Guest blog: The secret to goal success for busy parents by Sam James Coaching.  2017


Are you fed up with feeling like your goals are bottom of the priority list? Do you feel like by the time you get round to doing your things, you’ve run out of willpower and energy?


As a parent you are busy juggling lots of different hats, and it can be exhausting at the best of times. Combine it with sleep deprivation and it can be a real motivation killer! So how can you start to tackle this, I hear you ask?!


The answer is in two parts. Planning and self-care.


Let’s talk planning for your busy life

Let’s tackle planning first. I am sure you have heard people say, “Make sure it is realistic” loads of times when talking about goal planning. Often this focuses on whether it is realistic for your abilities and the time that you have before the deadline. It very rarely takes the rest of your life into context and all the hats that you are juggling.


You could put together an awesome training plan for running a half marathon, and cover all the top tips that are out there, yet still not succeed. Often, this is because life is continuing to happen around you and your awesome plan, having an impact on your. I often hear the phrase “life keeps getting in the way!” So, make a plan that allows for this.


You need to adapt your plan to allow for life. Follow these steps to help you create a robust plan that will work for you and your family:

  1. Grab some paper, and draw 3 columns.
  2. Column 1: List all the different hats that you are juggling (eg family, work, friends, home)
  3. Column 2: What impact will my goal have on this part of my life?

When you start focussing on a goal, and working towards it, it will have a ripple effect in other areas of your life. There may be additional consequences in these areas, that you feel are worth it but until you consider it you won’t know. You might need to talk it through with other people to explain what’s going to happen. (Eg will you need to postpone a DIY project? will you have less time to spend with family? Will you need to ask for help?)

  1. Column 3: What impact will this part of my life have on my goal?

These are the things that are so often overlooked, that take you away from your plan and then you get frustrated with yourself for not sticking to your plan that week. Whereas, if you adapt your plan, accept there will be less progress some weeks, it is much kinder to yourself, and will allow you to stay on plan. Eg do you have a holiday booked which will reduce your progress for those few weeks? Do you have a pressured time at work that will require extra hours? Is your partner away for work? Do you have family coming to visit?

  1. Revisit your plan with this list in mind, and adapt it accordingly. If it is a long-term plan, I would recommend a monthly revisit to your list of hats you are juggling, to see what else is coming up.





Are you nourishing yourself?

Before embarking on a new challenge or goal, it is always worth taking time to check if you are nourishing your whole self, enough. I often speak with people who are feeling frustrated at their lack of motivation or will power. When we explore what else is happening for them, we often identify that they are running on empty in some area of their lives. You will not be able to keep going when faced with adversity, if you are already running on a part empty tank.


I’m a big advocate of reviewing and refining your self-care practices as part of your preparation for any goals. These promises you make to yourself, to nourish your whole being will make sustaining the other changes or goals a lot easier.


Grab another piece of paper and write down all the different things that you can do for yourself that act as a recharge, or replenish you in some way. Remember, self-care doesn’t have to take all day, or be quiet time alone; it can also be exhilarating activities, doing things with others, as quick as a few minutes. Some examples to get you started:

  • Listening to music
  • Mindfulness
  • Catching up with a friend who leaves you feeling inspired / uplifted
  • Going outside for 5 minutes
  • Exercise that you enjoy
  • Reading a book
  • Saying No to things
  • Saying Yes to things you would normally say no to
  • Buying yourself some flowers to bring the outside, inside
  • Having an early night


For more tips on this, you can find more on my blog.


And my biggest tip, is to remember that you are human, you are doing the best that you can with you what you have right now. Be kind to yourself with the expectations you set for yourself.



More guest blogs can be found here – thank you Sam I hope this helps some of you reach your goals.