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Monday Mom challenge: Make (and keep) a deal with yourself

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Done deal

You don’t have to be The Donald to be an expert deal-maker. In fact, the negotiating and deal-making skills of most moms rival those of Fortune 500 CEOs. We might even be better! Sure, Donald can negotiate a real estate deal to make millions of dollars look like a bargain, but can he get a toddler to eat those carrots? Can he make feuding teenagers reach a compromise? Probably not.

Done deal

In all your deal-making -- with your sweetie, your kids, the neighbors, at work and on and on and on -- have you made a good deal with yourself lately? Have you done some simple negotiating in your own life for a better you? If not, now is the right time to start negotiations with the one who drives the hardest bargain of all: Yourself.

Your turn

A deal about what, you ask? Anything, really. What is something you've wanted to do that you haven't? Big or little, what gets put off in the day-to-day of your busy life? Have you wanted to take a class? Or just get regular summer pedicures? What about time for exercise? Or more time with friends?

Give and take -- with yourself

Expert negotiator that you are, you definitely can find ways to bargain time or a little extra out of the family budget to make those things happen. But something is holding you back: You. As much as you can make the time, do you? Even though you say you've set aside a little cash for this or that, did you actually use it for that? This time, take that negotiating a step further and make a deal with yourself to make a thing or two happen. What will it take to really and truly make it happen this time? What deal do you need to make with yourself to take that time for yourself?

Intermediate goals

If you need to, set some intermediate goals and milestones to make the deal happen. In business, there's a process to getting the deal done, and the same goes for you. Pick out smaller steps to the final deal and set a timeline if that helps. What do you need to do to make this deal happen? For real?

Keep the commitment to yourself

A deal is not complete until there is follow through. Surely this is something you try to teach your kids when you negotiate with them. For example, if your deal is a special day together if term grades are at a certain level, the day isn't going to happen if the grades slip close to the end of the term -- even if the start of the term was A+ all the way.

Same for you. The deal you have made with yourself requires commitment and follow through. Keep up that effort right through the end. Make sure T's are crossed and I's are dotted. It's the kind of attention to detail that makes the completion of the deal all the sweeter.

Being an expert dealmaker is not just for boardrooms and corporate offices (though the paychecks that go with them would be awfully nice!). Deal-making, bargaining and negotiating (and compromise) is integral to home life, too. Make and keep a deal with yourself -- for a more satisfied you.

More about taking care of yourself

Are you taking care of yourself?
Moms, how to find "Me" time
Monday Mom challenge: Address your own health issues

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