Setting Goals When You’re Exhausted

Setting Goals When You’re Exhausted

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I’ve always loved setting goals.  I enjoy the process of thinking through an upcoming year and setting goals in each area of the 7 disciplines:
  1. family
  2. career
  3. financial
  4. health
  5. personal/professional development
  6. spiritual
  7. social

However, I’ve noticed that as fun as it is to set goals and plan out how I’m going to achieve them, it’s become a lot harder to find the time to work on them since I’ve had kids.  Inevitably, my infant needs to be fed or changed or bathed, and as soon as I finish one of those tasks, ten more seem to follow.  Can you relate?

I often find myself falling into bed at night asking myself, “What on earth did I even DO today?”  (Besides change a gazillion diapers.)

As much as I enjoy setting goals, I like the feeling of achieving them much better.  So, I’ve been working on ways to set goals AND achieve them even in my exhausted-mommy state.

If you could use a caffeine-free boost in your own goal-setting techniques, read on.

3 Tips to Setting Goals when You’re Exhausted 💤

1. Pair down your goals.

I don’t know about you, but I always seem to forget that there are only 24 hours in a day.  And that some of those hours must be used for sleeping if I want to be a presentable human at all the following day.  Anyway, I digress…

I’m guilty as charged of trying to cram in too many to-dos in a single day.  And then when I don’t accomplish them all by the end of the day, even if I’ve gotten a lot done, I feel disappointed in myself.  The truth is, I’m not Super Woman, and neither are you.

So, the first thing to do when you’re trying to set and achieve some goals is pair down what you can do in a day, a week, a month, and so on.  Take a look at your current set of goals or tasks.  Ask yourself this hard question:

“Is it realistic that I can accomplish these things in the time I’ve allotted?”

If your answer is “no”, it’s time to make some tough choices about what you CAN do in a reasonable amount of time, and say goodbye to the rest…for now.  How do you choose?  Go for the goal that gives you the most “bang for your buck” or that will make the most difference in your life now.  Which brings us to the next point…

2. Choose ONE focus.

A hard lesson I’ve been learning in 2018 is that multitasking really doesn’t work.  Boo for that.  The plus side is that when I truly, madly, deeply focus on one thing or task at a time, I’m usually able to make much more progress on that thing in a small segment of time, rather than going back and forth between that and a bunch of other things.

One of my favorite bloggers/ entrepreneurs Crystal Paine speaks about the mantra she’s adapted: “Focus and Finish”.  The premise is simple: focus on one thing until you come to a good quitting point.  Then you can stop and focus on another thing.  This concept has really helped me check off some of the goals I’ve set for 2018.  For instance, take this blog.  I’d been toying around with the idea for since January, but only worked on bits and pieces of it here and there when I had a spare moment (which was, like, never).  Finally, I decided if I was going to launch it officially before I returned to teaching in August, I had to “Focus and Finish”.  That you’re reading this post is evidence that this method works!  Try it! <Update: Ok, so you’re reading this post in September or later because that is when I actually launched my blog.  But, the point is, I did it!>

3. Pre-schedule/ time block.  

I’ve read article after article on scheduling tasks and time blocking, but I never thought it was something that could really help me.  After all, during the summer, I’m at the mercy of my childrens’ capricious schedules, and some days it’s even a struggle to get a shower, much less work on my personal goals.  However, I decided to try the whole “time-blocking” technique one day when I desperately wanted to get in a workout.  I chose a generic time when my daughter would most likely be napping and wrote an appointment to exercise in my planner.  And guess what?  It worked.  It worked so well, in fact, that I continued the time blocking for exercise for the next three days in a roll.  I ended up having the best week of consistent workouts I’d had all summer.

I think prescheduling on paper or in a calendar app works because there’s just something about following through with the appointments you set, whether they’re with others or yourself.  

In conclusion, I believe not only is it possible to set and achieve goals when you’re exhausted, but also beneficial to your overall health as a well-rounded human.  I hope these tips will help you.  Along those lines, I’ve developed a FREE printable to-do list to help you not only plan and accomplish your top 3 daily priorities, but focus on your kids and your creative projects as well.

Printable coming soon (I promise!!)
Do you have a tip for accomplishing goals when you’re exhausted?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.


I was always pretty chill about setting goals until I listened to this fabulous audiobook.  It was seriously a game-changer for me!  Highly recommended if you need a boost in your goal-setting process!