Establishing a Foundation

In the Remote School Survival Guide by The Chicago Family Tutor, one of the core components of developing a healthy and strong household framework is for the adults to zoom out for a moment. Rather than diving directly into the intricate tips and systems of success, one must first establish what their goals are. We all want to knock out our family’s to-do list on a daily basis. However, what are the overarching goals that we have, from a more holistic lens? Establishing a foundation is important, whether it’s in regards to home life, fitness, remote learning, or work. 

“The foundation, will help the individual stay on top of their goals in the shorter term while giving them a sense of purpose beyond simply checking a task on their to-do list.”

For example, an individual may have a fitness goal for themself that they narrowly define as, “I would like a six pack and to make it to the gym each day.” The goals themselves are solid, and give the individual something to work towards on a daily basis. However, it’s beneficial to zoom out and establish the foundation. With that in mind, the goal could be communicated as, “overall, I want to look and feel healthy in my own skin. I want to be able to spend time on long hikes, run half-marathons with my friends, and do all of the physical activities that I’ve previously told myself I can’t. I want to be proud of my progress, and be able to notice a difference in the way I feel doing physical activities.” This zoomed out approach can help the individual level-set, and identify their motivation behind reaching their goals. This overarching goal, or the foundation, will help the individual stay on top of their goals in the shorter term while giving them a sense of purpose beyond simply checking a task on their to-do list.

In another example, an individual might have a goal of learning a new language. Perhaps they’ve downloaded a language learning app, and have a goal to practice for at least 30 minutes each day. If asked, they may express their goal as, “I want to practice for at least two hours per week so that I can get through the language app lesson without making any mistakes.” A zoomed out approach, that identifies the foundation, could be framed as, “I want to broaden my horizons, feel accomplished, and be better equipped to communicate with people around the world and in my own community by learning how to speak another language.”

So, why is it important to establish your foundation when aiming to accomplish your goals? Overall, the success of your goals depends on your ability to take consistent action, dedicate the necessary time commitment, and silencing any mental doubts that may throw you off track. Having a strong foundation, or an answer to why you’re embarking on this goal in the first place, will help fuel your journey in succeeding. If things feel overwhelming or out-of-touch, your foundation will be a helpful reminder to help you feel grounded. 

If you have a to-do list, or goals you would like to accomplish in the short term, take a moment to ponder how strong your foundation is. What are your larger goals, beyond what stands directly in front of you? What goals and dreams do you have for your family, your work, and for yourself? Establish your foundation, pair it with direct action items, and you may find yourself more motivated and empowered to accomplish your dreams. 

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