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Goal-Setting Tips for Parents – S2 E1

A new year brings new goals! But sticking with those goals, especially for busy parents, can be difficult. Between diaper changes and meal prepping, personal time for mom and dad can slip to the backburner. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Olivia DeLong, senior health editor at BabyCenter, and a mom herself, joins the podcast with some time management hacks to help you achieve your 2022 goals. Join host Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez as you learn how to write an achievable new year resolution!

Podcast Resources:
Meditation App
Olivia’s Book Recommendation: Atomic Habits
Free Planner Downloads
Guest: Olivia DeLong
Strong Families AZ
Host: Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez
Podcast Credits:

host Host: Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez is the Program Director for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program at the Arizona Department of Health Services.

host Guest: Olivia DeLong is a mom and the senior health editor at BabyCenter based in San Francisco, California.


Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez: [00:00:00] Welcome to The Parenting Brief. I’m your host, Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez, an Arizona working mom and Program Director for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programat the Arizona Department of Health Services. On this podcast, we give you helpful parenting tips, expert advice, and some much-needed peace of mind when it comes to raising your little ones.

We’re so glad you’re here for this episode of The Parenting Brief. And just like that, the new year is here. We want to give you some tools and resources to help you set and achieve the goals you have for 2022. Whether it’s prioritizing self care, making time for your favorite hobby or striking that work life parenting balance. But let’s face it,

sometimes life gets in the way. And those goals we wrote down at the beginning of the year somehow end [00:01:00] up on the back burner. It doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why today we have tips for busy parents on how to set themselves up for a successful year. From time management to planning, this episode will help you tackle your goals.

Joining us today as Olivia DeLong. Olivia is the Senior Health Editor at Baby Center and is also a new mom who knows a thing or two about multitasking, organization and time management. Thank you so much for joining us today, Olivia.

Olivia DeLong: Thanks so much for having me.

Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez: When we think about setting goals, especially new year resolutions, we often have big lofty goals that can seem hard to reach. What strategies can parents use to really create attainable


Olivia DeLong: You’re so right. I think, you know, as parents, like you mentioned, we shoot really high and I think shooting high is awesome, but I often think it sets us up for some disappointment when it comes to goals. [00:02:00] I think a lot of times our goals are too broad and scary sounding and we eventually just never end up following through with them.

They can be intimidating rather than motivating. So I’m all about creating a motivating goal rather than a scary, big time goal. So when I think about goals for my own personal goals, I get really specific. So rather than say, you know, I want to live a completely healthy, clean lifestyle. I think about breaking it down into something I can achieve a majority of the week

or on specific days. So for me, I need super actionable realistic items I can live out every day, rather than this huge goal, without any context or actionable components. So, you know, if I’m talking about living a healthy, clean lifestyle, which many people are doing right now, my goals might be to exercise for 30 minutes a day, four days a week,

and to minimize gluten and dairy during the weekday, I think, and those are actually two of my goals for the weekdays this year. I think [00:03:00] it’s reasonable you know, that I can work out for 30 minutes, four days a week. That’s doable. I think working out every day of the week for an hour is not and same with, you know, sticking to a clean diet 24/7

is also not realistic. So being super intentional and specific with goals has really helped me, especially as a mom to feel good about what I’m doing every year, every day and every week.

Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez: So there is always this time, I know for me, it always just feels overwhelming to set a goal and then to try and implement that.

And you had talked about making these goals attainable. So as part of that planning process, does that include how that’s going to happen? So whether that’s working out 30 minutes, four days a week, or preparing meals that may meet those goals. I know for me, I can set a goal and I think it’s really great.

And then I’m suddenly, like, I don’t know why I thought I [00:04:00] would suddenly have 45 extra minutes in the evening time in order to accomplish this. So what are some of those time management advice that you may have for busy parents so that they can still reach their personal and family


Olivia DeLong: So I can just briefly go through some of the things that have helped me

and I think some of them may relate to goals and some of them may not, but these are the things that I do time management wise to set me up so that I do have time for my goals. And one of the things that some people may not like this, but I started waking up before my family. So my daughter wakes up at seven or, you know, sometimes six, I have the time from about 5:45

to 6:45 that I know is my time. So I set my alarm for 5:30 and I certainly don’t get out of bed at 5:30, but I try my best to get out of bed at 5:45 and that is my time. So that’s my time to work out. It’s my time to meditate. I make my coffee [00:05:00] alone. I put on a podcast with my AirPods. I do whatever I want. On Saturdays,

I don’t wake up that early obviously, I give myself that grace on the week. So setting myself up for the day has been really important and playing into this, my nighttime routine, so they always say, if you can set yourself up at night for the morning. So I lay out everything I need the night before. And I mean, I get really, really specific.

So my workout clothes, my AirPods, I set my workout up on my computer, my big bottle of water, just making sure I’m set up for the next day the night before has been a huge time-saver. It takes 10 minutes at night to prep for the day ahead and you wake up just feeling so much more prepared. And then as far as like, kind of, I guess this is more of like a time management hack, but I quickly realized that there was so much like food and bottle prep involved with, you know, raising kids.

And so I was like, how am I going to get all of this prepped? And how to get [00:06:00] the bottles made when she was younger? I exclusively pumped so it was like a lot of bottles. So anytime that I’m in the kitchen, so if I’m making my coffee or I’m getting my own food, or, you know, my daughter is eating lunch or something, I’m always kind of like looking ahead to the next meal or the next thing.

So if she’s sitting in the high chair eating a meal, I am making her milk for the next morning with her vitamins in it, or I’m cutting up something for dinner or just like, I feel like, you know, I am definitely paying attention to her as well, but she sees me prepping and I think that’s also a good learning lesson she’s watching me cook and, or clean or whatever it is.

So basically I just make sure that I’m super efficient. If I’m in the kitchen already, I’m doing something for the next task and that way kind of like frees me up during nap time or any extra time to just kind of not stress and, you know, just be prepared for the next thing or a meal. And then two [00:07:00] last time management things that have really helped me as a new mom time batching.

So every morning before I start work, I spend about 30 minutes planning out my to-do list and my day, so this could go for stay at home parents and working parents. I spend 30 minutes and I say, okay, from nine to 11, I’m going to check email and respond to email from 11 to noon, and you know, I do this every day,

if I can, but if I don’t it’s okay. Just time batching and kind of like seeing where your day is going is so helpful. So I, I slot in meetings, but then I also, you know, put in 30 minutes so I can do the laundry or go on a walk. So I just kind of set myself up so that I know what I’m getting into for the day,

and I find that I’m super productive that way and I kind of stay on track. And then the last thing is setting timers. I learned this on a podcast I regularly listen to, if you’re doing a task or something like laundry [00:08:00] that you kind of like despise doing, I can do the laundry, but folding it and putting it away is, I hate.

So I set a timer, so it takes me 20 minutes. I know it takes me 20 minutes. So I’ll say to my Google Home set a timer for 20 minutes, and then most likely I’m going to get it done in 20 minutes and I can move on or spend the time relaxing or just instead of doodling around and not staying on track, for me, setting timers has been super helpful.

Same with if I’m prepping dinner before my daughter gets home from school, I’ll make sure that I set the timer for 30 minutes. And then I’m just, I kind of just use that to stay on track if that makes sense. So those are some things that have helped me. I know that was a lot.

Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez: I think that sometimes there’s a misconception that parents setting their own personal goals and dedicating time to reaching those goals is selfish, especially if they’re not family oriented goals or goals specifically around their children. And it can become really [00:09:00] difficult. And that mom guilt that parent guilt, you know, starts to kick in when you’re trying to achieve those goals. Can you talk a little bit about why it’s important for parents to take a few minutes each day to do something that helps them reach those goals?

Olivia DeLong: Yeah, I think that’s such a good point to bring up. The good news is that I think a lot of parents are talking more and more about this. So I think it’s great to bring awareness to, you know, this whole mentality of like, if I take 30 minutes for myself, I’m taking 30 minutes away from something else I could be doing.

Taking the 30 minutes for yourself is so important because you’re going to savor the moments with your family later, and you’re going to be more productive and all those things and something too that I think is super important, I really think if you don’t take the time for yourself, I think you really start to lose yourself if you don’t.

So as a new mom, I started to feel that way after my daughter was born. Before I implemented all those time management and time for myself. And I really [00:10:00] started to lose who I was. And I think it’s just important to keep focusing on that. My husband and I have constant check-ins about how to rearrange things on a weekly basis so that we are both doing, you know, those individual things we need to do to feel good about ourselves.

For him, it’s running or working out. And for me, like I mentioned, it’s my hour to myself to meditate, to exercise in the morning, and it’s daily walks outside. I think we found at least in our household that at least an hour a day to ourselves, it helps us reach our own goals. But it’s also kind of like a reset.

We know we have that time to ourself and we come back, you know, feeling refreshed, or we start the day off really refreshed because we’ve had that time to ourselves. And it helps us feel more confident as a parent because we’re working towards our goal and also being the best version of ourselves.

Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez: I think using that support system, whether that’s your partner, whether that is family, friends, making sure that others [00:11:00] know what your goals are, but also how they can help and support you in achieving those goals is really important as well.

Do you have any final words of encouragement for parents as they start off a new year?

Olivia DeLong: You know, when it comes to setting goals specifically, like I mentioned before, you know, I would say break them out into categories, family, personal, and work. This helped me kind of see my year ahead and, you know, break them out into two to three things for each category.

And it kind of just helps you really visualize what you want to work towards for each. You know, just getting more specific, I think if you notice a theme here, I’m all about being very specific, but it’s 30 minutes rather than an hour. It’s five minutes rather than 30 minutes, you know, it’s just very specific, very short pieces of goals, intentions, that kind of thing.

So I think the more specific you can get and the more planning you can do, I [00:12:00] think it will just overall help you achieve your goals each day, each week and each year.

Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez: That’s awesome. Well, thank you so, so much for your time and for all of the advice and the tips and tricks and hacks, and hopefully people can take that and implement that and be able to have a great and successful year.

So thank you so much for your time.

Olivia DeLong: Sure. Thank you.

Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez: Head to our episode show notes to find helpful tools, links, and resources. And 2022 will be filled with new episodes. Make sure you don’t miss any by subscribing to The Parenting Brief on your favorite podcast app. Plus you can also share the episode with the moms or expecting moms in your life. Until next time,

this is Jessica. You’ve got this, Mom!

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