We’re all leaders, whether we come by the role naturally or it was thrust upon us. Grandmothers, moms, aunts, girlfriends, coworkers–we’re all leaders in our own circles. Unless we live in total isolation, someone looks up to us–to you.
Yikes! So what do we do with that responsibility? We can crawl back in bed under the covers, or we can set goals for ourselves and achieve. Does it have to be all at once? Or a huge, big deal? Absolutely not! In fact, most of what we do will happen one day at a time with a small impact on this world. But most of what we do will also have a BIG impact on a son or daughter, a grandchild, a friend, a neighbor.
So let’s help each other to accomplish small things every day. Ultimately, small things become big things. And a lifetime of those are things we can be proud of.
A Hot Mess
I have a confession. I often feel overwhelmed and anxious. I also often feel bored with the mundane, routine things in life. Over time, after years of being a stay-at-home mom, I had really let some important things slip: exercise, spiritual growth, house cleaning, organization, and self-motivation. Recently, I decided to do something about my hot mess because it was negatively impacting myself and my family. My husband and children were seeing a worn-out, unenthusiastic, whatever-works kind of self, and none of us liked it.
In fact, my oldest son started declining opportunities at school to redo tests and assignments to bring up his grades. When I began to lecture him about his choices, he pointed out that I oftentimes took naps and wore pajamas or sweats all day long. To him, I was the example. If I didn’t want to do something around the house, I didn’t. So it made sense to him that unless something at school was absolutely necessary, he didn’t need to do it–especially a second time.
You can imagine that I was flabbergasted, humiliated, and humbled by our visit. I started to defend myself and set him in his place. But then . . . I realized he was right. And, I might add, he’s not generally a sassy teen–at all. He was just stating, rather bluntly, what he perceived I was doing at home all day.
Now, he isn’t ALWAYS right. I don’t do those things EVERY day, but most days the house is messy enough to make him wonder what I’ve done while he was away. So I decided to change. I still don’t have a spotlessly clean house. I wish! But I am trying to fill my days with purposeful goals.
The Importance of Setting Goals
Any leader in any situation sets goals. I pretty much don’t even need to say that. So why did I? Because I think we assume we’re setting goals when we’re really not. You see, to successfully achieve goals, you need to plan them and write them down. You really do. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You don’t need to draw pictures or fancy doodles. Just take 5 minutes a day and write down the important things that need to be accomplished.
Most of us know it takes about a month to form a new habit. Some research indicates less than that time–21 days. But what are the benefits? Lots. Accountability, reduced stress, achievement, and more. Read here for a whole list. For me, the benefit is for myself and my family. I want my sons to see their mom as a woman of action–even if I’m in my pj’s sometimes.
Also, to ensure success, set reasonable, attainable goals. I’d be willing to bet that most of us set goals at the beginning of the year, only to have them fizzle by now. Year after year that’s the case. But that doesn’t have to be. Let me tell you what’s been working for me. It just might work for you.
30-Day Nonfitness Challenges
I created a Facebook group to help myself and others. It’s called 30 Day Nonfitness Challenges. You can click here to find it. Have a look around and join if you wish. It’s free, and I don’t pitch sales. Each month I ask group members about their interests and choose an overall theme to work on for 30 days.
- Declutter. The first challenge started in January 2018, and it was all about decluttering. You can find it here. Each of the 30 goals were first written and introduced in a blog post. Then I broke them down into daily posts in the Facebook group. Members shared ideas and suggestions. Some commented; others just observed. Each goal was designed for 15 minutes of effort. For some members, the tasks took longer because they wanted to accomplish more. But the main focus was to get started. To do something. To teach ourselves just HOW MUCH we could accomplish in a short amount of time.
- Be Kind. Our next challenge was all about kindness. It’s truly an amazing experience to focus on service every day, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. Click here to see some of the things we did. Once again, members could participate at their own pace. I posted daily, but the goals could be accomplished any day, really. And sometimes they sparked ideas that the person then modified to fit their own personality and ability.
Each 30-day goal challenge is designed to be done any time. They are not necessarily seasonal. They don’t have to be done while participating in the Facebook group. I created them for people to pin and use at any time. Some of them could be done multiple times. Perhaps yearly.
Plans for additional challenges include organizing and cleaning, cutting back on daily sugars, photography, family history, personal fulfillment, spirituality, and so forth. And I’m completely open to ideas and suggestions.
I believe that all women want to feel fulfilled and to bolster others. We want to be contributors. We want to fill our buckets and then fill others’. After all, we’re all leaders. And we all have a journey in this life. Why not make it a good one?
- Miltimore, Jon. (2017). Foundation for Economic Education. Retrieved from https://fee.org/articles/how-long-does-it-take-to-form-good-habits/
- Phillips, Lloyd. (2016). The Extra Income Project. Retrieved from https://theextraincomeproject.com/14-amazingly-powerful-benefits-of-goal-setting/
- Smith, Kerry. (2018). Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/groups/1560617347362062/about/
- Smith, Kerry. (2018). Mrs. Lady Wordsmith. Retrieved from https://mrsladywordsmith.com/2018/01/04/30-day-dejunk-challenge/
- Smith, Kerry. (2018). Mrs. Lady Wordsmith. Retrieved from https://mrsladywordsmith.com/2018/02/13/30-day-kindness-challenge/
Latest posts by Kerry Smith (see all)
- Everyone Is a Leader: Achieving Your Goals with a Group Effort - March 19, 2018