EDITOR'S NOTE: Diet-to-Go guest blogger Mia Redrick has made it her mission to help harried moms everywhere learn how to take care of themselves -- mentally and physically. Today she turns her attention to helping you you achieve your biggest dreams.
When was the last time you really allowed yourself to dream? How about, when was the last time you not only allowed yourself to dream but to dream big?
Huge dreams aren't just for children or young and single adults. Moms can have big dreams, too.
The problem is that we often limit ourselves because we feel that our dreams aren't important.
A while ago I decided that I wanted to run a triathlon. A triathlon is a very grueling event that requires three endurance events in a row -- swimming, cycling, and running. I knew that in order to participate I would have to be the best I could be at all three of these activities.
I did OK at running and cycling, but I really wasn't a good swimmer. In order to get better at these activities, I had to practice a lot. This meant setting time aside to train, and I couldn't do this while I was watching my kids.
This had to be special "me time" that was set aside so that I could focus specifically on this goal.
Of course, all moms understand that the bigger the dream, the more of their time that will be involved. Consequently, they feel that they are robbing their families of the time they usually spend taking care of things at home.
They feel that this dream of theirs must be a very selfish goal, so they discount it and move on.
However, desiring to grow is not selfish. Moms who put aside their own dreams typically feel resentful and depressed. Setting and keeping goals is a normal, healthy part of life, whether you're a mom, or not!
There are plenty of ways to set aside time for your training, studying or whatever else you need to do in order to meet your goal.
1. Just get started
Set aside a certain amount of time every week for you to practice or train. This should be a regular event that should appear on the family calendar.
Make everyone in your family aware of this time and use it just for your training or practice. You should already have regular time for yourself set aside on the family calendar, so you should be able to use some of that time.
2. Invite other moms to join you
Part of staying on track with any goal is having someone who is working toward that same goal right beside you. I invited a few moms to join me in my triathlon efforts, and before I knew it, we had 20 moms in our Iron Moms group!
If your goal is something that's not necessarily a group activity, like earning your degree, then pair up with a friend who also has a high goal and take turns holding each other accountable every step of the way.
3. Get help
Every athlete who is going to participate in an event needs a trainer, and meeting your big goals is certainly a major endeavor. No matter what your goal looks like, you'll need someone to help, whether it's a mentor, trainer, or someone else who can provide you with some helpful tips.
No mom (or anyone else for that matter!) ever accomplished anything without committing to a goal. We had to commit to a various strict fitness routine in order to prepare for the triathlon, and there's no doubt your life will require some big changes if you want to meet your goal.
Think ahead to what kinds of changes you will need to make and then make the decision to hold fast to those changes until you meet your goal. Dreaming big requires the ability to adapt beyond what you think you're even capable of.
5. Reward yourself
I find it very helpful to create a vision board so that I can actually see myself accomplishing my goal. I used a photo of me to create an image of me standing at a finish line.
Vision boards are a great way to envision positive results for yourself in a very concrete way that shows the rewards you will reap after you meet your big goal.
6. Record the journey
Every big dream is worth remembering, and the best way to do that is to take pictures and videos of your journey.
As our group trained for the triathlon, I got out the video camera and asked the other moms in our group various questions about how they felt during the entire process. Now we will be able to look back on these memories in living color.
All of us have different personalities and perspectives of the journey, and having them on record is so important. Journaling is also a great way to record your journey. Look back on it in a few years and you'll be surprised at the things you learned along the way!
Personal growth isn't something that happens overnight, and it definitely should not be something that ever stops.
We are models for our children, and what happens if they see mom stop growing? They will begin to feel that their world is small, too. Children can't learn that the sky's limit unless they see someone else believing it.
And who better to be an example to them than their own mother?
New Diet-to-Go blogger Mia Redrick is author of Time for mom-Me: 5 Essential Strategies for A Mother's Self-care and the creator of the national Time for Mom-Me support group. When you start a support group, you have access to a free six-week turn-key program that empowers you to create and grow your own community of mothers who commit together to make self-care a priority. Our mothers agree that when mothers are happier they are better mothers. For more information, go to www.timeformom-me.com