For many people, the start of a New Year is the perfect opportunity to leave any negativity from the previous twelve months behind and start afresh with a clean slate. And so, high off December’s excitement and armed with the best of intentions, we often set ourselves grand, fantastical New Year’s Resolutions for the year ahead, only to feel somewhat disappointed a few weeks later when we haven’t achieved the impossible by completing them all by the end of January.

It’s a common trap we have all fallen into before, but one that can feel even harder to get out of as a parent, especially when the goals we have set relate to our children.

When things don’t work out the way we hope they will, it’s easy to get bogged down by guilt and disappointment in ourselves for not being the “super-parent” we want to be. A lot of the time, we give up on our New Year’s Resolutions altogether and tell ourselves we’ll try again next year, only to repeat the same mistake of setting the bar way too high for ourselves again.

So, how can we break the cycle?

The answer is actually a lot simpler than you may think!

Start Small:

When we set ourselves goals for the year, we tend to think of things that are big and broad – like “make my homeschooling better” or “improve my child’s English skills”. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having this sort of overall goal, it can sometimes end up feeling a bit too overwhelming and hard to achieve due to its size and vague nature.

The first step to tackling this problem is to take a step back and understand a little more about why you’re setting the goal in the first place and what the reality of achieving it actually looks like. For example, if making your homeschool better is your overall goal, you might want to ask yourself things like:

            • Is this goal driven by a want or a need?
            • What are you hoping your ‘better homeschool’ will look like?
            • What elements of your homeschool aren’t working for you right now?
            • What things from your current homeschool do you want to keep?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll be in a much better position to work out what your next steps need to be. In some cases, you may find your goal is a lot more manageable than you first thought and just a few tweaks to your existing plans are needed to achieve it rather than the big changes you had expected. Great news!

In other cases, you may find there are quite a lot of things that you need to do before you’ll be able to even think about reaching your goal, and some of these need to be done ASAP. This might seem a little daunting at first, but don’t be disheartened! This could actually be a blessing in disguise, as each one of those little steps can now become a goal of their own – all you have to do next is think SMART!


If you’ve never heard the term before, SMART goals are an invaluable tool when it comes to making your plans a reality. They are what will keep you on track and constantly moving towards your bigger goal, and also act as a good motivation booster every time you are able to tick one off your list.

To turn your mini-goals into SMART ones, simply follow the below framework (you may want to write this down for future reference):

Specific: Is your goal clear and unambiguous?

Measurable: How will you keep track of your progress?

Achievable: Is this goal possible to achieve?

Realistic: Is your goal relevant to your overall goal and within your reach?

Time-Bound: When does this goal need to be achieved by?

Reframing your goals in this way should make them feel a lot less scary and also help you identify any areas in which you might need a little assistance. For example, if your goal is to improve your child’s English but doing so isn’t achievable on your own for whatever reason, you’ll know ahead of time that you need to seek out a solution such as private tutoring for this particular area rather than continuing to struggle solo and feel like you’ve failed when that goal isn’t achieved.

Top tip: Once you’ve got the hang of making SMART goals for yourself, you may find it useful to pass your new-found skills down to your child/ren as well for them to use, too!

Get Started:

Now your goals have a bit more direction and purpose, it’s time to get going. And yes, I really do mean right now.

Don’t let thoughts of “I’ll start tomorrow” lull you into a false sense of security and throw you off course before you’ve truly begun (been there, done that!). It doesn’t matter which goal you choose or what the specific action you take is; all that matters is that you do something. Anything. Just do it!

You’ll feel so much better once you get going over that first hurdle, and the positive momentum you create will be what carries you forward on your journey, building and building with each of those mini-goals you achieve.

Once you’re a little further down the line, you might find it helpful to start setting aside some time at the start of each morning to think ahead and plan out your days in order to make sure you stay on track. I personally find that even taking just five minutes to check in with myself over a cup of tea and jot down a couple of key tasks I want to complete that day makes a real difference when it comes to keeping a clear head; it’s what led me to create the Homeschooling Happiness Haul!

What If…

If I’ve learned anything as a parent, it’s that life is full of little quirks and curveballs, and the slightest knock-back or bad week can make you feel like you’re right back at square one all over again.

Should this happen to you, try not to be too hard on yourself and, most importantly, don’t give up! Instead, take a moment to dust yourself off and reevaluate. What happened? Are there any changes you need to make to stop it happening again? Do you need help making those changes? Or do you just need to ride it out?

Once you understand a little more about what went wrong, it’s time to put things right by getting straight back on it and powering through. Positive thoughts and energy have a lot of power, so harness them and keep on looking forward, but remember: if you find yourself really struggling, it’s okay to ask for help.



Whether you need assistance with planning, some teaching resources, tutoring or just some general advice when it comes to making your homeschool a success, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me by email or using the contact form here. I’ll come back to you as soon as I can and together we will work through whatever problem it is you’re facing and find a solution that’s right for you and your child/ren.