Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. They can figure out how to ask, who to ask or when to ask to get just what they want. They laser in on a cookie or a toy and they throw everything they’ve got at it – a sweet and innocent ask, a demand, a pout or a cry, a full out wail. Maybe they know how to bat their eyelashes or how to catch you off guard and you say yes before you realize it. They are relentless once they get something in their sights. For Cole it is animal crackers…he will lure you into the kitchen by pretending to play a game, and once I get in there, he’s standing by the counter where they are stored, giving me that “pleaseeeeee” look and pointing to them. Most of the time it is so freakin cute, I can’t help but give him one!
Kids know what they want and they go after it with all their might.
But me…I tend to compromise, to give in, to put myself aside.
This comes up in all sorts of ways. What do I want to do on Saturday? I have a solid list of things I’d like to get done, but my first instinct is to ask my husband what he wants to do and go along with that. What about that new project I want to take on at work? I casually mention that it is interesting or would be a fun project to take on, but never come out and ask for it. Or the rise I want, or what’s for dinner or what movie to see or…our opinions get watered down because we tend to want to make other people happy. We care about their feelings or desires or opinions, so we compromise and you don’t get what you want.
When it comes to what’s for dinner, it’s not a big deal. But when it comes to what we want in life, in business, for our families, we have to know what we want and go after it with all our might too! But we’ve become conditioned to put ourselves behind our kids, families and even coworkers. No more!
What is it for you? What is it that you really, really want? Is it a new job, a new car, to lose weight, to get stronger, to stay home with the kids, to go back to work, to actually read a book or have a girls night, to take a vacation, to learn Spanish or how to cook, to plant a garden? What do you want?
Take a note from your kids and go get what you want!
Well, they can help there too
1. They make it clear they want it
Kids ask over and over and over again when they really want something. They make it very clear what they want, there is no wondering or questioning the intention. To get what you want, make it clear what it is you want. I tend to shy away from putting it out there what I want to accomplish because what if I fail? I’ll be embarrassed, my pride will take a hit. So I down play it or I say “maybe” or “I hope” or “we’ll see.” This just puts doubt out there, it limits the potential and gives me an out. But we have to do just the opposite, sing it from the rooftops, tell everyone you know, write on big post-its around the house. Make it incredibly clear that you are going to ______. This puts a little skin in the game, a little accountability and a lot of motivation.
Not sure what you want? As a mom, we tend to put everyone else’s needs and wants above ours, sometimes to a point that we don’t even know what it is we want anymore. The best way to uncover what you want is to put pen to paper. Set a 5 minute timer and just start writing – write about what is important to you, what you care about, what you dream about. It could be to have more family time, to learn how to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever; maybe it is more about your career or a new job, or about finances and retirement. Make it clear in your mind what you are striving for.
2. They are not easily swayed
I watched my nine year old nephew the other day hatch an elaborate plan to make sure he’d have time to play his favorite video game later. He got creative and got charming and figured out what he could do to get his time. Any goal worth attaining is going to have some obstacles in the way or something to overcome, but we have to get creative too. Figure out what in the budget can be changed to save a little money every month to save for that dream vacation. Find that neighbor that will watch the kids for an hour this week so you can be extra prepared for your big presentation. Do lunges and squats at the park while the kids swing if you can’t get a workout in that day. Don’t be swayed by the distractions or the issues that pop up, get creative and plow through them to get what you want.
3. They celebrate when they get it
Nothing is better than finally getting what you have been wanting, and kids get excited when they get what they’ve been wanting. But I’ve noticed that sometimes we tend to down play our success or our accomplishment. Be proud of what you accomplished, even if it is just finding time and a babysitter to get in a date night or putting away that laundry. Celebrate that! Feel good about it, it is worthwhile! For big huge goals, break them down into smaller pieces and celebrate finishing each one before you move to the next. If we move so quickly on to the next milestone or task, the mountain to climb feels so big. But when we stop to celebrate at each summit, suddenly we have motivation and a push to get to the next one.