I find having a goal can play a useful part in helping you on your expressing journey. Goals give you something to work towards. I find it useful to use the goal setting acronym SMART to help. S is for- Specific- Be clear about what you want to accomplish, M is for – Measurable- How will you know that you have achieved your goal? A is for- Achievable- The goal you set needs to be challenging yet not so hard that it is not realistically obtainable. R is for – Realistic- The goal you set needs to be relevant to your overall goal. Eg. If my goal was related to fitness you wouldn’t say I want to lose 10kg in under 2 weeks. T is for- Time- Having a timeframe or deadline is important. When do you want to achieve this goal by?
In the early days my first goal was to build a maintainable milk supply. It was as simple as ensuring I expressed 7-8 times a day for at least 10- 20 mins. After about a month, my goal then became to make it to 3 months of exclusively expressing. My new goal is to get to Christmas which will be 6 months for me. If I can get to Christmas I already have my next goal in the pipeline, which is expressing to 9 months, but, I need to remember to be realistic and not jump ahead of myself. If I had picked 9 months from the start, it would have felt daunting and overwhelming. Small realistic goals are easier to reach and as you achieve each one, it helps to build your confidence. I have added a goal setting sheet to this post. I believe it is helpful to write down your goal and display it somewhere where you can see it and say it each day. This positive self-talk reinforces the goal. It is good to put some positive slogans around your goal to encourage you. Eg. You have got this! You can do it! Baby loves breast milk! Pump it!
I think it is nice to have rewards for yourself when you achieve your goals. Although, I enjoy the intrinsic reward of knowing I achieved the set goal, it can also be nice to have extrinsic rewards for yourself too. I have added a downloadable certificate to this post, which you can fill in once you have achieved your goal and here are a couple of other ideas for rewards. 1) Go out for a special meal 2) Buy something special for yourself- an item of clothing, book, homeware, movie- whatever you are interested in. 3) Pamper yourself- nails, hair, facial, massage.
Remember goal setting and rewards don’t need to just apply to your expressing journey but they can be related to most aspects of you life. Now go on, set some goals, you can do it!