If You Fail To Plan…. A big case for goal setting

One thing I did learn in MBA is the importance of performance management .  As the saying goes, what gets measured, gets done. Goals provide a basis against which performance can be measured. Good goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable , Realistic and Time based. Goals help you stay focused and should be directed towards a specific objective.

I figured that my inability to prioritize my objectives was more responsible for my overwhelming feeling of frustration, much more than the LPs defiance to my morning expectations. Now was the time to prune the expectation tree. Pick one top objective and set goals to achieve it, then move on to the next. I decided to start with the seemingly easiest and most pressing… getting to school at 8.40am consistently every morning!! With that decided, I scheduled a goal setting meeting with my stakeholders 😊. At the end of the session, the rules were simple:

  1. we have to leave home at 8.25am latest every morning
  2. backpacks must be packed, breakfast eaten and all clothing worn without prompting from mum
  3. a 60% success record was needed to earn the right to either play with any chosen device over the weekend or attend the Maker Club at the community centre
  4. each LP is fully responsible for his performance. Mum is responsible for:
    1. sounding the first wake up call at 6.50, second at 7.00 and final at 7.20. LPs (except LP4 ) are responsible for choosing what to do after the wake up calls have been sounded
    2. ensuring breakfast is ready and served and lunch packs set out by 7.45am. All LPs are responsible for ensuring they feed and pack their meals as applicable.

Pretty straight forward and easy ain’t it? Even I had a huge feeling of relief rising from that meeting. We all seemed to be on the same page…….or were we?


First wakeup call went out at 6.50am, no response from the troops. Second wake up call went out at 7am and still not even a stirring. I carried LP4 and started getting him ready for the day, mentally reminding myself to breath, let the yeast rise, give them time, don’t yell or go back to your helicoptering ways. I made it through bath and dress up time with LP 4 before LP10 decided to join the fun when the final wakeup call went off at 7.20. 5 minutes later and I heard his conversation with LP7

LP10: Arent you going to wake up? mummy’s team is almost ready for school

LP7: Are you serious? why didn’t she shout on me? ahhh so she wants me to lose!!

LP10: Stay there and be waiting for her to shout o!! I’m going to eat my food after I dress up

Yes!! I was glad I had kept it together. I was already feeling like a dynamite about to explode and honestly was on the verge of walking into the room and waking him up with any shock therapy I could think of (I mean, that’s how it was done in my days right?!!). At 8.10 he was still nowhere to be seen and I announced that i would be  leaving the house in 10 minutes. I went in to freshen up and change and came out to meet LP7 with a mouth stuffed with so much oatmeal that he couldn’t get an audible word out. He was struggling to put on his boots and pack up his backpack without falling over.

mum: Big guy, where’s your brother food?

LP10: In his tummy. Can’t you see how full his mouth is?

Mum: I don’t understand, are you saying he’s eaten all his food? (on a good day, he takes a minimum of 30 minutes to get done with breakfast)

LP10: yes he has! You are surprised, right? I even had to check the dustbin to make sure he hadn’t thrown it away. He ate it all. I guess he really wants to play minecraft this weekend

Mum: (with a wide smile) ok team, time’s up, let’s hit the road

That was day 1. We got to school at 8.38am ….the earliest ever!! I was elated. could this really ahve happeend without me micromanaging and raising my voice?

I came back in the afternoon to pick them from school, still in the euphoria of my early morning success. Bouncing towards me was LP7, with his outdoor jacket open (the temperature had risen to about 18 degrees from 7 degree recorded in the morning). I noticed something was missing from the picture before me so i asked

Mum: my angel, where’s your shirt? did you leave it at gym class

LP7: Hmmmm mummy

Mum: what’s hmmm mummy? where’s your shirt? please go back to your class and get it

LP7: It’s not in my class

Mum: what do you mean “it’s not in your class”? Did you lose it  or leave it in the field? Talk to me!

LP7: hmmmm…….mum, my shirt is at home

Mum: What do you mean “my shirt is at home”?

LP7: I mean i didn’t wear a shirt to school today. I just wore my jacket on my thermal wear and I only realised it when I got to school and wanted to take off my jacket

Mum: (in utter shock and surprise) you mean you sat all through school in your underwear?

LP7: No mum, I had to wear my jacket all day and don’t worry, you dont have to shout because I’ve learnt my lesson. I was so hot that I will never forget to dress properly again

…..and so ended our first post-goal setting day. I could only wonder what the next few days would hold.

NB: Checklist on the door was updated to include “make sure you are wearing a shirt and trouser underneath the jacket!!! 🙂




About AcesNg

Loved by God, my life - His manuscript. Blessed to be wife and mother - our journey, my lifescripts
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