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Sterling Jay stops teaching Catholic moms to set goals and focuses on teaching them how to love their daily lives instead.

That’s right, I’m going to tell you why you should NOT set goals this year. 

Some of you may know me and you may be thinking, “Wait a minute, aren’t you the Catholic goal-setting lady? Isn’t that your thing?” 

Yes, it totally was my thing. I taught Catholic moms how to set goals for the last five years. Then in 2020, I discovered mindset coaching and it blew my mind wide open. 

Coaching taught me that when we set goals, or start any new diet/program, with a poor mindset, it’s going to be very difficult to get results. 

Can you still get results setting goals with a poor mindset? Sure! Any time we take a deep breath and we think about our lives instead of just putting out fires, we tend to have more success than if we didn’t take that time to reflect and plan. 


If you can learn how to have a better mindset, you can go out and crush your goals. You can build confidence that you really are in control of your life. 

Now some of you immediately thought, “Wait a minute. We’re not supposed to be in control. God is in control.” You are absolutely correct. 

We are not in control of what happens to us. There’s nothing we can do to change the weather, the timing of someone’s death, the appearance of a worldwide pandemic, or when the basement floods. That’s God’s business. 

We do, however, get to control how we show up to any situation that comes our way. We get to decide to be moms who respond with kindness, self-control, joy, and love instead of anger, snarkiness, shaming, or hopelessness. 

What if it was possible to truly know that you could handle any situation? 

What if it was possible to love your daily life, right now, if nothing except your mindset changed? 

What if it was possible to have peace in any storm? 

Well, we know this is possible because God promises this to us many times in the Bible. 

Back to goals. The reason I’ve stopped telling moms to set goals is that I realized we have a much bigger problem than wanting to lose 30 pounds or pay off credit card debt. Those are admirable things but if we do them from a bitter, hopeless, white knuckle our way through the discomfort ... kind of way, it’s unlikely we will accomplish our goals. 

Instead, I gave Catholic moms one mission: to love their daily lives. 

That’s it. If all you did this year was to learn how to love your daily life, you would be winning. You would be a mom with more hope, more peace, and eventually ... more checks in those goal boxes anyway! 

Here’s a simple exercise to figure out what you need to do to accomplish this mission. 

Step One: Write down how the ideal version of you would be showing up in her life right now. (Note: You can’t magically be 30 lbs. thinner in a mansion with a husband who suddenly celebrates everything you do. It has to be the ideal way you would show up in your life as it is right now. )

Step Two: Ask yourself, “How is that woman feeling as she moves throughout her day?” Write down your answer. 

Step Three: Now ask yourself, “What is that woman thinking?” Write down your answer. 

Step Four: Ask yourself, “How can I begin thinking more like that right now?” Write down your answer.

why catholic moms should not set goals-sjay 0121 

You see, our brains are really good at doing what we tell them. If we tell them that our life is hard, it will go to work making that true. We have taken so much of what the devil and our twisted culture has taught us and we’ve planted those lies in our brain. 

It’s our job to stop thinking lies. 

You already know how to do this because you’ve probably done gratitude exercises. Those are powerful because it gets the brain focused on the truth of how blessed your life is instead of the pity party we normally throw ourselves. 

We want more of that. 

You don’t need lots of goals. Most of us barely know what we’re making for dinner.  #catholicmom

You don’t need lots of goals. Most of us barely know what we’re making for dinner. 

What if your only goal this year was to learn how to love your daily life? 

Start by doing that exercise and see what shows up. I have a description of my ideal self who loves her daily life. Every evening I ask, “In what ways did I show up like her today? In what ways did I not show up like her today?” 

Just this simple exercise of showing our brain who want to be and constantly checking in about how well we’re doing will get our brain busy making that ideal version our new reality.

Copyright 2021 Sterling Jay
Image: Gabrielle Henderson (2018), Unsplash