Single Parents Guide to Reduce Stress

I have one word for you… one simple 4 letter word that will change your life… possibly change the life of everyone in your home…

Goal

Funny right?  I am telling you that setting goals will provide your with the following:

-Sense of achievement
-Less Stress
-More Free Time
-Possibly more financial freedom
-Less regret
-and absolutely positively MORE SUCCESS.

Whether you are a corporate lawyer or a stay at home mom… if you feel like there isn’t enough time, or you are constantly running around or you are constantly cleaning up after everyone, it’s time to sit down and figure out your goals.

Listen.  I’m there. I’m not someone that’s been there… 5, 10, 20

Three reasons to set goals, 1. less regret, 2. reduced stress, 3. more success

Three reasons to set goals

years ago… I’m there right now, my oldest child is just getting to middle school and I have 2 kids in elementary school.  I support them… I clean up after them.. [sometimes 🙂 ] … most of all I love.

Last year was the hardest year of my life.   In retrospect, it shouldn’t have been, there were no catastrophic events, or tragedies… it was just a constant forward motion of playing catch up.  Every day, I felt like I forgot something or missed something or hadn’t planned on something… and I was rushing around and constantly stressed.  I’m not even going to mention the financial toll of missing work due to poor planning.

I vowed to fix it.  I teach myself whatever skill I needed so that I would enjoy each day instead of wasting it running, earning, sleeping.

I set goals.

Whether you are new to goal setting or an old champ and need a refresher, it’s important to realize that without goals… you have no catalyst.  You have no center, or reason or Master Motivating Factor!

I want to retire someday – IS NOT A GOAL

I want a house someday – IS NOT A GOAL

I want to spend more time with my kids – IS NOT A GOAL

I want to retire by the time I’m 65 – IS A GOAL

I want to buy a house in 3 years – IS A GOAL

I want to be home when my kids get out of school – IS A GOAL

Your goal will become your point of reference behind organizing all your future activities MAJOR DEFINITE PURPOSE… Everything you do will be organized around, or based on achieving that Major Definite Purpose… and your life… (sigh) will be so much better.

OK.

So, how do you get to that single purposeful goal?   Well… You need to clarify what you really want and what’s really important.  (before I go any further, goals are fluid.  You may come up with a great goal and along the way may turn or modify your goal… and that is no reason not to start this SECOND.. and find your goal)

There are several different exercises you can use to refine and clarify your goal.  For today… we are going to use the quickest and easiest and we are going to start with a single goal.  ONE GOAL.  I want you to find that single goal that will change your life and then I want you to achieve it.  So… First… let’s get that GOAL!

READY!?!

I want you to list 10 things you want to accomplish in the next 12 months.  DON’T WORRY ABOUT HOW YOU WILL ACCOMPLISH THEM.  Really…  I can already hear some of you … “Well, I’d like to go to Disney World with the kids but you know, we don’t have the money for that”….  Just write the list please.

For example here’s a sample list:

1. Take a trip to Disney World
2. Buy a new car
3. Get a new Job
4. Make an extra 30,000 a year
5. Get a new roof for the house
6. Get new tires for the car
7. Pay for summer camp for the kids
8. Get a new car
9. Spend more time with the kids this summer
10. Get out of debt

 

Now. look at your list. Consider what you said you wanted.  Think about all of the items on your list and ask yourself:

1. If I was guaranteed to have everything on that list by just really wanting it long enough and hard enough, which one would I want in 24 hours?

2. If I had a magic wand and I could have any of those items on that list by tomorrow, which one would it be?

3. Which one thing on that list would have the most positive impact on my life and my kids lives?

Circle that one thing.

THAT IS YOUR MAJOR DEFINITE PURPOSE.

From now on, that one thing becomes the focal point around which EVERYTHING ELSE IS ORGANIZED.

Last September I did this exercise and I found a simple solution for my massive amounts of stress… GOOGLE CALENDAR.

I struggled and played catch-up because some appointments were on my work calendar, some on my phone calendar, some payment schedules were on no calendar.  I sat down and put everything in Google Calendar. First, that calendar is accessible from every electronic device I own. Second, I set up each appointment to text message me in advance.  If there was money required, I made sure that sent myself several messages well ahead of the payment deadline… and I found this year very few things slipped by or snuck up.  NICE.

If you feel like your goal is more complicated or serious… then it is all the more important to clarify it… If it’s financial, you need to come up with the exact amount.

I was speaking to a friend of mine, who humors me but really doesn’t believe that she will ever do anything other than get up and go to work each day for the rest of her life.

I said, “If you could pick any goal and have it completed and achieved in 24 hours, what would it be?”

She said, “Get out of debt, pay off my car loan and credit cards”.

“How much do you owe?” I asked.

“I’m not sure, I have it on a spreadsheet somewhere.” She replied

“Do you have somewhere written down, the exact amount you need to pay everything in full tomorrow?”

“No, why would I?  I can’t pay it,” She said.

Here’s my point.  Wanting to get out of debt, is a great Major Purpose… but it’s not DEFINITE.  If you really want to get out of debt, you need the number.  You need to know exactly how much you need to get to do it… ONLY THEN, will you be able to even start to entertain ways to get the money, or save more money in order to pay it…

Goals are hard, but so worth it.  A self-made millionaire HL Hunt once said, there are 3 Secrets to Success:

  1. Decide exactly what you want to have in life
  2. Determine the price you are going to have to pay to get the things you want
  3. Resolve to pay that price

 

I know this seems like a lot and I think that if you’ve already done the 10 questions, then you are probably feeling a little better.  The reason I didn’t ask you to write down 10 goals for the next 24 hours  as opposed to the next 12 months… is because… You need to be present today.  ENJOY TODAY.

 

Tomorrow I’ll write about how to work out the plan to achieve your goals.  For today, you should feel GREAT because you set your goal.  You took that step… you looked at the reality of where you are versus where you want to be… and you have taken a step forward.

You have a major definite purpose.  You aren’t talking about a vague notion… an ambiguous number… a clouded or blurred goal… You have a definite purpose and you can start to daydream around that goal… start organizing your activities and actions to support and more you towards that goal.  You can go online looking for solutions… research… learn… you are awesome, you can do it!

Have an amazing day.

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