As I type this, I’m in the middle of one of the more chaotic stages of parenting I’ve experienced thus far: potty training. Anyone who has ever embarked upon this stage knows there are a thousand different theories on how to get it done. There are plenty of experts who will tell you exactly when your child should be potty trained by, and what methods will supposedly work for everyone—if only you just have the endurance to push through.
Well, I’m not going to bore you with the methods we’ve been embracing, or even regale you with the hilarity of failed potty training moments (of which there have been quite a few). But I will tell you that I’ve been relying pretty heavily on goals this last few days. And not just the big goal of a potty-trained toddler, but also the much smaller goals along the way.
Like… how about we get through this next 30 minutes without you pooping your pants?
It reminds me a bit of this article I happened upon not too long ago. The concept of chunking goals is not new to me (my husband may be a bit of an expert in this area), but I like the simplified way she explains it.
Basically, every large goal you have will always be made up of smaller parts. And focusing on the smaller parts, the day to day goals, (or even minute to minute,) will make reaching that larger goal seem so much more feasible in the end.
When it comes to wedding planning, I’m not sure any truer words have ever been spoken. You have this big goal, the wedding at the end of the tunnel, but along the way—you have a million different smaller goals you have to meet first.
Sometimes, looking at everything that has to be done at the outset can be incredibly overwhelming. Which is where smaller goals come in. Write down everything that needs to be done, and then assign yourself one small goal a day—or three a week, depending on what still needs to be done.
So for instance, if you’re at the start of wedding planning, this week might look like this:
Monday: Begin an initial guest list, just to establish a ballpark number for how many guests you will be inviting.
Tuesday: Send inquiries to venues. Set up appointments for visits when possible.
Wednesday: Ask friends and family for wedding planner referrals.
Thursday: Contact potential photographers and set up meetings.
Friday: Start thinking about the style of wedding you hope to have.
You get the idea. You break this massive goal down into smaller, digestible chunks that you can begin tackling one day at a time.
And suddenly, the end product doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming to achieve.
The same theory applies to just about anything you might want to accomplish. It applies to building a life together, not just a wedding.
So let’s say you and your soon to be spouse have a set number of kids in mind you hope to have, but there are things you want to accomplish together first before starting down that path. Map it out. Set your goals, and break them down into smaller goals.
Or maybe you both have dreams of starting a business together. Don’t let that dream be one you talk about for years to come, but never actually act upon. Start the process today by breaking your larger goal up into smaller and more achievable chunks.
You really can accomplish just about anything, if you’re willing to map out a path to get there. And that starts with breaking your goals up.
Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have a toddler to talk to about her goal of making it to the potty this next go-round!