How to achieve goals as a busy working mum

Like many in January, I started to think about what I wanted to achieve by the end of the year.  As usual, for me, I have a long list which is fine in theory but managing it all can seem a little overwhelming due to the lack of time at the end of each day, especially when I have five children at home.

So, this year I’m going to try and more organised and focused approach to achieve goals that I set in January.

First, I have written down my goals that I want to achieve by the end of 2015.  By writing them down rather than just having a few ideas in my head, I can keep looking at it and keep focused.  However, I may decide to add to these or even change them slightly, which is why I have left extra spaces and it is typed rather than handwritten – no need for messy crossing out.

2015 - to achieve goalsThen, I needed to break it down into monthly goals to help me work out the steps that I needed to do to reach my end of year goals.  I have deliberately only written the first four months of the year so that I can come back to it at the beginning of April, evaluate what I have achieved and what needs more focus and time spent on it, before planning the next few months.

Monthly planner to achieve goalsFinally, I break my monthly goals into smaller daily goals.  But before I do this, I have to check my diary to see what I am working and what other appointments, activities and other general life events are happening.

As I work part-time, I can’t achieve as much on my working days as my non-working days, so there is no point planning to achieve a long list on those days as it would just lead to stress and feeling overwhelmed.  I also go to baby/toddler groups. have shopping to fit in and want time with my family so I am realistic with my daily goals.

I plan each day a month ahead to fit with my monthly goals:

Working day planning

A working day plan

Non-working diary

A non-working day plan

While I now have a plan for each day a month ahead, there are times when I can’t follow the daily plan and it is usually one of two reasons – my children and my employed work.  As a mum, you have to be flexible.  Sometimes children are ill, the sun might be out so you decide to spontaneously go for a day trip, or they might need a new pair of shoes that involves an extra shopping trip.  I might want to achieve goals but I also want a happy family life so I need to be flexible.

Also, as a teacher, I have planning and marking to do at home.  While I give myself allocated time each week in my diary for this, there are times when I need to do more one week and so may not manage to tick off everything on that day or week.

In the past, I may have worried about not managing to get everything done and felt that I couldn’t do it all.  But, it is just a day’s goals not the year’s goals.  It has to be put into perspective.  If I don’t achieve one of my daily goals, I will see where I can move it.

Get up early to achieve goals

I have also always been a but of a night owl and regularly stay up until midnight working on my endless to-do list.  However, I have discovered that I can work more effectively in less time if I work in the mornings rather than late at night.  So, I am now trying to force myself to go to bed earlier (around 10:30pm) so that I can get up at 5:30am to start cracking the daily plan.

It’s not easy trying to juggle several things – being a mum, a teacher, a blogger, an (aspiring) writer, a small businesswoman – but when it is broken down, it makes it more manageable.  But the most important thing that I need to remember is that if it doesn’t go to plan a particular day, be gentle with myself – have a rest or a treat instead of worrying about it.

A finally, a positive thought to keep me motivated – I will achieve goals while maintaining happiness, balance and fulfilment.


The List

15 Comments on How to achieve goals as a busy working mum

  1. Pippa
    October 12, 2015 at 5:24 pm (3 years ago)

    What an incredible list to achieve in a year, along with all your other commitments! I love that you also accept that some days you won’t be able to do what’s on your list, and that’s fine – and I hope you have some lovely mama self-care time on your lists too – I always include my yoga and zumba classes on my weekly to do lists, and keep a little progress diary for how I am doing on resting too at the end of the day – it helps me to balance out all the big things on my to do list too. Good luck with the rest of 2015!

  2. Heather
    October 12, 2015 at 5:24 pm (3 years ago)

    You are doing so much! I also love setting and meeting goals. Leonie’s planner is a great encouragement in this. I also get way more done in the morning when I’m fresh and rested. Lately I feel like I’ve been taking a mental break with regard to my goals, and that’s serving me well right now. I did, however, just meet a huge goal that I’ve had for a long time now, which is starting my own podcast! I’m so very happy about that.
    Heather recently posted…Iris Fritschi-Cussens: Mixed Media Art 01My Profile

  3. Alice Young
    February 8, 2015 at 8:57 pm (4 years ago)

    Fab post! the only way to achieve anything for me is being organised. Lists on my laptop, printed lists, hand written lists, post it notes, diaries!! I’ve got lots of goals for this year jotted in numerous places but haven’t yet used a spreadsheet, thanks for idea!! Thanks for linking up #mummymonday xx
    Alice Young recently posted…Weekend Baby Style #5My Profile

  4. Hannah Mums' Days
    February 6, 2015 at 5:54 am (4 years ago)

    This is a great post – you sound like you are ready to take on the world!! I also LOVE a good spreadsheet, so this post is basically heaven for me!

    thanks for linking up to #TheList xx
    Hannah Mums’ Days recently posted…Boxes – The list 22My Profile

  5. Alex
    February 4, 2015 at 7:36 am (4 years ago)

    Wow you are so organised! Good luck with your 2015 goals! I need to be more organised. I have a number of goals this year too and have wrote them down in a blog post, but have yet to work out how and when I will do them. Your monthly goals sheet is definitely something I’m going to try! Alex x #mummymonday
    Alex recently posted…Blogiversary Giveaway No.3 with The Gro CompanyMy Profile

  6. Bek Dillydrops
    February 3, 2015 at 6:57 pm (4 years ago)

    You sound very organised. Good luck with it all. It sounds like you have a lot you are aiming for.
    Bek Dillydrops recently posted…Chinese New Year CraftsMy Profile

  7. Laura
    February 2, 2015 at 8:59 pm (4 years ago)

    You have some big goals, but the best of luck! 🙂
    I have been trying to do some more effective planing like this too, not as effective as you, I need to up my game, but planning ahead like this really helps.
    Also 5.30 is very impressive.
    Have you come across a time management system called Franklin Covey as I think this would really sit well with what you are trying to achieve. 🙂

  8. Paul
    January 31, 2015 at 11:58 am (4 years ago)

    Love the motivational quote above the Alarm clock, always love planning but need to leave a little room for spontaneity..that’s where the fun usually starts.. Lol..
    Paul recently posted…Are you part of the 68% bored by your kids?My Profile

  9. Emily
    January 30, 2015 at 10:53 pm (4 years ago)

    That looks so organised and focused it’s a guaranteed success – good luck! x
    Emily recently posted…January’s #FunFinds…My Profile

  10. aloted
    January 30, 2015 at 7:06 pm (4 years ago)

    I like how you’ve broken this down. Sure helps to keep you focused.

    Following your Blog now. 🙂

  11. teacuptoria
    January 30, 2015 at 11:48 am (4 years ago)

    Wow I don’t know how you do it? Do you have a leotard under your clothes with a big ‘S’ on it! I think you do. Very inspiring indeed. I am in awe of you to be honest. I only have one child but work every day but still don’t fit as much in as you do. I’d love to condense my hours so I get a full day off a week, that would give me a bit more concentration time. Hats off to you Janette and I will keep you in my thoughts when I’m whinging about not having enough time. xx
    teacuptoria recently posted…My Captured MomentMy Profile

  12. JanetteDavey
    January 29, 2015 at 2:10 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you Clio for commenting and sharing – it means a lot xx

  13. Clio
    January 29, 2015 at 9:56 am (4 years ago)

    Janette! This is inspiring as always – advice from the queen of multi-tasking. You always make me feel like anything is possible. I have shared your blog on Mumsnet Exeter – I’m sure there are lots of Exeter peeps that would love to follow it. Looking forward to reading more. PS What fantastic goals for this year!

  14. Sarah
    January 27, 2015 at 1:08 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you for giving me some direction. I always make goals and then fumble around hoping they’ll get achieved one day. This is so practical, love it!
    Sarah recently posted…Dear little one.My Profile

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