If you’re a busy wife or mom, pursuing one of your goals or dreams may seem completely unrealistic. Your day-to-day responsibilities probably consume almost every minute of every day, with no time or energy left for anything that isn’t absolutely essential. Because of that, you may have set aside your goals until “later” or filed your dreams away for “another day.”
But the problem is, “later” and “another day” will never arrive on their own – you have to make them happen. Your schedule won’t suddenly open up one day, giving you time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Instead, you have to make room in your life to pursue those those things – whether your schedule “allows” it or not.
And you have to overcome fear, because sometimes “I’m too busy” means “I’m afraid.” I know it does for me. I’ve dreamed of writing a book for a very long time, but have never made the time to get started. Yes, I’m a busy wife and mom with a job outside my home, but the real problem is that I’m afraid. Because I might fail. Or people might think I’m crazy for even trying. Or the whole thing may just turn out to be a colossal waste of time.
But I need to pursue my dream, and you need to pursue yours too. Here are 5 things we can do to get started:
- Write it down. Pick the goal or dream you most want to work on and write it down. Put it where you’ll see it every day – on your phone, computer, mirror, desk, or refrigerator.
- List steps that will help you move forward. Make a list of 6-10 things you can do to start pursuing your goal or dream. Include things you could do in a short period of time and those that would take a bit longer. That way, as you free up some time in your schedule, you can pick steps to work on that fit the time available. As you complete a step, cross if off and add another one.
- Eliminate time wasters. Facebook, television, email, smart phones, and the internet waste hours of precious time – time that could be used to work on a goal or dream. I confess that it’s ridiculously easy for me to waste time on these things. I have to either avoid them completely or set a timer for a very limited period of time; otherwise, hours are gone with nothing to show for them. So identify the things that are wasting your time and eliminate or drastically limit them.
- Practice “rolling things around” in your mind. Get into the habit of thinking about and planning for your goal or dream, especially during time that might otherwise be wasted. When you’re driving, for example, work on your goal by “rolling things around” or “working things out” in your mind. Do the same thing when you’re exercising, cleaning house, or doing any other task that doesn’t require a lot of mental energy. Instead, put that energy to work, helping you move forward on something you really want to do.
- Find and use “pockets of time.” This idea comes from my friend Christina, author of Juggling Real Food and Real Life. She uses little bits of time here and there to prepare real food for her family. Over the course of a week, her “pockets of time” add up to a lot of healthy food washed, prepped and ready to use on a hectic morning or at the end of a busy day. It’s a great idea, and we can apply the same concept to working on a goal or dream. So figure out where in your busy days you can find time to make progress on your goal or dream. Maybe while you’re waiting 30 minutes for your daughter’s soccer practice or your son’s Scout meeting to end. Maybe during that brief period when dinner’s in the oven and the kids are working on homework. Maybe during the baby’s nap. Or maybe while you’re sitting in a boring meeting at work that doesn’t require much of your time and attention. (Confession – I came up with the name for this blog during a boring work meeting!) You can put your list of steps (from above) to work here, picking one you can accomplish or make progress on during the “pocket of time” you have available.
Do you have a goal or dream you’ve been putting off because you don’t have time to pursue it? If so, could some of these ideas work for you? Or have you figured out a way to pursue your goal or dream, in spite of your busy schedule? Either way, I’d love for you to share it in the Comments.