top of page
  • Becky

Dreaming of Baby? Let's Get SMART About Your Fertility Goals!



Ok, your goal is to have a baby. To finally hold a sweet little bundle of joy in your arms. And I would love to help you reach that goal. I really, really would. But when we talk about goals and how to go about achieving them, it turns out that “have a baby” is actually a pretty poor one. Keep reading and I’ll not only explain why, but I’ll help you set yourself up for success by showing you how to craft better goals that don’t come with the possibility of disappointment and heartbreak. 


But I Just Want To Get Pregnant and Have a Baby


I hear you, 100%! The desire to have a baby is a very strong and natural impulse for so many of us. And our expectation is always that it will happen quickly when the time is right. But as months go by and nothing happens, your initial excitement and optimism gives way to frustration, impatience, anxiety, and urgency. Every cycle is a roller coaster unto itself! 


Whenever it is that you think about your goals, then, it makes sense that you would list “have a baby” as one of them. But it doesn’t really work as a goal. Let me explain why.


SMART Goals


The idea of SMART goals is pretty common, but in case you’re not familiar with it, I’ll briefly explain. SMART is an acronym that stands for:


Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant or Realistic (depends on who you talk to)

Time-Bound


Let’s see how “have a baby” measures up.


Is it Specific?

 Yes, “have a baby” is definitely specific.


Is it Measurable? 

Yes, it’s measurable in the sense that you either are or are not pregnant, but there’s really no way to track your progress and figure out if you’re getting any closer. So this one gets a “maybe.”


Is it Attainable? 

Here’s where things really start to break down. While I sincerely hope that having a baby is attainable for each and every one of you, the hard truth is that it might not be. And in many cases, you won’t know whether it’s attainable until you reach the very end of your fertility journey.


Is it Relevant?

Certainly. 


What is the Timeframe?

Mmmmm…I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who has said, “I’m going to get pregnant next March,” and then has actually hit the target. For the most part we have absolutely no control over which cycle is the magic one that gets it done. 


Clearly, “I want to have a baby,” doesn’t work as a SMART goal.


But That’s What I Really Want!


Absolutely! And there’s nothing wrong with that. I would simply suggest that instead of thinking of that desire as a goal, you make a small shift and think of having a baby as your overarching intention. A final destination.


By making that little change, you free yourself to make actual SMART goals that will then move you closer to that intention.


Give Me Some Ideas, Please


Sure thing! I’m going to start by walking you through two examples of SMART fertility-related goals so you can see how good goals fit into the framework:


Example #1


What is the Specific Goal? 

I want to learn to track my ovulation accurately by using an ovulation predictor kit and monitoring cervical mucus changes.


Is it Measurable?

Yes. I will record my ovulation data for three consecutive menstrual cycles, and that will tell me when in my cycle I usually ovulate.


Is it Achievable? 

Yes. I can commit to consistently tracking and interpreting my ovulation signs, and if I get stuck, I can ask my doctor or another fertility pro for some help.


Is it Relevant? 

Totally. Knowing if/when I ovulate is an important piece in the fertility puzzle. 


What is the Timeframe? 

I will complete the tracking for three cycles over the next three months.


Example #2


What is the Specific Goal? 

I want to cultivate a positive mindset by using daily affirmations.


Is it Measurable?

Yes. I will set a timer for 5 minutes each morning and spend that time repeating fertility-affirming statements. 


Is it Achievable? 

Yes. I am quite capable of creating a list of positive affirmations and incorporating them into my morning routine.


Is it Relevant? 

For sure. Positive thinking will help me feel more confident and relaxed as I move through my fertility journey.


What is the Timeframe? 

I will spend this week compiling a list of relevant and helpful affirmations. Then I will establish my daily affirmation practice, and become consistent, over the next two weeks.


Other Ideas for Good Fertility Goals Include:


  • Establishing some sort of mindfulness practice

  • Committing to a healthy exercise/movement program 

  • Remembering to take any supplements or fertility medications

  • Seeking out additional sources of support

  • Investigating alternative or complementary forms of treatment


That is far from an exhaustive list! As long as you follow the principles of SMART goal-setting, you can be as creative as you like, and craft your fertility-related goals specifically for your needs!


Great, But Why Should I Be Setting Goals Anyway?


I’m so glad you asked. Lol! There are actually several reasons why (and how) setting good, reasonable goals can help you on your fertility journey. 


Clarity and Focus 

We already know that your overarching intention is to have a baby. But I think you’ll agree, when you’re struggling with fertility issues, it’s sometimes hard to figure out your next, truly helpful, steps. Defining clear goals helps you focus on how you want to spend your time, energy, and resources in ways that feel aligned for you.


Motivation

I know you’re plenty motivated to get pregnant. But having smaller, well-defined goals, makes it easier to take action and work towards achieving them. Goals give you a sense of purpose and direction, and that can be doubly important when you feel like you’re floundering around lost in a sea of fertility issues.


Measurable Progress

If you’ve done a good job specifically defining your goals, you’ll be able to see yourself making  progress. It’s a tangible way to assess how far you've come and what adjustments you might want, or need, to make. 


Resilience

When fertility problems leave you feeling like you’re faced with nothing but obstacles and setbacks, having clear goals makes you more likely to persevere. The sense of purpose that comes with working toward something specific and clear will not only help you feel more empowered, but will also foster resilience and determination that are valuable well beyond your fertility journey.


Control

Setting achievable goals is a fantabulous way to regain some control when you’re in fertility hell and feel like you’ve been totally stripped of absolutely all control!


Increased Life Satisfaction and Happiness

Achieving meaningful goals is linked to a greater sense of well-being and happiness. Who doesn’t want that?! Especially now, when both those things can be a little hard to come by!


At the end of the day, “having a baby” as a goal is a bit like aiming to win the lottery–not the most practical. But it is unquestionably a dream worth pursuing. So make some SMART goals for yourself, find some clarity, and regain some control. Remember: each goal, regardless of how small, is a step toward that dream. You’ve got this!




bottom of page