Grace-Filled Goal Setting for Busy Moms

Goal setting for busy moms, with helpful ideas for how to set and achieve your goals this year. Give yourself grace and look for progress, rather than perfection!

goal setting for busy moms

Grace-Filled Goal Setting for Moms

If you’re a mom, I know you’re busy.

Busy moms don’t need another to do list. What they need instead are good goals that are attainable.

In this post, we’re going to talk about how to set goals that will actually help you rather than putting more pressure on you.

Tools for Goal Setting

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

These are some of my favorite tools to use for planning the new year:

I highly recommend writing your goals down in a planner of some sort, whether you choose paper or digital.

This is my favorite planner because it has a place to record your goals for each month. I’ve chosen this planner for the past four years, and it’s helped me to be so much more intentional with my time.

Also, it’s not dated, so you can start using it at any time.

Read: Best Planner for Homemakers

Goal Setting for Busy Moms

Every year I use the weeks before Christmas and the week after Christmas to think about the coming year and what I hope to accomplish and who I hope to become.

I always get a new planner and start making plans filled with hope and anticipation.

Read: How to Pick Your Perfect Planner

As I looked back over the goals I made last year, I noticed that the goals I have for this year are extremely similar to the ones I made last year.

Honestly, there were many things that just didn’t happen, due to circumstances beyond my control.

I did the best I could, but it was just a hard year. So, what do I do? Give up on setting goals because I didn’t make as much progress as I would have liked?

If you’re like me, and you’ve experienced setbacks and difficulties in your year, and you’re hesitant to set goals because you might not be able to make them happen, I would like to suggest that you try grace-filled goal setting.

Give yourself grace! Don’t aim for perfection, but instead aim for progress.

goal setting for busy moms

Choose Progress Over Perfection

Rather than consider myself a failure because my goals for the year weren’t perfectly achieved, I choose to look at the progress that was made on each goal.

I’m looking at the past year, remembering my weakness and the struggles I endured, and I’m giving myself grace.

Instead of seeing failure, I’m choosing to see growth. I did a lot of growing.

It didn’t turn out the way I had envisioned. But I did grow! That’s something, right?

I want to encourage you today to give yourself grace, and see the good in the past year. What changes happened for you?

Even if the year was hard, filled with grief or trials, did you grow? That’s progress!

As you reflect over the past year and look forward to the next, write down what worked and what didn’t.

Write down what you have to be thankful for. If there were things that didn’t work, take note of those, too.

How to Set SMART Goals

After looking back and analyzing what worked and what didn’t, it’s time to set some goals. Set goals that are “smart.”

  • Specific: Make sure you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • Measurable: Make sure each goal is quantifiable so you’ll know when you’ve accomplished it.
  • Actionable: Make sure it’s specific and action-oriented.
  • Realistic: Make sure your goals are possible for you.
  • Time-Bound: Make sure you set a date for completion.

And then, after setting those “smart” goals, give yourself some grace! If something happens to derail your plans, look for whatever good came out of that change of plans. Look for the growth!

I think goal setting is important (even for busy moms), because, as Zig Ziglar says:

If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.

I can honestly say that despite the challenges last year threw at me, I still accomplished more with my goals than I would have without them.

I see so much progress, even though I didn’t perfectly complete any of the goals I set.

Even if it’s not perfect, it’s still worth it to think through the coming year and set some goals. Aim at something you’d like to see happen this year!

Read: One Question That Could Change Your Life Forever

I have loved going through the goal-setting process with the PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner. I honestly believe this is the best tool available for goal setting, and it has really inspired me to be intentional with my time and life.

goal setting for busy moms

Choose a Word for the Year

Another thing that’s helpful as you plan for a new year is to pick one word to focus on through the year. A word that sort of defines and sums up what you’re working toward.

I know there are varying opinions on whether or not it’s helpful to pick a word to focus on, but I’ve been picking a word for several years now, and I find it to be a helpful practice, so I keep doing it!

My word for this year is steadfast.

Here’s a definition that I love:

Resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.

As I began to ponder my goals this year and think about a word, “steadfast” kept popping up everywhere.

You know how that is? You see it in one book, and you think, “that’s nice.” Then you see it again, in a completely different place. And then you’re listening to a podcast, and you hear it again!

Well, that’s how it was with “steadfast.” It was like I just couldn’t get away from it. And the more I thought about it, the more enamored I became with it. It just had to be my word for this year.

I also kept thinking about these verses from 1 Corinthians 15:58:

“Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

Will this be a perfect year, with all of my goals neatly checked off and accomplished?

Well, that would be a miracle, so probably not. But we can look for progress. There can always be progress as we work toward our goals, little by little!

Grace-filled goal setting for busy moms is all about progress, not perfection.

Set some good goals and then give yourself grace!

Resources for Goal Setting

Make It Happen Book (I bought this book last year and finished reading it this fall. It was so helpful and encouraging!)

PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner (This is a game-changer in goal setting! It’s definitely the best goal planner out there.)

The Living Well Planner This is the daily planner I’ve chosen for four years in a row, and it goes perfectly with the PowerSheets Goal planner.

After making your goals, you can transfer them to the goal planning pages at the beginning of each month in the Living Well Planner! Read my review of this planner here.

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Goal Setting for Busy Moms

Disclosure: This post includes my affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here. Sharing this post here. This post was originally published in 2016, and has been updated.


  1. Cultivate is a really great word to focus on for 2017 – I can see some real growth happening there :-). I know that God will help you to see the fruit that he will be cultivating in your life this year. All the best Joy!

  2. Cultivate…that is a wonderful word for the year! A very good idea to pick a word for the year. One of the best things that I have ever learned through all the years is that the Lord is strong when I am week. He is always there and I can trust in Him completely! As the new year is upon us, it will be no different. A comfort…yes. Knowing this gives me courage for each new day. Praise God for his mercies are new every morning!

    1. I so agree, Jennifer! The Lord is our refuge and our strength. I’ve been reading in the Psalms this month, and that phrase is repeated over and over again. Such a comfort, and as you said, it gives us courage. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving an encouraging comment!

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