagnant. I feel like I am floating aimlessly just putting time in to get the job done. 

Goals are a tricky to define when life is chaotic. If you have kids, your life is probably a little chaotic. If you asked me what my goals are today, I would probably just name one: Take a shower.

A Fast Track to Setting Goals

That's what the Miracle Story is all about--it's an easy way to figure out your goals. I will be the first to say that this miracle day I described sounds lofty and idealistic. But there are some real, tangible goals hiding in there.

Within my story, there are goals that I can scratch the surface on starting today. In the words of leadership expert John Maxwell,

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

In my Miracle Story I quickly found eight goals that I can inch closer to everyday--to make changes in my daily routine. Let's take a closer look by dissecting my Miracle Story:

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-5-10-27-pmThere were eight goals hiding in that story.

  • Clean the house
  • Get sleep
  • Exercise
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Eat healthy
  • Plan meals
  • Get kids to play independently
  • Build a successful career

Yikes. That's too many. When we have too many goals we are more likely to give up. Let's keep it simple.

Choose Three Goals

I am going to start by choosing three goals. I am going to select the three goals that I dissected from my story that speak the loudest to me.

The three goals from my story that speak the loudest to me:

  1. Exercise more
  2. Get more sleep
  3. Have a positive attitude

Make them Measurable

Goals like "exercise more" are abstract---and if our goals are abstract we often feel like we are spinning our wheels without progress. Therefore I am going reword them with numbers so they are easy to measure.

  1. Exercise 4 days per week
  2. Sleep 7.5 hours a night
  3. Increase the amount of positive conversations I have by 25%.

Keep a Record

I am going to track my successes by hand. Personally, I find something rewarding about being able to physically check a box. Keeping a written record allows me to see improvement. Keeping a record reassures me that I am not stagnant. I am moving forward. 

Do you set goals?

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Denaye Barahona

Dr. Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She partners with families to tackle the challenges of raising children. Denaye is a minimalist who claims to be a decluttering expert (don't let her near your closet). She loves to travel, talk health-and-wellness, and give unsolicited advice. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Minimalists, Motherly, Becoming Minimalist, and numerous other media outlets. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in child and family practice.