Goal Setting for the New Year as a New Mama

Jan 01 201718 Comments

Congratulations, Mama you survived the holidays with your new baby!  Right now the New Year is stretching out before you and ready to be taken on.   This is a perfect time to sit down and visualize how you want the whole year to go as you grow and nurture your family.  And rather than putting forward a strict set of resolutions, which to me can often feel like I’m setting myself up for failure, try setting some goals instead.  Especially when it comes to nurturing and breastfeeding your little one even small goals can make a big difference.

Great ways to stick to your goals:

My advice for new mothers (and for anyone really) is to make goals that are specific, make them sustainable, make them inspiring and be comfortable forgiving yourself if things don’t work out.

Some excellent goals to consider as a new parent are:

  • Taking some time for yourself – such as spending some time alone, book club or women’s group
  • Setting a sleep goal (for yourself!) The old adage is true – sleep when the baby sleeps. Don’t feel bad about laying down for a nap – laundry can wait until later.
  • Exercising—try a baby/parent class to get you moving and out of the house. Many cities around the country offer classes for parent/baby.   It’s a great way to get out of the house and meet new people.
  • Ending on family. End each day with a family focus—put away electronic devices and spend time as a unit.  Play family games, tell one another about the day, read a book or just snuggle on the couch.
  • Starting weekly family traditions – Sunday brunch, Friday movie nights, game night or take an adventure day, such a hiking a local spot.
  • Setting goals that get the whole family involved – like charity or volunteering locally
  • Being realistic. If you have a new baby, set attainable goals so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Goal setting for the New Year is also a great way to help motivate older kids to make plans to achieve both long term and short term goals.   With children, it’s a good idea to start small, and let the kids choose what they want to accomplish, such as taking the time each day to learn something new or practice a random act of kindness.  A larger goal might be working to save money for a charity your kids care about to get them invested in the larger world.

Truly, goal setting is an amazing tool to help turn your visions into reality, even if things don’t turn out entirely as planned.  Starting off your year with a new baby can be a challenge, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan to accomplish great things and figure out the steps it will take to get you there.  Whether your goals involve starting a new career, re-entering the work force or figuring out how to spend more time with your family, if you start off taking the time to visualize, write and properly plan it can help bring wishes and dreams into fruition.  And if things don’t go as planned, don’t get discouraged.   Just start over when you feel the time is right.  Happy 2017!

-Jennifer Lezak, IBCLC