8 Mistakes To Avoid When Setting Goals As A Mom

mistakes to avoid when setting goals as a mom

As a mom, it’s critical to avoid mistakes when setting goals to ensure that we position ourselves to succeed. We know that setting good goals lays the foundation for success.

As moms, we juggle so much all the time that it’s easy to have an idea or lots of them and try to follow through based on just the thoughts.

Often times these goals are very vague or general and provide no focused plan on how to accomplish it. 

Goal setting requires more thought and planning than that. We all know the saying “if we fail to prepare, prepare to fail” and it’s definitely true with goal setting.  If you lay a good foundation, you’re more likely to follow through and succeed. 

Why Do Moms Fail To Accomplish Goals

Moms fail to accomplish their goals because they didn’t set them right to begin with. This leads to becoming despondent and discouraged. It also leads to stress and frustrations.

I’m especially guilty of making these mistakes with health and fitness-oriented goals. It’s not my passion and I tend to set very vague, unrealistic, and large goals. As soon as I gave birth, I wanted to just have a flat stomach and be back to my normal fitness level and physique.

I’ll set a goal like “I want to have a flat stomach in 21 days”. I’ll get motivated, I’ll plan my diet and then when it comes to the exercises, I realize that I can’t keep up – not even with the modifier.

When I feel no changes with my strength or don’t see enough changes in my physical appearance, I get demotivated. 

I realized that even though it was only 21 days, I needed to pace myself and set smaller goals.

Focusing on the flat stomach and my diastasis recti were larger goals for me that would require a longer period of time. So, I had to break up my larger goals into smaller ones to be able to accomplish them and to keep me motivated and inspired.

Sure enough, as I continued to set my small goals, I eventually reached my larger fitness level goal. I still set small goals as fitness is an ongoing journey and if I’m honest, struggle for me. 

We can make these mistakes when setting goals with household chores, career advancement, furthering your education, your relationships, savings plans and so on.

8 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Setting Goals As A Mom

I’ve made these mistakes in the past and had trouble reaching my goals, especially when I became a stay at home mom.

Now, I try to avoid these 8 mistakes when setting my goals as a mom and it helps me to become a better goal setter and increases my ability to crush my goals more often!

  1. Having the wrong mindset 
  2. Not being realistic 
  3. Not breaking up larger goals into more manageable goals
  4. Being too general – being specific is key
  5. Setting too many goals simultaneously 
  6. Enjoyment 
  7. Setting goals that are dependent on others
  8. Setting negative goals

Let’s dig a littler deeper into each one.

Having the wrong mindset when setting your goals

Having the wrong mindset isn’t limited to negativity. It includes not being focused, inspired, patient and confident.

Having a positive and goal-oriented mindset sets the tone for your goal setting and motivation. It arms you with the right way of thinking to set the best goals for yourself and the steps you need to get there. Once you have the right mindset, you have a solid foundation to set your goals and set yourself up for success. 

Not being realistic when setting goals

You’re more likely to set yourself up for disappointment if you start by setting an unrealistic goal. While you certainly want to challenge yourself and dream big, being aware of your limitations and expectations are crucial. 

When setting your goals, think of it holistically, in terms of the actual goal, the time frame, the possible obstacles, the available resources and so on. 

Not breaking up larger goals into more manageable goals

By shooting for a large goal from the start, you’re putting yourself in a position for possible burnout, de-motivation, self-doubt, and failure. It’s not that you cannot achieve the large goal, it’s the fact that the road to get there may be long and full of obstacles. This means that you aren’t celebrating your smaller victories on the way to the large goal. Instead, you’re focusing on the fact that you haven’t reached the goal yet. 

Having smaller goals also work to increase your self-confidence, keep you motivated and keeps you going. 

So if you want to accomplish something in 3 months, break that goal up into smaller, more manageable goals e.g. Monthly or even weekly goals which are all aligned with the big 3-month goal. 

Being too general with your goals

Being specific is so critical to successful goal setting. When you know exactly what you want to achieve it helps shape and guide your path. It’s much easier to plan your actions to ensure success.

Forbes provides a great list of 13 questions to ask yourself to identify the right goal. 

Setting too many goals simultaneously 

There’s little that’s more frustrating and demotivating than not being able to accomplish your goals and having many partially accomplished goals. Instead, pace yourself and don’t start all of your goals at the same time. Choose one or two and when you’ve accomplished those, move on.

Setting Goals That We Don’t Enjoy

Setting a goal that we do not enjoy is much harder to achieve. This is n’t the same as staying in our comfort zone and not challenging ourselves. We know that in order to grow and live our best lives we must challenge ourselves. Instead, we need to find joy in what we need to accomplish.

While it may not always be possible to enjoy something that we have to do, we can find a way to make it fun or find an alternative that will increase the likelihood of us completing it.

Using my fitness journey as an example, my goal was (and still is) to be healthy and fit. As a mom of three, there’s nothing I rather do in my spare time than just lay down and relax!

When setting fitness goals, I had to choose a program I would enjoy. I love doing different moves throughout a workout and I like a short, effective to the point session.

I choose programs from trainers I like and the types of exercises that the programs offer.  

You should definitely challenge yourself but again, be realistic with it. Maybe even starting off smaller is key here.

Setting goals that are dependent on other people

This one is probably the easiest to understand and the hardest to do.

As moms, we tend to rely and depend on others for help and support. But setting goals that are dependent on anyone else puts your success in the hands of another person, who of course you have no control over. 

Setting negative goals 

Instead of setting goals like “not wanting to be lazy” set positive goals like “becoming more productive”. This type of thinking and goal setting sets the tone for your plan of action and mindset. 


Achieving your goals starts with setting them right! So, avoid these mistakes when setting goals as a mom and give yourself the best shot at reaching all your goals.

These tips have proven to help moms set themselves up for success from the beginning.

Let me know in the comments below if you have been making these mistakes or if you have any other tips that are useful.

2 thoughts on “8 Mistakes To Avoid When Setting Goals As A Mom”

  1. Love these tips… so useful in these pandemic times, when you can really feel demotivated. I like to prioritize / separate goals into urgent versus non-urgent, as well as important versus non-important. This helps me to put things into a more feasible list, that I’m more willing to tackle. 🙂

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