Having It All Is Overrated

By Jenn Lea

Take Steps to Realistically Define and Achieve Goals

“You CAN have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.” – Oprah Winfrey

Having it “all” – what does that really mean? For many of us, it means having a successful, meaningful career while, at the same time, having a balanced personal life. Others may consider a happy marriage and well-rounded kids the pinnacle of success. Still others may set the bar at a different place (maybe “my kids had a bath and two vegetables this week and I did not get fired” would do the trick for many of us!). Many more just know that they want to “have it all,” but haven’t really taken the time to consider what exactly that means.

No matter what your definition of having it all is, I can guarantee you this: you’re not going to have it all, – at least not all at the same time. No one has it “all.” At the top of every mountain, there is a bigger mountain to climb, a new definition of success. Happiness is a moving target. Achieving true success and happiness (these may be two different things) first requires an introspective look at how we define our success/happiness and then requires a realistic assessment of the goals that are within our power to achieve.

If “having it all” is something you strive for on a daily basis, but yet you feel like you’re frequently just treading water, a good place to start is goal setting. It seems so silly to sit and think about “what I want to be/achieve,” yet taking the time to assess and reflect on what you want is a critical first step in actually achieving your goals. Need help goal setting? Here are a few tips:

  • Prioritize your goals. This seems so obvious, right? Of course you need to set priorities. But how? How do we decide the exact order on the list? To prioritize, first connect with your why. Ask yourself: Why is achieving this goal important to me? Your goals may include getting a promotion, making it to all of your child’s baseball games, having a family dinner four nights a week, or exercising five times a week. For each of these “goals,” rank the importance and, in the process, give considered thought to the why.

  • Assign value and meaning to your goals. While getting a raise, creating a “name” for yourself at work, or being a “Supermom” that cooks dinner every night and keeps a perfect house seem like attractive goals, the kinds of goals that will have the highest motivation, and the highest chance of achievement, are ones that create personal meaning for you. Think about what getting that raise will actually mean – does it mean financial security so you’re not constantly struggling to pay bills? Does it mean you can afford sports equipment for your son? Bring your goals down to the very basic, very personal meaning that it will bring to you.

  • Learn to “let go”— Maybe you feel like you can’t relax until your house is clean every night, yet one of your goals is to spend more time with your kids. If you’ve thought about the why and assigned some meaning to your goals, you’ll realize that having the clean house is not as meaningful as reading or game time with your family. Knowing this will help you let go of your expectations for the clean house and give yourself “permission” to achieve one goal while letting another slide.

So, you see, having it all is a myth. Life, especially life as a mom, is a juggling act. Priorities shift, and things change on a daily basis.

Read more at http://www.workingmother.com/having-it-all-is-overrated