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306: Setting Goals from Your Strengths (with Ceri Payne)

Vibrant Happy Women with Dr. Jen Riday | Setting Goals from Your Strengths (with Ceri Payne)

It’s that time of year again! If you’re like me, you love goal setting and you’ve probably already set some goals for the year. Maybe you’ve even decided to let some of your goals go because they weren’t actually what you wanted or they didn’t align with your priorities.

If you need help choosing goals that light you up and bring you joy, listen in. I have my friend Ceri Payne back on the podcast this week to walk us through setting goals from our strengths instead of our weaknesses. Ceri is a business coach and a pro at prioritizing, organizing, and planning, so I knew she would be the perfect person to bring on to talk about goal setting.

In this episode, Ceri and I talk about why some goals don’t get accomplished and why we have to tie our goals in with our priorities. Ceri shares how to set goals from a place of strength so that we’re more likely to achieve them, and why “failing” at your goals isn’t actually a failure. Make sure you grab a paper and pen so you can follow along with the exercise Ceri leads us through!


If you want support working towards your goals from myself and other like-minded women, you have to join us inside the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s only $47 per month, but if you buy the annual membership you get two months free! Claim your spot now.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Some of the strengths you might have as a mom.
  • How to figure out where you can “double dip” your goals.
  • How many goals you should set.
  • Why knowing why you want to achieve your goal is so important.
  • How to increase the likelihood of achieving your goals.
  • What goals teach us about ourselves.


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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast. I am Jen Riday and in this episode we’re talking setting your goals and intentions from your strengths, the things that light you up. It is so much fun to set goals this way. Stay tuned.

Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.

Hey, my friends, it’s that goal setting time of year. And maybe you have already set some goals, maybe you’ve already let go of some goals. Wherever you are in this episode we’re going to be talking about setting goals from your strengths. My guest today is Ceri Payne. And she is an old friend of mine. I’m so excited she’s going to be on.

She’s going to be sharing three important points about goals and intentions, how to set them from a place of strengths, the things that light you up. How to tie them to your priorities and how to truly discover why you want to set those goals in the first place. We use many, many practical examples in this episode such as I have a goal to go hiking with my kids every week. Ceri walks me through an exercise that helps me discover why I want to do that in the first place. And it’s super fun and enlightening.

I know you’re going to love this episode. You’ll probably want to grab a sheet of paper and write down some of your goals and figure out why you want to achieve them, how they tie to your priorities and what about those goals lights you up. How you can make those goals even more fun. And so go ahead and listen to this episode and learn how it’s done and then you can try this out for yourself. Let’s dive in.

Jen: Hey, everyone, I am here with my friend, Ceri Payne today. Ceri used to live in Madison, Wisconsin. We were friends and then she moved away. Well, now Ceri is a coach for women entrepreneurs who want to kind of balance all the juggling they have going on in their lives. So, Ceri’s going to talk to us today about setting goals from our strengths. So often we set goals from our weaknesses, we’ve got to get better at this. And that doesn’t really help us out as much as setting goals from our strengths.

So welcome to the show, Ceri, I’m so glad to have you back. You were on before, and welcome.

Ceri: Thank you for having me again, I appreciate it. It’s always so fun to share with another audience.

Jen: So setting goals from strengths, what is it?

Ceri: Prior to becoming a coach I spent many years as a special education teacher. And what I noticed then is that many teachers would hone in on a child’s weakness and then they would have them work on that weakness over, and over, and over and notice or wonder why there wasn’t so much progress. And I, of course, didn’t realize it at the time but looking back I realized I had a different approach. I had them work on and refine their academic strengths. I had them use their strengths and their interests to be able to then move towards the academic goal that they were achieving.

I noticed that when they liked to learn about certain things such as sharks, then we read books about sharks. When they really were a competitive student then I would set up things where we could do learning games, I called them learning games. Some of my students really like to have a lot of movement. And so we might have done something with repetition or reader’s theater style of things so that they could move around. So I tried to figure out what they were good in and what they really enjoyed and then we just did more and more of those things.

And I noticed that they didn’t fall behind, they actually became stronger. They became more confident. They became more willing to work on things that were harder because they found it interesting and they found it fun. And the best part about it that I realized, like I said, looking back, is they lit up. They were full of enthusiasm. They actually passed that enthusiasm onto the other students and onto myself. And I wanted to show up better and do things even more interesting and more fun for them.

And they developed areas and strengths in which they didn’t know were options to them before. And so kind of why I say setting goals from our strengths is because when we work on our strengths it’s the best way to do more of what we’re good at that we didn’t know or we hadn’t yet discovered that could do. And when we focus on our strengths we become more confident.

Jen: It’s so funny, I’ve never considered this before probably because I’m not a teacher. But in education it’s really true, we look at where people are falling short, where they have C’s, or D’s, or F’s, and oh no, we’ve got to get that up. And we kind of ignore where they have an A, it’s so weird. And I lived in Germany for a while. If you’re really good at something or you have an interest in something you can go be an apprentice for that and become the master of that, like a master chocolatier.

I knew a guy that installed blinds and he was fantastic at it because it’s actually quite hard to install blinds correctly and that’s what he did for his living. So I’m happy to hear that education is changing and more teachers are focusing on the strengths. But I’m super excited to hear how we can do this for ourselves and I think thereby also probably do it for our own kids, too, by extension. So how do we do that, focusing on our strengths as adults who aren’t students?

Ceri: I think take some time to evaluate what your strengths are. What do you like doing? What’s fun to you? What do people notice and compliment you on often? And sometimes I’ve noticed the things I get complimented on more are things that kind of I was scared to do them. So just notice there could be a little bit of fear. But if people are saying, “Hey, you’re really good at that.” People are genuinely giving you compliments in an area where you have enriched their life or that they’ve noticed that you’re good at.

So the first thing is kind of deciding what are your strengths. Are you a leader? Are you a teacher? Are you someone that listens really well? Are you someone that enjoys helping other people or simplifying? So figure out what your strengths are. And there’s lots of different ways that we can do that. But a lot of it’s just journaling, asking yourself questions, like I said, what do you enjoy doing? What’s fun? What is something you could do for hours and the time tends to disappear and it goes by really quickly?

That doesn’t mean then you set a goal to do more of that thing. But you figure out, what is the feelings, what are the thoughts, what are the maybe even the actions that I’m doing when I do that thing. And how can I use those feelings, those thoughts, those actions to help me in this other area that I want to improve on, or have more knowledge in, or become better at?

Jen: Yeah. And I can imagine someone out there listening saying, “Hey, I love to bake, I love to sew.” So often we discount those things that light us up. But you’re saying we can give ourselves permission to say, “Hey, I’m good at this. Hey, I love this. This thing lights me up.” And just have that list.

Ceri: Yeah, because I like to compare this to the time when I used to play a lot of sports. And in high school, for example, I played third base. And one thing, as I was preparing this it came to mind, I didn’t realize that ahead of time. But in four years of high school softball I never had the coach tell me, “Hey, Ceri, you’re kind of weak in the outfield. You’re scared of fly balls and you don’t really hit your cutoff man very well. So I want you to spend today’s lesson and every Tuesday and Thursday from now on in the outfield to get better.”

That isn’t how I was going to get a college scholarship, right? I got the college scholarship because every day I showed up and I played third base. And I learned what it meant to play third base. And I noticed my skills were quick, fast, get the ball, get the grounder, go for it. But a fly ball and knowing it’s coming, and coming, and coming, and coming, that created anxiety for me. So I stayed with my strengths. I stayed where I felt comfortable and where I was good at.

And I showed up at third base and that is how then we get the goal that we want, whether it’s the college scholarship or whatever. It’s not showing up and being, practicing centerfield.

Jen: That’s great. So I’m curious if we together can think of how this might look for say a mom, because moms, do we really even get to specialize? We’re expected to be good at driving, and baking, and I don’t know, homeschooling during a pandemic, or all the things. Why don’t we think about strengths as moms? What do you think?

Ceri: Well, hopefully we are thinking about what our strengths are. Maybe our strengths are just never giving up, or our strengths are trying all different kinds of things. Or our strength is just doing it good enough and being okay with that. Sometimes we have to realize our strengths could be that jack of all trades. There is an important thing for that as well. I mean in fact I was just talking to my coach today and it was funny, we were talking about being an athlete again because he was talking about being a champion.

And I just mentioned I was that person that maybe never had the hardest kill. I remember, I don’t even know, the best block but I was consistent. You could count on my ball staying in the court. It may have not been the home run every time. And so sometimes we think our strengths have to be all these home runs. But it could just be even the fact that I showed up every day. And I tried my hardest on with whatever I could that day, or that, like I said, I was consistent, or that I apologize to my kids when I do something bad, not bad but when I do something that I really wish I wouldn’t have done.

There are so many ways that we can look at our strengths and they are lots of times more of a feeling, like a characteristic than an action.

Jen: Yeah, that’s true. And as we were talking I realized, I wouldn’t say one of my strengths as a mom has been playing, like my best friend, Kitt, she’s fantastic at playing. She’ll drop anything to go play. But one of my strengths is emotional intelligence and teaching my kids how to allow and process all emotions, and how to analyze what might be causing these feelings. And I guess celebrating the strengths and then we should also set goals to our strengths. So what would that look like?

Because right now when this episode is airing it’s the new year, and lots of people are thinking about goals anyway, maybe at this point some people have already failed on their initial goals, maybe it’s time to restart with goals that are focused on our strengths. So what would that look like?

Ceri: Well, so I want to answer your question for you specifically about noticing one friend plays a lot and then you’re emotionally resilient. And maybe you just say, “I love it, I want to own that strength of being emotionally intelligent, and resilient, and helping my kids in that way.” But can we do it in a way that is, maybe brings a little bit more fun. So if they like to hike, maybe you can hike, have a little bit of fun, be spontaneous, whatever that may look like for you and still bring in the opportunity of where you’re really good at. And so I call that double dipping.

And how we figure out what we can ‘double dip’ is when we set our goals from our priorities. And so you want to kind of ask yourself, do the goals that you want to accomplish, are they complementing your priorities or are they competing with your priorities? Because there is a way to do both. Instead of thinking I’m really bad at this one thing, playing and having fun. You could say, “It’s not what comes naturally to me but I’m really good at doing these things so how can I do them both?” And they’ll complement a priority or complement a strength.

Because if the action towards your goal if they aren’t happening a lot or you’re thinking I don’t think I’d be very good at that. Then I would just encourage you to just check-in with yourself and see what priority it does enhance. And so if you don’t know your top five priorities I would really encourage you to take some time to think about them. And I think we even talked about this on our last podcast together so maybe we could reference that. But they’re usually in health, motherhood, relationships, business, church service, education, self, some of those things.

Those are what priorities are, some of those big areas. So if you want to add in your emotional intelligence and teaching your kids that way, but you’re like, “Wouldn’t it be fun to do it more. I want to try that, it’s not from a lack but it’s just maybe we could have more fun.” Then you get to decide, how can I teach them these things and also bring in more fun. And then you get to again, double dip, you’re more towards your goals because you’re like, “I get to teach in this thing I’m really good at.” So then of course we want to do it.

And then maybe the fun isn’t as super exciting for you but that’s what you’re learning, that’s what your goal is. And so you’re like, “Okay, if I can still have fun”, because you have emotional resiliency, that’s really fun for you. And so how can I do that? So you get to have fun where they have fun.

Jen: That’s cool. And it’s almost a triple dip really because if your top priorities are let’s say, emotional health, physical health, and family, so hiking while talking about emotional health with your kids is a triple dip, right?

Ceri: Yes. And that’s what I say when people say, “How do you do it all?” It’s because I do it that way. When you can kill two birds with one stone, or three, or whatever, you’re really realizing that one activity, like a dinner, a healthy dinner, you could talk to them about something that went on during the day. Then you have some family relationship building because you’re having dinner together, whatever it is. That one hour is now hitting off all these different targets and priorities.

Whereas if we don’t know what they are, you’re still doing the same thing, you’re just not aware that you’re hitting all these targets and priorities. That’s why if we know our priorities and we know the targets we want to hit, we actually don’t often change our action steps a lot. But we realize we’re getting more and more of what we wanted in life. So we get to go to bed feeling a lot more fulfilled and more accomplished towards our goals.

Jen: That’s really cool. So really the first step kind of like you said is figuring out the top five priorities. And then you set goals doing things you love or that you’re strong at, and attach it to other of the areas you might want to improve at, but building it on a strength, kind of like that?

Ceri: Yeah. So for example, let’s say you think that physical health is one of your priorities that you want to focus on this year. And you think that you’re really good at sports let’s say. And you also have this goal that you maybe want to lose a little bit of weight within your physical goal. Well, then notice that you might want to choose an activity to lose the weight. That might be your goal but then the strength is how.

So if you’re not a super great runner and it’s not fun and exciting for you then maybe you’re like, “Okay, I’ll join a pickleball league.” Or you’re like, “I’ll join”, if you like to dance, maybe then you go do one of those dance classes where they have the high fitness or the Zumba. So it’s like take your strength, take what you like and use that then to propel you forward in the goal which is health. And then maybe you, like I said, if it’s to lose weight then you’re doing those classes to help you lose weight.

If it’s just health and to get out there and get movement then you realize your action step, that treasure map is it doesn’t really matter what I do as long as I’m enjoying and I’m getting that movement every day.

Jen: For sure, for sure. So for me if I had a goal to spend more time with my kids it would not be baking with them. Although I always envisioned that would be cool. It’s not a reality that I love. It would be hiking. We do really well at hiking together. So then I could knock out the health and the family time. And yeah, like I said, if I talk about spirituality or emotional health, I could knock out another big rock as well. So this is cool. I like this.

Ceri: The best way to save time and get to your goals is know what you’re trying to achieve. And then like you said, we get to triple dip.

Jen: I know we’re going to talk about why we want the goal. But before we go there, right now the season of goal setting, I’m curious, how many goals should we set? Do we just set one goal for each of those priority areas, like five goals total, or a couple of goals that knock out a couple of those priority areas? How would you recommend we do that?

Ceri: Yeah. I think honestly the answer’s up to you but to listen to yourself. A lot of people say, “Just set one and make it go all in on that goal.” And then our life will up-level in different areas as you go in on all one. Maybe it’s a little bit of a smaller one where it’s like, okay, I’m going to work on this one for a month but maybe we have an ending goal for August. So it’s okay, here’s my end goal for August, I’m going to do this thing. But while I’m doing that this month I’m going to focus on this goal.

So just notice what works really well for you because if you’re setting too many goals your mind’s going in too many different places. If it’s a goal where like you said, spirituality and then maybe you can say, “I’m going to listen to a set of scriptures or some kind of devotional while I work out.” Then that way you get to have two birds with one stone. And so then you get to understand what it is that you want to accomplish and how. Then you can have both goals. So I want to maybe get through this scripture or these set of devotionals while I walk 30 minutes a day. Then of course you’re hitting a goal in health and then maybe you’re hitting a goal in a spiritualty.

Jen: Okay, this is great. I like this. So we’ve talked about focusing on our strengths, doing what we love. Makes sense, you want to feel good while you’re working on your goals and more likely to follow through. And we talked about setting goals from our top five priorities and killing the two birds with one stone. So another important point I know you’re going to make is knowing why we want that goal. And why is the why important?

Ceri: So think if you’re in the self-help world, we have heard a lot that the why is motivation. The why is what allows you to follow through. And I agree with that. But I also think the why is way more powerful than just the motivation. I think the why brings clarity. So when we know the true why it will reveal our action steps to what you’re going to do, and maybe even what you won’t do to reach the goal. So it provides us that motion to keep going but it also provides the clarity and the plan.

So let’s say for example, you do want to increase your spirituality, that’s a priority. And then your goal is to read a whole book of scripture. Then you’re going to ask yourself, “But why?” And notice, we’re going to have different whys. It might be that you understand every scripture in the Bible and so that you can relate it to your kids and draw parallels. You want to be able to spit out the stories and who they’re about it. It may be that you just want to feel the spirit or be closer to God.

So when you know the why behind a goal then your action steps are different. Because if you want to feel the spirit, it may just be one verse and a prayer. And you feel like you connected with God. But if you want to understand the stories you might actually not even be reading the Bible. You may be reading other books that tell you about the stories about the Bible. So when you know the why, then you have clarity in your action steps of what you’re really going to do to achieve that.

And lots of times we don’t know that. We’re like, “Spirituality is important, or health’s important.” But sometimes our health is mental health, it’s physical health, sometimes it’s to lose weight, sometimes it’s just to get out in the fresh air. So what is it really the why behind that thing being our goal and our priority?

Jen: This is fun. So let’s try a couple of these together because I like this. So let’s say I have a goal to hike every week with my kids and husband. And it sounds like a great goal. So how would I find out my why for this?

Ceri: Yeah. So go through a series of whys. So I would say why do you want to hike with your kids and husband?

Jen: It’s one of the things we all do well together and happily without any chaos. Yeah.

Ceri: And then when I say why, you don’t keep answering the first why. You then answer the next why. So why do you want to do things with your family that you all enjoy that feels less chaotic?

Jen: Why, because I want them to – well, a couple of reasons. One is that I want them to have memories of us all being really happy together. And another one is I want the feeling that comes when we’re all happy together just for me.

Ceri: Okay. And so what do you think the point is or what do you want to accomplish or achieve, or why do you want happy memories?

Jen: This is juicy. I don’t want to have regrets when I die. I’m teasing.

Ceri: And I love that you said that. And can I interject real quickly? It is never wise to set goals from fears, from shoulds, or be making up from a lack of others or our self. So that’s what happens. When I walk my clients through my whys, their brain, you’re not abnormal, it’s always like, so this doesn’t happen. So I don’t act like my mom. So that I don’t. So that they know someone loved them because my husband’s never available, or so I don’t get this thing. I work out so I don’t get heart disease or whatever.

So when our goals are from fears, or shoulds, or making up, that’s when I really, really encourage my clients to go through it even more so. So we’re going to go back to you want to make happy memories for your kids and why?

Jen: I want them to feel loved.

Ceri: Okay. And the goal has to be for you, that’s the thing. I have a kid that does not like hiking. So if I’m like, “We hike together, we’re all great. She’s feeling loved.” She probably wants – the last thing she’s feeling is loved. My mom wants us to hike again. So it’s for you to feel loved but we don’t unfortunately get to control how they feel. So why happy memories? And which, by the way when we do this, we get to think, oh, feeling loved. Well, I can’t make them feel loved, just because I’m doing something I love.

Even if I tell them I love them, if they don’t believe it or if they don’t feel love towards me they’re not going to try that on and feel loved. So it’s really fun to show us where our thought errors are. We’re still uncovering your why but look how we’ve uncovered some other thought patterns.

Jen: I’ll be really authentic and vulnerable here. I think it’s because I want to feel like I’m a good mom.

Ceri: Okay. And so then notice, that’s a whole another set of coaching, where we could talk about, well, what makes a good mom? And what do you want to do a good mom? And I’m going to cut to the chase for you, Jen, just because you did, in my opinion, pick one of the harder ones. And just because, and it’s hard because moms are like, “Because we want to be a good mom. I don’t know why I want to hike with my kids. Because I should.” We don’t have a really good way to articulate it.

But when I usually uncover it, most of them is because they want a relationship with their kids. They want to continue to grow that. So you want happy memories because to you happy memories means relationships. It means something that they can think about when they’re a kid, whether it’s happy or not for them. But here’s where this golden aha, the heavens open is if we would have dug down a little bit more and a little bit more.

You would have realized, because you want a relationship with your kids or you want to feel something about quality time, something about relationships and that is happy memories. But now here’s where the nugget is. You can do anything you want. It doesn’t always have to be a hike, as long as you tell yourself this is for happy memories. This is for something for my kids that they can grab onto, whether you think about it as happy or not. But you felt happy, you created it. Because then, here’s the best example. And I love that you picked hiking.

Because I used to hike for twofold, it was my workout and it was a bonding activity. Well, guess what? When my kids were complaining or they weren’t going as fast as I wanted to, or I had to stop, I was annoyed. And I had to remind myself, wait, wait, wait, Ceri, this is not your workout. This is a bonding activity with your kids. So when you know you’re going on that hike and the only purpose, it isn’t for your health, it isn’t, I mean, yes, you’re getting out in the nature and that’s good for you. But it’s like I’m keeping this happy, I’m keeping this.

That is your focus, it’s not, did we get there fast enough? Did we do the whole five miles? Did everyone eat all the trail mix? It’s just like focusing on happy because that’s what you want. And then you can also with this realization, I wish we had time to go down a little bit more. But if we just keep it at the happy memories, you realize, we can play board games. And sometimes they don’t end super well for everyone but is someone having fun? Is that a good thing? Is cooking good sometimes?

And so you just get to decide what else do I do or can I do? And try with my kids to create happy memories because I’ve just decided that happy memories are going to create a relationship or a bond. And that’s just what you’re going to focus on. So now, even if you’re doing something like pulling weeds, it’s not super fun, you get to say, “How could I make this happier? Could I pay them a couple of dollars? Could I hide some money in the weeds? Could I turn on their favorite song? Could we all pull weeds and then afterwards we get to go our favorite ice cream spot? How can we make something that isn’t maybe your thought of happy right away into a happy memory?”

Jen: And ultimately the hike and pulling the weeds followed by ice cream or finding money in the weeds, both yield the same result or achieve the same why of creating happy memories if you do it right, which is fascinating.

Ceri: And we can do it ‘right’ if we know what that target was. So now that target says happy memories. So you keep reminding yourself, happy memories, this is happy memories. So then maybe you won’t yell at them,8 “You’ve been inside to get a drink 15 times, stay out here.”

Jen: Yeah. That’s good. If I were to do this for myself after this I’m guessing I would start to write a list of potential – well, first, list my strengths and things I love. Then list my priorities. Then maybe brainstorm a list of goals and beside each one write my why. And then I think that why would help me to narrow down which ones are really important because a lot of them might achieve the same why, like the memories with the kids for example, or being healthier in my body, or something. So do you find that to be true when you look at the whys, that they overlap?

Ceri: They definitely do and can overlap because a happy memory may be a great dinner and it may be dinner around the table on Sundays or something like that. So it’s like you’re creating relationships, you’re showing your kids what you think is a healthy dinner or being that model for them. And so you are hitting a lot of priorities in one thing when we know what the why is. Why do I want to eat healthy?

And if it’s just so that they don’t think I’m a bad mom, well, then it’s just like, well, what if I just gave them Goldfish and Fruit Roll-Ups for dinner? But then you’re like, “Well, I don’t want that.” It’s not really so that you’re not a bad mom. It might be that you want to give them the best chance to be as strong, and as healthy, and as smart and as full of energy as they could be. So then you notice it’s not about what they’re eating, it’s about you feel that’s giving them the best chance to be whatever. And it’s all our thoughts.

Someone else could be like, “I don’t care if we eat Goldfish and we have Fruit Roll-Ups because then I didn’t have to make it and I have more mental energy. And my kids seem to do fine either way.” It’s just our own perspective of what it is but then we’re not being forced or begrudgingly making that really ‘healthy dinner’ because a good mom should. If you really were honest with yourself, you realize I kind of want to be that mom that does at least sometimes.

Jen: Yeah. Why do I want to make dinner tonight? Sounds fun. That would be the only reason I would do it, otherwise I’d leave it in my husband’s court.

Ceri: Right. And then you make it be fun. You’re like, “Hey, I want this to be fun.” So then that means what used to be begrudging and annoying, it’s like maybe you let go of the fact that they’re on the counter. Or maybe you let go. I mean outside of health, and safety, and maybe hygienic issues, maybe you let them do things that may be the ‘not’ – the part of you that would make it not fun, maybe you’re like, “Can this still be fun if they’re sitting on the counter? Can this still be fun if they’re”, and you just can kind of decide why hasn’t it been fun?

And if you reprogram yourself of we’re cooking dinner for happy memories for fun, what is that going to look like and how you’re going to show up?

Jen: Yeah, this is great. And in my mind, realized you could apply this to families a lot of times need to delegate responsibilities. And we think it should be fair so some families will create this list where we alternate and rotate through the jobs. But my husband, for example, because he grew up with food instability for parts of the month because his mom loved to spend everything on things she liked. He has a deep love of grocery shopping and food preparation. It would be silly for me to take that away because it doesn’t light me up as much.

And similarly, my 12 year old, Jane, she loves and owns loading the dishwasher. And she gets upset when anyone else does it wrong. So we let her keep that task. So this could be really effective in applying how we divide tasks at home I think.

Ceri: Yeah. You could ask your kids, “I need your help, or I want your help. Or at our home we require help”, however you say it. But you can say, “If you could two things what would you do?” And you’re going to find out, like you said, our kids have different interests. So who cares if one’s really good at cleaning bathrooms and one does the dishes? If they’re getting done and they’re doing what they want to do, they’re in their strength, they’re in their zone of genius, they’re doing what they find fun. It’s okay that they clean the bathrooms. They’ll learn how to clean the kitchen eventually someday.

So we don’t have to feel like, oh no, we’re not teaching them how to do something or how to do that one thing. Let everyone kind of figure out what they find fun and do more of. And I even encourage that with people that are hiring employees or their VAs. Just ask them, “If I could contribute this house in some way, what would you want to do?” And you might have a kid volunteer for the laundry. I don’t know. But we might think, I know you and I think differently, our kids can do the laundry.

But lots of people don’t really have their kids doing the laundry until a certain age, whatever that may be. Maybe it’s moving out and going to college. But what if they’re like, “Hey, mom, if I could do anything to help you, I’d rather do the laundry.” We’re going to be floored at what they pick sometimes. And you’re like, “That just made my life so much simpler. Because I was trying to just make you do this one thing.”

The same thing with a consequence, it’s like, “Well, what do you think you should have for that?” They’ll come up with a way better consequence I’ve decided than I do. And it’s usually a little bit harsher than I would have ever thought of too.

Jen: Yeah, that’s for sure. And so really the moral of the story is, do what lights you up, tie your goals to the things that light you up. Let your kids do and spouse do what lights them up and everyone’s just going to be a lot happier and you’re more likely to reach your goals when you’re feeling good about it?

Ceri: Yeah, because we get to, like I said, start with that confidence. If we know we’re good at it, if we know we enjoy it, we’re going to be that much more confident in just in getting started. And goals just teach us, even if we don’t completely learn the thing or we don’t completely hit the goal, we’re going to learn things that we didn’t think that we could do. Or we’re going to learn, I’m sure, as you said, business goals and it’s not working, you’re like, “What else? What else can I do?”

And those what else that you thought of when you weren’t hitting your goal now becomes something that you may do every time when you do that goal. So it’s just like we learn so much about our self, about our world around us, about the things that we like, about the things we’re brave to try because when we’re not hitting your goal and we’re like, “Hey, what else can I try?” We get really creative and it becomes really fun. And then those things are things we do every day because of not hitting our goals.

Jen: Yeah, I like this. It’s the way to grow and we all love to grow for sure.

Ceri: Yes, for sure.

Jen: Well, this is fantastic. I appreciate it. I can’t wait to go try this out, putting the why beside my goals. I’ve done this before but going through that process with you, asking the questions, it was really informative for my brain to really analyze, why do I want to hike with my kids? I’ve never considered that exactly. So thank you so much for sharing this. Any last pieces of advice, or tips, or things you want to share with our listeners?

Ceri: I think we did a really good job of covering it all, honestly. Just don’t be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid to fail because you’re going to learn stuff about you either way.

Jen: Awesome. Ceri, thank you so much for being on the show. This has been amazing.

Ceri: Thank you so much for having me.

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About jen

Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.

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