Single Parent Challenges
Every New Year, look back on the last year and see what has changed in your life. Do you feel as though you are in the same place as last year? Have you overcame challenges, faced new obstacles, or moved toward your dreams? When you’re parenting alone, you may feel the pressure of being pulled in several different directions. You have so much to do but don’t do any of it, because you’re so overwhelmed and stressed.
Let’s start 2014 off right, by getting you on track. You can overcome single parenting challenges with these five strategies.
1. Implement Time Management—This often overlooked quality is one of the most important ones. You have a million things to do every day. How do you make time for all of them? Block off time in 15 minute intervals and stick to it. Set a timer for each task. When the timer goes, off, you MUST be done. If you go over the time, you will be behind for the rest of the day. Fifteen minutes to fold laundry. Thirty minutes to prepare dinner. ONLY 15 minutes on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter—COMBINED. Adhere to the timer. If you don’t the time will escape you and you’ll end up on social media for an hour and at the end of the day, say you didn’t get everything done.
2. Be Disciplined—Make sure you do what you say you’re going to do. Don’t make excuses. One of the biggest single parenting challenges is to excuse yourself out of things because you are one person doing the job of two. Excuses hold you back and keep you right where you are. When you live in a “No Excuse Zone” you will be able to accomplish more, achieve your goals, and live the life you want. You will finally be living the life you’re meant to live.
3. Prioritize—You may be very good at starting things, but where you lack discipline is follow through. When you’re parenting alone, everything is important, but prioritizing your list allows for things to be finished. You can multi-task ongoing projects (taking a class or be involved in a program), but smaller tasks like laundry and cleaning must be completed once they’re started. Single parents often start a household chore, but don’t complete the task, so they have a load of clothes on a chair, piles of mail on their desk, or toys scattered in a room. Don’t allow yourself to do ANYTHING else until these small tasks are finished.
4. Create Manageable Mini Steps—Turn any big project into smaller ones. Then turn those into manageable mini steps so they are doable in a short period of time. Big projects can be so overwhelming, so you don’t want to start on them. When you break them down into manageable mini steps, they are more attainable in your mind. You can even do this with chores that have piled up. The toys scattered everywhere, you can pick them up during commercial breaks while watching TV, have your kids help you clean them, or while you’re waiting for the dryer to finish.
5. Set Deadlines—Make deadlines for your goals for this New Year. An idea without a deadline is just an idea. When you set a deadline, you create that as a “Must Do” in your mind. When you don’t have one, you put it off and put it off and put it off. Then months and even years pass and you wonder why you still haven’t done it. Creating a deadline holds you accountable not only to the task but to yourself, your goals, and your success. When you don’t hold yourself accountable, procrastination happens. So stop procrastination and start accomplishing!
Single parenting challenges arise, but when you make them manageable, they won’t be overwhelming. Hold yourself accountable, live in a “No Excuse Zone, and break things down to manageable tasks. Then you will discover how your life will change and improve, allowing you to live BIGGER!
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