Top five tips to goal setting and planning a family

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Making decisions about careers, partners and having a family are hot topics of conversation among people I know, both women and men. Regardless of age, the list of life changing decisions we are faced with seems to go on and on! 

Our hopes and fears affect the decisions we make, and uncertainty surrounding life plans can be overwhelming and a source of stress in our lives. There's no denying that the ideas in the worldwide phenom The Secret are pretty amazing. Manifesting the life you desire by using the laws of attraction sounds perfectly simple in theory, but in practice that ideal life may seem completely unattainable (especially in the midst of a difficult time or transition at work or personally). Many of us question how to get started manifesting in the first place...

Goal setting can be beneficial for a number of reasons, including helping prioritize things that are important and giving us something to strive for and achieve. There are a number of ways to go about goal setting and you should choose the one that appeals to you. Listening to the experiences of others and learning from past mistakes can also be helpful. 

Below are five tips for goal setting and planning a family.

  1. Start with your values and vision.

    You could start by jotting down your top five values and envisioning your ideal life. If you're having trouble getting started, here is a good list of values.

    After you have a general idea of what you would like to achieve, write down your goals or make a vision board. If all you need is a template for writing down your goals, you can download this one for free and change it to suit you. For those of us who are more visual, you could make a vision board by posting images that reflect your goals (from magazines and websites, etc.) electronically, on a cork board or by gluing them to a larger piece of paper. If you are interested in moving toward a feeling you want to create rather than something specific, check out the Desire Map.
     
  2. Include specific details where it's possible.

    Goals should be realistic, and are most effective if they are written down and clearly defined (there are studies about this). Make sure to include the things that are most important to you, such as personal and relationship goals, goals related to your health and wellbeing, or education and professional goals. If possible, include the specific date you plan to reach each of your goals by. 

    Being in a serious relationship and having a family will change your life, and adding these milestones to your list of goals could help determine when the timing is right for you.
     
  3. Review your goals or vision board regularly. 

    Try to review your goals at least once every four to eight months. You may want to update your goals sooner if you have a major achievement or experience a life-changing event (or if you change your mind or have an epiphany!).
     
  4. Share your goals with your partner (and know your deal-breakers).

    Consider discussing your goals with your partner as well as expectations concerning roles and responsibilities related to the household and children. Ideally you will do this before you get serious or get pregnant, but if that is not possible you may want to have the conversation ASAP. Having mutual understandings and a solid, healthy relationship with your partner can make a world of difference especially if you have children together.
     
  5. Be honest with yourself and trust your intuition.

    Your goals should always be authentic for you based on your values. Knowing when to listen to your intuition is also important - check out @marieforleo's tips for sharpening your intuition. Try not to judge or get too wrapped up in any one specific goal - life is sometime unpredictable and being adaptable truly is a survival skill at times! 

Related posts:
5 important questions to ask yourself if you're thinking about starting a family
Guide to Conception, Pregnancy and Childbirth