In my post homemaking for the busy mother, I set new goals for 2022, and in this post, I am going to show you how to set and achieve goals in your homemaking (and any other area of your life) with the curating of small and sustainable habits.
Using smart goals, understanding how you can form a new habit and how you can become more productive without feeling like you are working harder than ever you can sustainably up your homemaking game.
Set big goals as a homemaker and break them down
If you are new to homemaking then you might have some pretty big goals in mind, learning to cook from scratch, starting a garden, creating a budget and sticking to it, upping your games with productivity.
Take cooking from scratch. If your goal is to cook EVERY meal in your home, and this is relatively new to you, then creating that goal and not breaking it down would be difficult.
If you want to achieve your homemaking goals, you need to create habits with these three pillars in mind.
No homemaker is successful without all these three pillars in their homemaking and habit curating. you will find, as you analyse your homemaking goals, and as you try and reach your goals, that every choice you make when it comes to trying to achieve your goals comes down to these three pillars in some way.
If you can learn the formula to successful goal making and habit curating you will find it easy to create goals in any area of your life and be able to achieve them.
As a mother to five, everything I do has a purpose, but I do not DO everything every day.
My home is not completely spotless at the end of every day, but I have moved forward. I have achieved something that will help me tomorrow, I have organised something that will help me next week, I have cooked healthy meals for my children and husband and we have spent quality time in a peaceful environment as a family.
Habits, made over time, one after another are what got me here, to the point where I occupy a tidy well run home, with as little effort as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work, but if I didn’t have these systems in place with the habits ingrained over time, I would be working a lot harder each day and achieving a lot less.
What is a smart goal?
A smart goal is. S– specific. M– Measurable. A– Achievable. R– Relevant. T– Timely.
- Create your goal. For example one of my goals is to bake my bread from scratch daily.
- Be Specific. I want to have bread ready by lunchtime each day.
- Create a Measurable time frame for gradual improvement– I want to have it three times per week for the first month.
- Give yourself ways to make it Achievable– Not all loaves will be sourdough, I can use yeast or make flatbread on days I am time poor.
- Is the goal Relevant to you overall?– this is relevant for me as I want to decrease our bread intake overall, and having to bake it will help me lower the consumption, and the bread we do eat will be healthy and eventually competely sourdough for our optimal health.
- Create a Timely assessment period – I will assess this goal in four weeks and alter it if need be.
You can use this formula to create goals and to know where your goal starts and finishes, how you will get there, and how over time that goal may adapt to your lifestyle and circumstances as they change.
Now to achieve the goal set you need to understand the ways you will work towards achieving your goals daily.
HABITS FOR LIFE
Going back to my bread making goal.
I am working on the gut health of myself and my family and so this goal for me is highly important. (relevant) I want to achieve this goal but I understand it’s a very work-intensive goal. I need to have the bread kneaded, risen, baked and cooled by 12 pm and In time I want to achieve this at least semi-daily.
- Habit 1. Prepare my sourdough starter on Saturdays. Feed it, clean the container it is stored in and have it ready in the fridge for another week’s worth of baking.
- Habit 2. Incorporate beginning tomorrow’s loaf of sourdough bread in my morning breakfast routine. simply place ingredients into the bowl and mix.
- Habit 3. teach my boys how to stretch and fold the dough and have them complete this task on alternating days. Include in morning chores.
- Habit 4. incorporate placing the risen sourdough into its shaping banneton for overnight refrigeration, ready for the morning bake.
Four habits for successful daily breadmaking. I do not have to have all these habits mastered at once, although working on them simultaneously would make it easy to reach my goal quickly and easily.
At first, these habits won’t come naturally, I will need to set reminders, I will need to teach the boys to do the stretch and fold, I will need to become accustomed to the extra work, but soon, in mere months and definitely in six months, it will be a sustainable habit.
A SUSTAINABLE HABIT IS:
- An action that takes less than a few minutes.
- An action that can be repeated without much preparation
- An action that creates an affect that works for you and your goals in the long and short term
The three pillars to creating a sucessful habit.
A habit that you want to incorporate toward your homemaking goals must be productive.
A habit that isn’t productive is usually called a bad habit. A bad habit prevents or slows you down your reaching your goals.
Bad habits can be hard to shift, but a way to make it easier is to understand where they come from.
Every habit has a cue.
A cue can be a smell, a time of day, an action, a feeling, something that you just thought, spoke about or witnessed, stress or anger.
A bad habit ( and all habits in general) is triggered by something and that something creates a need, and that need is whatever the habit is.
Step one identify your cue, think about what prompted you to take part in any habit, if you want to change it try writing the cue down.
Habits and their cues are created, by either ourselves or our surroundings (society) and upbringing.
For example, if your parents served dessert after every meal then as an adult you may desire dessert after dinner, that habit may be expanded into acquiring a sweet tooth and/or beginning to desire something sweet after every meal.
Eating the meal is the cue and the habit is the sweet afterwards.
You decide you want to break this habit to improve your health.
In order to succeed the best thing you can do for yourself is to replace the bad habit with a good or less bad habit and slowly get to the place where you no longer crave sweets after a meal. It is VERY hard to ditch a bad habit by replacing it with nothing at all, so try and find something you can replace a bad habit with.
In my case, I have always used the habit I wish to add value to my life to replace the bad habit that doesn’t add value. If I desire chocolate after dinner, I will instead have a cup of stevia-sweetened cocoa, now I just drink tea and think nothing of it.
It’s a little easier to create new habits I find, working against cues you already have, and having to replace the old and most likely very comfortable action (habit) with a new one is hard and takes diligence and willpower.
To create a new habit takes effort and diligence, but you are only working against your own lack of motivation as you do not yet experience the feeling of satisfaction at completing the habit daily or whenever the habit takes place as you do with a habit that is now exactly that-a habit.
It gets easier the more you create new habits, as you begin to like the feeling of being able to achieve what you set out to do.
Understand that when you are a beginner homemaker, or a homemaker who wants to increase their level of skill and competence, then you will create new habits and replace older habits that no longer work toward your goals.
A Sucessful habit must be organised
A new habit is unlikely (almost impossibly) able to be incorporated into your lifestyle if the ability to achieve the habit isn’t organised and easy to start.
Another habit of mine is to have clean bathrooms every morning.
this is hard to do if I am not organised. If I cannot find my bathroom spray, the cleaning cloths and the mop then I am going to get sidetracked and/or hesitant to go and start the action that I need to take to achieve my goal.
To achieve clean bathrooms I do not wake and immediately think of cleaning my bathrooms and finding what I need.
No, I clean them the night before.
I provide sustainability by being organised.
I know if I do this daily it will take mere minutes to accomplish. I also know that I must find a way to be organised so I can achieve my goal with a sustainable habit.
Habit 1. Create a space for bathroom products, and be sure to always replace what I take. incorporate this habit into my folding and putting away washing routine. ( I use reusable cleaning cloths)
Habit 2. Create a 10-minute time allotment in the after-dinner cleanup to quickly clean the bathrooms. (perhaps try bringing the cleaning things I need when I help the young children brush their teeth after dinner) A new habit is easy to start if you can tie it in with other strong habits. This ties in with the nightly laundry collection and start of tomorrows laundry, a habit I curated years ago as well as the teeth brushing.
A successful homemaking habits must be sustainable
Sustainability is key to a successful habit. All habits that you create must at least start with an action that you can complete in minutes and that you can complete daily or weekly and that has a cue you plan and control.
If you try and create a new habit, for example, making your bed every morning. This is a habit it is usually fairly easy, to make a bed takes less than 5 minutes. this means you are flexible to do it in many times frames in your day. The cue is merely looking at the unmade bed and the satisfaction is quick and immediate once you make the bed.
New larger goals require New or changed small broken down habits to be sustainable, as you grow in the small habit, and it truly becomes a habit and does not take outside action and prodding such as reminders to complete then you can move on to the next habit to either add to that one to compound it and reach your goals.
FREE smart goal and habit tracker printable!
Creating a cue
to create a cue for a new habit, the easiest way is to try and tie the new habit to an older one, the older one is the cue for the new habit.
A habit is formed in four steps. Cue, craving, response(action) reward. (Atomic habits)
knowing you need to cue means you need to think about what is around you and what influences you to create that habit, that is your cue. Your craving can be the idea of the new habit, the craving can be an old habit, and if it is a bad habit, (scrolling Instagram when sitting with your morning coffee) then you need to use something else to replace the craving, such as a book, or place your phone where you cant reach it. The reward is the feeling you get when you achieve it, as well as forming the new habit to reach the goal you set for yourself.
Take my bread making. If I was to merely write in my planner.
Monday, new habit this week! make bread every day!
Then I will struggle to take up this goal.
Using the S.M.A.R.T goals analogy and the three pillars of habit curating you can create sustainable habits, by breaking them down into small and achieving actions that with a little planning and organising can be done in minutes every day. the more little habits you create the easier to easier it is to stay organised, and the more organised you are the more habits you can build up into the goals you want, and in time you will create new and bigger goals like I am.
I first started this way of setting goals and curating habits around 6 years ago, and since then I have gained control of my household and my homeschooling, my mothering and my relationship with my husband, habits form how we live our lives and create goals and using the power of small habits to achieve them can build into success no matter what your stage age or your lifestyle.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if you wish to become the best version of yourself, then know that achieving the small things is what sets you on the right path to succeeding in the big things.
I read this book when I first started my homemaking journey and it completely changed the way I set and achieved my goals, I highly recommend this book!
you can get it here. (affiliate link)