Children live by the ideals we practice. As a parent, self-improvement does not only transform you as a person. It has a direct effect on your family. Children respect a parent who is sincere and truly seeks to grow. They are more willing to accept rebuke and improve when they notice that the parent is also striving to better herself. They even end up emulating the parent’s example and striving to attain more in their own way.
To grow, we must have a vision of what we want to achieve during the workable years of our lives. This applies to both our goals as people and as parents.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. How would you like to see yourself in three years time?
2. If your children were writing an honest description of you, name four traits that you would wish they would include.
3. What have you done in the past two months that could increase the likeliness that they will see you as having these traits?
4. List the steps you would need to take now so that you are more likely to achieve the above-mentioned goals.
5. What contributions would you like your family to say you have made?
6. What difference have you made to your family’s lives?
7. Are you satisfied with the mirror image of your life?
Allow the traits and aspirations that are important to you to be your compass when deciding on your personal goals and a course of action. Once you have a clear understanding of your destination, there are various steps that can help you reach it more speedily.
It is a good idea to write your long-term goals on paper. You can even ask a close friend or relative to coach you, encourage you and gauge your progress. Set up a system of accountability, so that you must answer to someone – even if that someone is you!
Visualize yourself as being the person you wish you could be. This will make success feel more within reach and the process more likely to happen.
At the same time, honestly evaluate where you are holding now. Examine all your behaviors through the lens of your life’s vision. See how many conform to the values that matter most to you. Analyze which steps you can take to express your life’s values in your actions and make your life’s vision into a reality.
Often, although we have our priorities set straight in our minds, we are too busy to act on them. Yes, we are checking all the “chores” of the “Things To Do To Be a Good Mother” list. Dinner : done. Homework: done. Bedtime: done.
Yet, it is possible to do all the right things and not be getting to the right place. It is possible to be busy – and simultaneously, ineffective. It is vital to keep your eyes on your life’s vision, and never lose sight of that goal. No matter how pressured, no matter how distracted, make sure to place utmost emphasis on your true priority. All too often, values are sacrificed at the expense of success. For example, too many homes have paid the price for cleanliness with the children’s happiness, the mother’s peace of mind and the family’s relationships. Too many cakes have been baked to the tune of a mother’s frazzled nerves and impatient tone of voice. Too many “perfect holiday plans” have been created by stilting children’s creativity and bringing stress into the happiest month of the year.
It is vital to map out your life’s blueprint before you begin to build your home. Otherwise, life “happens.” Circumstances force you into acting upon automatic reflex, and that shapes your life’s destiny. If, however, you have clearly defined goals, you can be proactive, instead of reactive. First set your goals – and then see how your goals become a reality.