Monthly review – what a difference a sole focus makes

For the year of 2015, you may remember that I changed my goal setting technique. The reasons why I changed and how I came to my new technique is outlined here, but in brief I wanted to avoid ending up feeling tired, worn out and pulled in too many directions like I did at the end of 2014.

My goal for this year is to be a planned, patient and present mother to my beautiful kids.  I listed some strategies that I would employ to help me achieve my goal and while I know it is very early days yet, one month in I am thrilled at the way the sole focus is working for me.

The lovely Maxabella left the following comment on my goal post:

It’s interesting that within the ‘one thing’ framework items that are usually “goals” at this time of year (eat well, exercise, etc) become strategies instead. I wish you harmony all year. x

I had thought this myself and even remarked in the post:

And while some of these strategies did appear on my list as goals last year, I have a different approach to them. Going to bed at 10pm actually is no longer about me – it is about my kids. If I choose to stay up later, I am making a choice that goes against want I want for my kids.

I now have a defined purpose behind these strategies – one single focus that I want to achieve. By focusing on being the planned, patient and present mother to my beautiful kids that I want to be, I can use it to guide my decision making in all areas of life.

And it is the defined over arching purpose the goal gives to my life that is making the difference. So far theses are the key ways I have found having a single goal focus to be an incredible tool:

Better decision making

Having the single goal hasn’t made some of my activities, responsibilities and dreams go away. But is in the forefront of my mind every time I make a decision. For example I really want to create a new product and am itching to start it as I am quite passionate about this topic. The start of the school year however is filled with lots of school meetings for me and as I discussed in my newsletter yesterday, I need to be spending extra time with the kids at the moment.

If like last year, I had listed creating a new product as a goal for me, then I would have already started it. My attention would have been split one more way and without being able to give it the time I wanted to, there would be a big chance that some frustration would have started to build or I would revert to my old modus operandi and worked into the late of night to find time for it.

Neither of those outcomes would have helped me be the mother I want to be, so I made a better decision and have accepted I will just wait until things have settled before even thinking about starting the new project.

Increased my happiness

Making decisions like the above do come with an initial level of disappointment or discomfort. But upon acceptance I am much happier, firstly because I am not so tired and secondly because I don’t feel pulled in too many directions. When I feel pulled in so many directions, I often end up feeling that I am not doing a great job of any of the activities I am tackling – I am not being the mother I want to be, I am not giving enough to the project etc which decreases my happiness.

Achieving something of importance

My family has always been my first, most loved priority. By having my single goal based around my role in the family as I am achieving this goal, I feel in my heart very much that I am achieving something important. It is hard to measure how you are going as a parent. While I have previously checked in on myself to see how I am doing, it hasn’t always been planned and consistent. But by having this goal to review, while I am far from perfect, I can see progress in my behaviour and I can see the flow on effect of this on the family and it is giving me a great sense of achievement.

The challenges

Of course it is not all a bed of roses! Finding time to get all my work in at the moment is tricky and I have had a couple of nights past 11pm which has been disappointing. This time of year has lots of school meetings, get togethers and it has been creeping in on my work hours. I am in the fortunate position to be able to choose the hours I work, so I have been working more on the weekends when the kids can have their dad around, which I would prefer not to do.

I have however accepted that this is the best short term solution for me to get through the next couple of weeks and will work to reduce weekend hours towards the end of February – I will let you know how I go next month!

How are you tracking towards your goal for 2015?