How To Help Moms Not Get Sick With Specific SICK Goals

In 1981, George Doran coined the term SMART goals as it relates  to the process of accomplishing one’s goals. While such goals do need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant,  & timely, the pursuit of those goals can wear you out if you’re not careful.


Identifying a specific goal is very important. But, if pursuing a specific goal makes you sick to the point where you physically can’t move or make the kind of needed forward progress, then you might be unknowingly setting yourself up for unnecessary stress.


By definition, stress occurs when you perceive that you currently don’t have the resources to meet a presenting situation.


Getting Sick Made Me Realize My Goals Were Not SICK.

As a mom, we  are constantly under stress. We may not know how things will get done but we get them done somehow; even if we’re zapped and exhausted at the end.

I’ve been there. Just recently, despite having gotten my yearly flu shot, I started to experience flu-like symptoms that knocked me out-for-the-count.

The forced “pause” of bed rest made me consider all that was on my plate (there were a LOT of cancellation calls I had to make). I then began to rethink all that I’d originally put on my plate. The sight of my schedule made me feel sick(er).

That’s when I decided to inoculate myself by making my specific goals “SICK.”

How To Make Your Specific Goals SICK.

To help yourself not get sick, it’ll be important to make sure your Specific goal is S.I.C.K.

That is, your goal needs to be:

  • Sanity-friendly
  • Interrogateable
  • Congruent
  • Kindness-oriented



This means that, given how you normally roll, your goal is not contributing to your burning the candle at both ends. However, if you are burning your candle at both ends, then (as much as you are able) you stagger things out commitment-wise to maintain your sanity. A key question to ask yourself: How is the pursuit of my goal affecting my thought-life?


This means that you’ve left things open to revisit and to question your own rationale for deciding to do something in the first place. Remember: changing your mind is not changing your core; instead, you’re listening to it. A key question to ask yourself: Do I feel I can change my mind on pursuing this goal or not?


This means that your goal fits with what is unique about you, your interests/abilities, and season of life. A key question to ask yourself: How do I feel when I’m actually doing something directly related to achieving this goal?


This means that your goal brings out the kindness in you first towards yourself and second towards others. A key question to ask yourself: As I pursue this goal, am I being kind to myself and those around me?


Pursuing goals inherently involves experiencing some stretching (e.g. stress) while in pursuit.


stretching runner

And that stretching process can be a good growth experience to get outside of your comfort zone. However,  it is important to still use some prudence during the stretching.


“A calculated stretch is much better than culminated stressors.”

— Dr. Michelle Deering




Taking time to pause and consider if your Specific goals are SICK will help inoculate you against those things that could potentially make you sick.


©Dr. Michelle Deering & Curative Connections LLC


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