How Setting Parenting Goals Can Completely Change Your Life

Photo by Suzette Hibble

I’m frustrated with how things are. I know I want a change. I just wish things were different and easier and that I didn’t get a bunch of resistance at every step along the way. I try to talk to my husband about it and we get into a fight. I can’t even seem to figure out exactly what I’m wanting. Sound familiar?

I’ve been a self-professed personal growth junkie for over ten years and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that setting goals is the best way to make a change. Yet somehow when it comes to parenting I seem to forget this important step.

So instead I end up spending days weeks and even months stressing out over how things are going and freaking out about how I must not be doing it right. After a while I finally remember that setting a goal, making a plan and reaching toward my goal is the best way to make change happen. And almost instantly, changes do happen and I’m shocked at how easy it was to get from point A to point B.

I’m not quite sure why it’s easier to set goals when they’re work related or health related but when it comes to setting parenting goals I often draw a blank.

About a year ago Julia and I were really struggling with sleep and I was at my wits end. And then I read “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley (which is absolutely my favorite sleep book) and she included questionnaires, forms, and logs to set goals, record what was actually happening, and assess whether or not we were reaching our goals. It worked like a charm!

Almost as soon as I had my goals in mind and my plan set up, Julia easily slipped into the new routine. And the same thing has happened in lots of areas of our life together. From night weaning to potty training, as soon as I had a goal and a plan, life got considerably easier.

So what is it that’s bothering you right now in your parenting journey? Are you losing your temper and don’t want to be? Are you at a loss as to how to proceed in some area? Are tantrums and whining making life less fun? Are you losing sleep night after night?

Take a moment to put your attention on the one or two things that are bothering you most about your parenting and then make a commitment to come up with a specific measurable goal and a solid plan for achieving your goal. Then, after you’ve begun to implement your plan, please write to me and tell me how it’s going!

Now that Julia is just about potty trained, we’ll be embarking on a parent led weaning adventure in the next month or so. I’m going to set some goals, make a plan and stick to it! And I’ll definitely keep you posted on our progress. And I can’t wait to hear about your new parenting goals!

Have a great week, Shelly


I think what makes it difficult to set goal in parenting, is the fact that our personnal goal involve others, like your children and husband with their needs.  The goals have to be realistic according to your child's need, and I think the child should be aware of your goal, and why you want this and then if it's okay with her, try to help you achieve your goal.  If it's not okay, than change your goal or forget about it for a while.

AwakeShelly moderator

 @julievalie I agree. We do need to take everyone's needs into account and realistic goals are important. And I'm surprised I forgot to mention changing or letting go of our goals if they're not working for everyone. This is why I need you here! Thanks for the reminder :)


  1. […] I’m stating a desire, creating a picture of how I’d like things to go, and setting some specific goals to strive for, while giving myself love, acceptance, and grace when things don’t go as […]