If you think there’s not much difference between a dream and a goal, you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s good to have dreams, but goals are what get things done and the difference between the two is simple: goals mean you’ve got planned, actionable steps to making things a reality.

Your dreams can become your goals, but only if you put in the hard work to make things happen. By investing in yourself and your goal setting abilities this year, you’ll be more productive and well on the way to becoming the best version of yourself you can be. Whether you’re healing after a divorce or wanting to be the best parent possible, learning a better approach to goal-setting can help you reach new heights.

  1. Be Positive

How you frame a situation contributes to its success. G.K. Chesterton once said “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” By flipping the script and viewing things in a positive light, you’re more likely to set and achieve your goals.

Let’s say, for example, that you’ve set a goal to spend at least an hour of quality time with your kids each day. But your days are so packed with chores and errands that you’re having trouble fitting in that time. Rather than be discouraged over the lack of hours in the day, look for opportunities to have little “adventures” with your children as you go about daily tasks — just because your quality time with your kids doesn’t match a lofty expectation doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.

Look at setbacks as learning experiences and view roadblocks to your goals as challenges and puzzles to solve, rather than annoyances or impossibilities.

2. Break It Down

Single parents know what it’s like to be overwhelmed — it’s more often than not a fact of daily life. It’s easy to get lost in the fray of things that need to be done, but when it comes to goal setting in 2019, it’s time to shatter that mindset. Set short term and long term goals — with your short term goals leading up to your long term goals.

Break big tasks and goals into manageable steps with benchmarks for achievement. Let’s say your long term goal is to own a home for you and your kids. In order to do that, you’d have to go through a number of steps including finding a lender, finding a home that meets your criteria and quite possibly improving your credit. That last one alone might have you in fits of frustrated tears. But by setting smaller goals with measurable outcomes — paying off your smallest debts first to see your credit score rise, for example — you’ll be well on your way to your bigger goal of owning a home.

3. Strategize

You wouldn’t cook a brand new meal you’d never heard of or tasted without at least a recipe, right? So why approach your goals without a game plan? As you’re setting your goals for the year, think about the strategies you’ll use to achieve them. Be adaptable and have a backup plan in case things change or don’t go quite as smoothly as expected.

For example, if you have limited visitation with your children because you don’t have enough space for them to stay overnight with you, consider the strategy you’ll need to reach each short term goal to get to that larger goal. One of the things you might need to do to reach that large goal is to secure a better paying job to find more spacious and , affordable housing. Take advantage of job training programs for single parents, resources from your local department of families and youth services or loans, grants and scholarships to go back to school for a different career. If leaving your current job to train for a new one isn’t a financial possibility, you may need to re-strategize and look at online training or part time classes that work around your schedule.

4. Be Realistic

When people say “be realistic,” it often means they think your goals are unattainable. But when you’re setting goals for yourself, aim high — very little is out of your reach: with some caveats. The harder a goal is to achieve, the longer it might take and the more problems you’ll have to solve along the way. Celebrate the little victories and achievements as you work toward your larger goals in order to keep your self-confidence up and momentum going. Know that just because a goal is hard to reach or because one strategy didn’t work doesn’t mean a thing is impossible. Being realistic also goes hand in hand with keeping things positive: both are factors for success in goal setting.

Goal Setting for the Best Version of You

Why do we set goals? Because we want to be the best possible versions of ourselves we can be. Whether that means becoming better parents or enabling our children to experience a better environment or lifestyle, goal setting allows us to become who we are and experience the powerful feats we’re capable of. Reaching your goals — and the smaller milestones along the way — boosts self-esteem and self-confidence and shows you that YOU are a capable person you can trust.  You’ll benefit from the knowledge whether you’re newly healing from a divorce or separation or just trying to keep your life on track.

The only goals that are wrong are the ones you aren’t setting. Even small goals can help you approach the bigger ones with more confidence. No matter what it is that you want to achieve for your family or custody situation, Rodríguez Family Law can help. Just give us a call today at 862-241-1228 or send us an email.  We can help you get on the path to success!