[Struggle to follow through on your goals? Discover goal setting tips to help you make your dreams a reality!]
Do you feel guilty for setting goals for yourself and following your passions as a mom?
In today’s podcast, I chat with Natalie Freed, a mom who started her career as a television writer and is now the founder of MSL Bags, a line of reusable grocery bags made of recycled and sustainable materials.
She shares goal-setting tips that will help you in finding clarity and releasing mom guilt so you can take aligned action toward your goals.
[Disclaimer: The information shared is from personal experiences and/or research. We’re not medical professionals. We share in hopes that it will help you tap into new insights and inspire you. Everything shared is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Always seek the guidance of a trusted health professional for your unique journey.]
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Hi there, soulful mama.
Welcome to the Soulcare Mom podcast.
I’m Catherine Wilde of soulcaremom.com. I’m a mom of three amazing kids, a soulcare mom coach and a yoga and meditation teacher. I’ve helped hundreds of women, and I’m here to help you feel calm and find your unshakeable confidence as a mom. If you’re ready to stop living in survival mode and you’re ready to drop the mom guilt and overwhelm, this podcast is for you.
Think of this as a lunch date with a girlfriend. Grab a cup of tea and get cozy. It’s time to get honest and vulnerable and shift the traditional mindset around motherhood. Be sure to subscribe to be the first to know when new episodes are released. Get ready to grow and feel empowered as a mom.
I’m here for you, mama. Let’s get started.
Powerful Goal Setting Tips
Hi, Natalie. Thank you so much for joining me today. I am so excited to chat with you all about finding clarity and to hear all of your goal setting tips for moms.
Can you share a bit more about your journey around goal setting and following your passion as a mom?
So I started off in the entertainment industry, which is a very exciting place to be. I didn’t have children until I was 30. I wanted to have a bit of a career.
I wanted to accomplish some things for me. And so at 30 years old, we moved to New York. And honestly, I always said, I don’t care where we are. I’m having children now. So wherever we are, children are happening now.
You were ready.
Yes, this was it. And I worked until the day my water broke. It was at the Rachel Ray Show. I worked til the bitter end. And I had always, always always wanted to be a stay at home mom. So that was also part of my plan and the reason why I wanted to work up until 30 because I knew that once I had children, that I was going to stay home.
So I wanted to, like I said, accomplish some things for myself before stopping and being able to turn and fully devote myself to that. What I did not anticipate was the loss of self that I felt. I think I really connected my identity to what I did to my profession.
I work in television. I work at a television show. I’m a producer, I’m a writer, all of these things that I am. And when I had my children, I was no longer those things. I really had a tough time, I think, figuring out what I was about now. Was I interesting anymore?
Did people only really like me because I had an interesting story? What was interesting about me now? What is the point of me now? And while, again, I wanted to be a stay at home mom forever. This is what I wanted to do. And I just assumed that I would feel completely fulfilled by being a mom and all that that was. And I wasn’t. And I think it really threw me because I just didn’t know what to do now.
Now that I’m here, and it was embarrassing to admit because I had moved all the forces so that I could be a stay at home mom. And now I’m saying that it’s not fulfilling me and that I’m feeling off. I didn’t know who to talk to about it. Like I said, I didn’t really want to admit it to anybody. And so that started my journey to figuring out what it was that moved me, that fulfilled me personally.
Not what was cool to other people or what other people thought I should be doing, but what it was that really inspired me and made me feel purpose. I’m still on that journey. But really, I’m actually grateful that all happened because it really…
I feel like motherhood brought me to my base. It just cleared everything away. And I had to start from the beginning figuring out what Natalie was interested in. So I just started a lot of reading, a lot of… If I was interested in something, looking into it, giving it some more time and attention. I started first with my health. I thought, okay, let me get to a healthy place.
I started juicing, I started running. I just wanted to, okay, maybe some of it is who knows? Who knows what all the factors are that are making me feel unsettled? So that’s where I started. I went to a health supportive culinary school. I started doing things that were only for me, things that only made me feel good.
And that led me to also starting a blog. I am a writer. I was an English major. I wrote for television. And that’s not only how I express myself, but I think how I figure things out in my own mind.
It’s almost like there’s so much noise and I would need to write it all down so that I could just organize it. And it was almost like talking to myself.
And I would just write essays. I’d be with my daughter downstairs. We lived in a condo. It was New York. So to go outside, you had to go downstairs and go intentionally go outside. We didn’t have a backyard. But I would write about the day, about what I was feeling. I would write about something my daughter did. I would just write.
And there was no purpose for it other than I was trying to just figure it out by getting it out. And so then I decided, Well, why don’t I make this into a blog?
I had 15 or 16 essays just sitting on my computer. But I don’t know, maybe somebody else might like to hear this. I felt like I hadn’t heard from mothers before me that I might feel this way. I guess I felt blindsided a little bit. And like I said, embarrassed about it. And I don’t think I needed to feel embarrassed because I think a lot of us feel this way.
And you just need to hear somebody else say, Yeah, I understand what you’re saying. I totally get that. And it’s okay. It’s okay that you’re feeling these things. That was the start of, I guess, the figuring me out journey.
Yeah. Oh, my gosh. T hank you for sharing so authentically. And I think a lot of moms can relate to that. And you’re so right. Just hearing someone else say, yes, I’ve been through that, too, and you’re not alone and it’s okay is such a huge relief and also helps you to shift from that to, okay, how can I start feeling better?
How can I start taking care of myself and getting that support, too? So you had mentioned to me that you struggled with some mom guilt around this, and I think most moms do struggle with that giving ourselves permission to do something for ourselves and not feel guilty.
So can you share about that? What was your experience around that with your kids?
Well, one of the things that was center in my mind is that I did not want to be miserable for my children. You only have so much time. It goes so fast. And I did not want for my own memories, for their memories, to be of me being unhappy.
And so finding joy became an important thing because if I felt happy, it was going to spread to them, to my husband, to our whole entire life. So it wasn’t about a selfish act.
It was about making me feel more whole and joyful so that it could come out and be around for them to experience as well. So I think sometimes when you have that element of doing something, I don’t know, for someone else, especially your children, it helped me say,
Oh, it’s okay. Gave me permission to do something for myself because it was for them also. It was in order for them to have a beautiful experience in order for me to… The life that we’re living right now are the memories that we’re going to have when we’re older.
So what memories was I wanting to have for the rest of my life with my children the time that I had with them? So finding joy, being joyful, being fulfilled, and being able to show that to them became really important to me, which was such a gift because who doesn’t want to feel better?
Finding Clarity To Help You Identify Your Goals & Dreams
Yeah, it’s a win win all around. You get to do things that bring you joy and it changes your relationships. And I think you were saying, you wanted to create these really beautiful memories with your kids.
Sometimes we feel like, oh, I’ve got this limited amount of time for my kids. I love the direction you took with that because sometimes we can say, oh, well, I have this limited amount of time. I need to focus everything on them. And then that leaves us feeling that burned out in survival mode feeling. And yeah, so when we can make that shift, it’s so powerful. I love that.
And you had shared that you felt like you lost yourself after you became a mom and you didn’t know who you were. And that I think is true for so many of us. So if there’s a mom that’s listening right now and she’s thinking, I want to set these goals and passions.
I want to figure out what that is for me, but I don’t even know where to start. So if she’s looking for clarity, can you share a little bit about how she might reconnect with clarity, find clarity for herself and embrace her passions?
I would say for me, I started listening to podcasts, reading books, taking more time on my own mental health, and making that an important part of what I was doing each day. Getting my own personal mind healthy and just try to figure it out. I mean, even just getting on the step of saying, okay, me figuring this out is an important thing for lots of reasons.
So how do I figure that out? For me, writing was, like I said, really big because it just helped me get it all out. I didn’t want when my husband came home… So we were in New York, sorry, I’m jumping around. But we were in New York, so we didn’t have any family around. It was just my husband and I. We had both our kids out there. Both of our families are in California.
So I didn’t have anybody really to talk to. And I didn’t want to pour it all out on my husband when he got home. I didn’t want for that to be a relationship. And I didn’t want… He can’t fix me. And I didn’t really feel like that was the place. So for me, writing was a big thing.
And like I said, reading books, just making that a focus of searching for other people’s perspectives on how they brought themselves out. I would talk to other mom friends. And I think, like I said, doing things. For me, one of the big issues was my identity.
And I think that I need, I don’t want to say a job because being a mom is a job. And I didn’t want to leave and I didn’t want to go outside of home. I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I also recognized there was something more in me that wanted to achieve.
I wanted my own personal achievements. So just getting in that mindset of it’s okay for me to pursue, to look into things and just start the journey of figuring out what I wanted and what I liked and what moved me. It didn’t have to happen right away. That was another thing is the timeline. I didn’t feel like I had to make it all happen immediately.
And that’s something like, it’s not going to change overnight your feelings. It is fully a journey. So giving yourself a little bit of grace, say, and accepting, Okay, you know what?
I’m struggling a little bit with how things are, but that’s okay. I am learning something new. This is a new situation for me. Each age bracket is a new situation, too, when you’re a mom. So there’s constant changing and allowing yourself to recognize that you might be uncomfortable, but not to panic about being uncomfortable or not knowing what you’re doing.
Allowing yourself the grace to figure it out, but I would say making the effort to figure it out for yourself. I know you’re saying, what are the things that you do to figure them out? Whatever is your way of speaking, like I said, the writing, the reading, listening to podcast. I also think that podcasts and things like that are so important to me because I feel like you need to keep inputting good and positive things because you can get yourself up here and then it’ll slowly start.
I’m feeling great. Everything’s fabulous now. I’m really on track. And then it just starts to like, you have to just keep inputting the positive things, find people that inspire you, find people that… And if it’s a podcast, then great. If you can find somebody in real life, fabulous.
But for me, it was finding podcasts and authors that spoke to me and uplifted me. So I would say, yeah, try find the way to uplift yourself because anything is going to work out better when you’re in a better state of mind. So I guess your mental health, I think your mental health is the place to start.
Oh, yeah. Those are all really fabulous tips. And I love that you said give yourself grace, because if you haven’t been allowing yourself to tune into what it is that you love, then it’s going to take a little bit of time to reconnect. And I love that getting those ideas and inspiration from other people to get your curiosity flowing and explore. I love all of that. Thank you.
Because you know what? You’re probably not the first person who has felt this way or experienced these things. And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can search for some other people in this space, other moms that can fully relate to what you’re feeling. And she may not have an answer that you relate to, or she may not, but she might.
Give yourself the opportunity to look at, find different people and see whose message resonates with you. But if you don’t make the effort to seek that out, you’re not going to find it. So it’s really making those efforts and recognizing that it’s an important effort and that it’s not only going to help you, but it’s going to help everybody around you.
Yes. When you start to make that a priority, things start to shift, right? Yeah, that is so beautiful.
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Goal Setting Tips For Moms
Okay, so once we’ve found our clarity and what we want, how can you share about… What can we do to create an action plan to help us achieve the goals? What goal setting tips do you have for us?
Well, I would say a morning routine is a really great one because you’re able to set your intentions for what you want your day to look like. I also think, like you’re saying, a workshop or something like that where you actually are helped to move through a process of sitting down and asking yourself exactly those questions. What do you want your life to look like?
What do you want your life to feel like? I think about that’s my major one is what do I want my life to feel like? You can almost build backwards. What do I want my life to feel like? What do I want when I’m looking back at the end of my life? Did my life feel meaningful, purposeful?
Did I do the things that meant the most to me? So I think that’s where I start and working backwards and figuring out, okay, if I take a job that works, that’s 80 hours a week, what is that going to look like for my family and my kids and me? What’s it going to make me feel like when I am older and the kids are gone? Am I going to be happy that I made that decision?
What am I going to feel about that? Am I going to feel like that was the most meaningful thing that I did with my time? Am I going to be happy that I spent my time doing that? Because sometimes you can just start doing and doing things that, again, society tells you that you’re supposed to do. But it’s your life and you can’t go back and get that time back.
So really that end of life thing, looking from the end of life back on what your life was and making sure that it was what meant the most to you. And it created the life that is the most meaningful to you. And so everything that you’re doing, what does it make my life look like? How does it make me feel? And will I be happy with this decision when I’m at the end?
Those are really good clarifiers because it really cuts through everything and just gets to the heart of it. So I like those one. Those are my three questions that I ask myself whenever I’m trying to do something. Even like starting this brand that I’m doing. It’s taken me a very long time because sometimes I’m working on something and then my child, something happens and they need me a little bit more today.
Maybe after school, I was working on writing a blog post or something. But something happened at school and somebody said something not nice and they just need mom there a little bit more. They just want to hang out.
That’s what I’m going to do. I’m just going to pause because when I have put all those clarifying those questions on top of it, this is what wins out for me is the time that I have with them. And that’s me. That is not to say that that is the answer for everybody.
But for me, when I put those clarifying questions onto this moment, what is the priority? Is it this blog post or is it my little one whose mind and heart needs a little extra love? That’s what’s winning for me. So if it takes me longer to do this, get this brand up, so be it.
Taking Aligned Action To Achieve Your Goals
I love that. Those are really beautiful aligned action steps. And yeah, you’re right. It doesn’t have to look a certain way. When we stop putting those shoulds and expectations on it, we can really relax into it and enjoy.
And that’s hard. I am achievement oriented. I’ve always been very high achieving, and I put my own timelines on things. That’s another thing that I’ve had to recognize is this is a timeline that I have imposed on something, and it doesn’t have to happen like this.
Can I do that? Write that post in two days? This is a timeline that I have, and I get so caught up in, but I had it on my to do list today, and I’m not getting that done. And then having to go back and saying, okay, but what does that really mean?
What happens if you don’t finish this today? What happens? What does it really mean? And just taking a little beat to just ask yourself, what does that really mean? And what is the priority in this moment? Because sometimes your priorities, your list has to adjust. Okay, I had this on my list, but something happened. So now it shifted down in my priorities, and that’s okay.
Yeah. No, I love that perspective. And I love that you talked about working backwards. What is it? Because sometimes we get lost in what we’re doing all the time, and we forget to zoom out and see the big picture. And so that’s a really beautiful reminder. Yeah, I love all that.
And you tapped into self care with having some a morning routine and starting your day with that. Can we talk a little bit more about self care? It’s such an important thing, especially for moms to take that time for ourselves. And really all of what we’ve been talking about is self care. But how has self care played into your motherhood journey? And have you experienced a correlation between taking that time for self care and achieving your goals?
Yes. Not only does I would say that taking that time for self care does not take away from your ability to achieve. It actually maximizes your ability to achieve. Let me say that again. Taking time in order to give yourself self care does not take away from your ability to achieve.
It actually maximizes your ability to achieve. And I would also say that the self care that you are able to give yourself might change as time changes. As your kids are in different stages, they need different things. You know that the schedule keeps changing, even from just the school year to summertime, or when they’re two to when they’re six, it looks different. It all changes. And so being able to adjust and not lose the time for self care, adjust what that looks like when it is.
It can be different things. Right now, I’m really able to go to the yoga class regularly, and I have lunch with friends, whatever that is. But now I can’t get to that yoga class as much. So now maybe I will do a yoga class at home, or maybe meditation is going to be a better thing for me right now, or maybe listening to guided meditations, or I need some more community with friends.
So finding some activity that involves friends, but listening to what it is that you need at that stage of your life and adjusting. It doesn’t have to be so rigid that I need to do this, this, and this. Right now for me, I have been my kids are 13 and 15, so we’re high school and junior high. So a little bit of easing up of needing me so much.
I was a PTA. I was the PTA president. So in elementary school, I was there. I created a garden at the school, a whole garden program. I was very into that. Now, my daughter does not want me to be at high school as the chaperone and all of that stuff. Now, there’s different needs, but she does have extra curricular things, so she needs me more after school.
We do theater, we have singing lessons. That is the time where she needs me. Is it after school? So in the mornings, I’ve been waking up about 5 AM. I start with, I wake up, I make my son his lunch, I have some tea and have a guided meditation, 10 to 15 minutes meditation time. Then I do some Pilates, I do my little exercise, take the dogs for a walk and maybe listen to something. It could be a fun podcast. I don’t know, just purely entertainment.
And then it’s time to take my daughter to school. But that gives me some time for me to ease into the day a little bit better and decide what I want my day to feel like. Because I know after I take them to school, it’s going to be errands, and then it’s going to go until dinnertime because there’s going to be extra curriculum.
My son has tennis. My whole day has shifted in a different way than it was when they were in elementary school. In elementary school, I was at school all day. When they finished up and we came home, that was it. They didn’t really have super intense homework. And so I had some afternoon time that was more for me. So recognizing that things are always going to be changing. They just are. And don’t let that trip you up. You just adjust and figure out what it is that you need at that stage.
Yeah, for sure. I love that you’re right. It is always changing. Everything in life is always changing. And there’s always a gift in it, too. It’s hard to go with the change. But I love that you’re focusing on what you can do now instead of… Yeah, I love that. It’s really beautiful.
And I love that you said that you take that time for yourself so that you can decide how you want to feel in the day. And you even mentioned how you want to feel when you’re setting those goals for yourself, because it is really intentional, right? Being able to tap into, what do I want to create? Because you really are. You’re creating your day, you’re creating your life.
Maybe not all of the situations, but deciding how you go into them is something that you can create and control. And yeah, it’s really beautiful. So that’s a really important part of thriving in motherhood is that being intentional about how you show up, how you build your cup. But thank you for sharing all of that.
I am also very… It’s a challenge for me. I have to be very intentional about it because I need structure. I think I’m a very naturally anxious person, and so structure gives me comfort because I know what’s coming and motherhood just throws it out the window.
It is almost antithetical. You can only structure so much because things just come and happen. So it’s releasing that need for the super intense structure and allowing things to happen. I guess you have a greater framework of the feel. That’s my framework. How do I want to feel? I think that comes to the bottom line on lots of things for me is creating a life that feels good.
Yeah, and that’s so empowering to know that that’s something that you can tap into. A lot of times we live, we have a situation and we’re like, oh, this makes me feel a certain way. But really when we are moment to moment, like tapping into ourselves, what we need in that moment, how we want to feel, especially when you’re with kids, it’s not just you deciding the day.
They’ve got questions. They want to do different things. And so it’s a collaboration of life. But you still have that ability to tap into yourself and bring yourself into the day in the ways that feel really good to you.
Yeah, I’m stressed, but how can I shift my perspective? And this thing, how can I make it feel more fun? How can I have more fun in this moment? How can I have more joy in this moment? Because things are going to get Crispy. They just are.
How can I shift my perspective to see how lucky I am that this scenario, even that I’m here with my kids. So something is happening with them and it’s really frustrating. But wait a minute, how lucky am I that I get to be here in this moment, that I am here in this moment, that I get to spend this time with them? It’s so easy to just get caught up in the frustration and the difficult things that if you can pause and reflect on what gifts are actually around you in that moment, it’s a gift to yourself because you’re like, Oh, my gosh.
How lucky am I to be able to have this time with them or to be able to do this or to have this friend or to have my home or whatever it is. I think the gratitude is really helpful and being able to shift your perspective on what is happening.
Yeah, I love that. There’s big feelings that come up for us and honoring those is so important. But you’re so right. There’s so many perspectives that we can take. It’s not just the one that we’re in and we get stuck sometimes. And so allowing ourselves to find the gift in the moment is so powerful.
That’s beautiful. Find the gift in the moment. That’s really what it is. And it will be a gift to you, too, because these are all the memories that you are making.
Your whole every day is you’re making memories that you’ll be able to cherish because that’s what you have when you’re older is your memories. So what is it that you’re wanting to create and lock in time for yourself, for them?
Yeah. I used to live in this mindset of, well, when this happens, then I’ll be happy, or I’ll do that, or when I finally get to go on that vacation, then I’ll feel relaxed, or when the kids are all grown up then.
But living for the next moment instead of creating your life right now, which is where life is happening. So I truly love this conversation. Thank you so much. Yes. So could you let us know where we can find you online?
Yes. So I have two spots. My personal blog is mysourcelife.com. Again, it’s getting back to the source of what makes me happy, what fulfills me.
That was the whole point is I have to get back to the source of things. Let’s clear away all this, the clutter and get back to the source of what it is that makes me happy and what is the purpose of my life. So mysourcelife.com is my personal blog and my business, my bags, which will be coming very soon is MSLbags.com. So it’s a play off of my blog, my source life, MSLbags.com.
Oh, I love that. And they’re reusable grocery bags, right? They’re beautiful.
Yes. They can be used for other things, too, because they’re attractive enough to be used other places because reusable grocery bags, I don’t know if you have any, but I use them for everything. When the kids were little, you put the wet bathing suit, just everything you can think of.
That’s so awesome. Yes, so handy for moms, especially. That’s perfect. We’ll include this in the show notes so everyone can find you. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and these inspiring goal setting tips and helping us to follow our passion. Thank you.
Thank you. I really enjoyed having this conversation with you.
Thanks for joining me, mama. I’m over here smiling from ear to ear and giving you a big virtual hug. I love spending this time with you.
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I’m Catherine Wilde homeschool mama, yoga & meditation teacher, best selling author, and mom life coach. I believe you can feel calm and find your unshakable confidence as a mom, when you first care for yourself.
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