When we found out I was pregnant in June, we were really taken for a wild ride. We had just gotten married in April, didn’t plan our honeymoon yet, and have zero money saved. We were fucking terrified.
Fast forward to almost a year later, and we have somehow made it all work. Having a baby is having a pretty concrete deadline, and having the responsibility of becoming a mother whipped my ass into shape. The lack of a backup plan forced me to make “someday” happen as soon as humanly possible. I’ll always be so thankful to Ivy, because her mere existence forced me to push through all my fears and make something substantial happen.
The major goal for me when I got pregnant was to save at least $4,000 by the time the baby was born. After looking through all of our finances, this was the cushion amount we would need. And I’m being honest here: I’m terrible with money. I can’t save money. I love to shop. I am a nightmare. So even though saving $4,000 might be a super easy thing for some of you, for me it was like being asked to move a literal mountain. But I knew that we needed it, and I knew that I had to be the one to make it happen. And so I did.
But why was it so different for me this time around? Why was this short term goal all of a sudden doable for me? There were five major factors that forced me to succeed in crushing my short term goals.
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Set a Deadline
The most important factor to short term goal success is having a concrete deadline. Something you can’t take back or push forward. A baby’s due date is pretty intense, but if every goal had that serious of a deadline, wouldn’t we all be better off? Whatever you’re goal is, find a way to give it a REAL, no-takebacks deadline.
A baby’s due date is pretty intense, but if every goal had that serious of a deadline, wouldn’t we all be better off?
If it’s fitness related, sign up for a 5k. Want to book a certain amount of clients? Price things out so you have to be booked out in order for it to work. Whatever it is, set that deadline.
Forget the Backup Plan
Don’t give yourself an option to fail.
It’s a bit like the buy yourself a dress two sizes too small thing: don’t give yourself an option to fail. I couldn’t possibly not save $4,000 – there was just no other option. And because I had no other option, I was forced to make it happen. If you have a backup plan, you’ll know you’re safe. But if you really do want this goal then it’s simple: don’t give yourself an out. Gather all those eggs and put them in one basket. When you’ve got no other choice but to make it work, you will find a way to make it work.
Be Accountable… to Someone Else
I hate letting other people down, and I try not to disappoint or go back on a promise. So I told everyone that I was trying to save $4,000 before the baby came. My parents, my husband, his parents, our siblings, my friends, etc. Not because I wanted donations or pity, but because then people would eventually ask follow-up questions. And I wanted to be able to respond in confidence that I was either close to or had reached my goal.
Map it Out
Make sure that you map out exactly how you plan to achieve your goal. Don’t wander aimlessly. Having motivation and drive is not enough – you need an action plan.
Having motivation and drive is not enough – you need an action plan.
Money wasn’t going to just fall from the sky, so I needed to map out exactly how I was going to get this money. For me, I decided to take all that extra time after work and on the weekends to open my own Virtual Assistant business. I had seen there was a market for it, and knew I would be able to put my talents to good use. I worked backwards from February to figure out exactly how many hours I’d need to work, what my hourly rate would need to be, and how many clients I would need to have in order to save the money I needed.
Make the Time
Liz Gilbert said it best:
You don’t find time… you make it.
Before getting pregnant, all my extra time when I wasn’t working full time was dedicated to either working out or hanging out. I used to do pilates and zumba 3 or 4 times per week, and then I’d meet up with friends at the local bar or everyone would come over to our apartment. When I got pregnant I was terrified to work out (bad decision I know), and I really didn’t want to go anywhere or hang out all the time because I was under so much pressure. So I used all the extra time to start my business.
It didn’t feel like a sacrifice at the time, and maybe that’s the key. I wanted to make it work because I needed the money saved, so I made the time. When you’re serious about your goals you MAKE the time to make it happen.
There’s really no great magic potion to make sh*t happen for you in your life. You have to want it and take action on it – it will always be up to you. I’m a huge believer in that! Whatever your short term goals are, know that I’m cheering you on and in your corner.