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When I leave my yoga class in my post-savasana glow, everything feels in balance. The universe is flowing my way. With a green tea latte in hand, my day feels like a highly curated Instagram that's come to life. It's the perfect setting to work on some of my big goals for the year.
Flash-forward a couple weeks, and I'm barely getting through the day. Sound familiar?
Life happens. In my case, my husband had back-to-back work trips, making family life more hectic than usual. My 3-year-old caught a miserable cold. Then my husband and I got sick too. We're on the mend now but in the meantime, a lot has piled up: work, laundry, my inbox.
How do I get back on track?
Here's what not to do. Don't take these bumps to mean you can't reach your goals. Once you're through the hardest part, it's time to refocus. Here's how I get back to thriving:
Recenter: When life is in upheaval, you might feel the desire to take on everything all at once. Resist this urge. The first thing you should do is look inward. Coordinate some "me time," take a walk, go for a workout or find a quiet moment. Things didn't work out as we would have liked but we can start again. Use this time to set an intention: What would you like out of the next few weeks? With that in my mind, move to the next step.
Write out the week: Something about writing my schedule out on paper gives me a sense of direction. I'll write a week's worth of commitments—my meetings, my daughter's ballet class, deadlines, errands, and workouts. Organizing my schedule keeps me from feeling scattered. This is a great task to do on the weekend.
Big steps toward small goals: If your to-do list has grown long, it'll feel good to cross off a bunch of small items. For instance, I'll order a baby shower gift that I've known I've needed for weeks now. I'll schedule that appointment with the dentist which I've been putting off. I'll put in a load of laundry before I head off to the grocery store. With the little things out of my way, I can switch my attention to bigger goals.
Small steps toward big goals: We all have big goals that often get pushed to the back burner while we tend to the immediacy of daily life. To balance that, I take on my big goals in manageable chunks. For instance, I'm interested in growing my business in a new direction. I spent about an hour writing a pitch for a new potential client—which they accepted. You might work on an application, redo your résumé, work on a business plan, register a domain for a new website, etc. If you worked just a little toward your goals each week, you'd be amazed at your progress in a year's time.
Delegate: The secret to thriving as a busy woman or mom is to delegate. Reject the notion that you need to do everything yourself. Automate purchases for bulk household good so you save some trips to the store. If it's within budget, hire someone to do a deep cleaning of your house. Reach out to family to watch your kids one weekend afternoon—use the time for yourself or to catch up with your spouse. Team up with a trusted mom friend to trade an errand you both share, e.g. driving kids to soccer practice. Designate age-appropriate chores for kids.
The path toward our goals won't always be smooth. Use these tips to move past the obstacles you encounter and soon the universe will be flowing your way again.