Does it stress you out when self-help gurus ask you “what’s your dream?” The truth is, when we’re bogged down in work, babies, diapers, health crises, life events, family and more, the “dream,” might just be the opportunity for 7 straight hours of sleep.

But what’s so bad about that?

If the idea of a “dream” or a “goal” sounds hilarious to you, it’s probably because we’ve put too much emphasis on the idea of having a “dream” and what that entails. It’s popular to talk about dreams and vision boards these days.

But if you’re dealing with the pressures of small children while running your business and household, I’d like to give you permission to dream about the little things that will carry you to a bigger vision.

For example, while I was in the middle of a divorce and dealing with cancer, I realized I wasn’t going to make enough money as a college professor to support my kids. And rather than try to find another job that might pay enough, I realized I could take matters into my own hands with entrepreneurship. So, I quit my job and began selling essential oils and eventually became very successful with that. But my first goal was to make enough to support my kids. After reaching that goal, I set another BIG goal, then scaled my business.

Around the time of my divorce and fighting with cancer, I realized I wanted my children to see what love looks like. My marriage hadn’t been a good one, and I didn’t want to leave my children with that example. So instead of throwing myself into a vision board and “dreaming big,” I honed in on what I really wanted: to kick cancer’s ass so I could live long enough to find true love again and show this healthy relationship to my kids.

I made that goal…and one day, while I was at the airport in Arizona traveling from my cancer treatment 4 weeks after having surgery, my soulmate walked in. He walked into the airport bar, sat next to me and completely changed my life.

Dealing with cancer while going through a divorce, with children, was really challenging. I didn’t have the wherewithal to “dream big,” or to make big goals. But I did have a responsibility to myself and to my children to fight back against the hand I’d been dealt. I decided to become a leader in my own life by setting intentions that would bring my children and myself safely out of this life stage, so we could start dreaming bigger in the next stage.

Setting transitional goals

When you’re in the trenches of motherhood whether, with babies or teenagers and older, it may be tempting to think “I’ll work on my vision board with my new car/travel/new home AFTER the kids are settled and gone. Or, you think “I’ll just work on this later.”

I made transitional goals, ones that worked for me and my family because they addressed where we were at that moment in time and where we needed to get to in the near future. And I accomplished both of my visions–I was able to make enough money to support my family and I showed my children what a healthy, loving relationship was. And after that, I scaled my goals, and scaled them again as I reached a new level of success.  

So if you don’t have time to create a vision board and can’t even imagine what you would put on it, that’s ok. Instead, think about what would change if you could eliminate one big problem in your life. If the baby can’t sleep through the night, would it be worthwhile to invest in a sleep coach? Then figure out what it will take to hire a sleep coach and get the baby sleeping through the night! Are you super busy in your business but at capacity and unable to scale until you hire outside help? Then set an intention to hire a VA or a personal assistant and identify how you’ll start scaling after that.

Here’s to not having a vision board and going for it anyway!