Last Updated on August 27, 2021

How To Set Weekly Goals To Change Your Life

How To Set Weekly Goals To Change Your Life

We have been taught to dream big, but when it comes to actually following our dreams, are you falling short? There can be a million reasons why this can happen, but one thing is clear. You have not yet learned the way how to set weekly goals to change your life. You might not be sure of where to start. You might overthink your next steps. You might talk yourself down and allow others to steer you away from your goal. Well, not anymore!

This simple yet effective system will allow you to reach your weekly goals and move towards your bigger goals with confidence and certainty.

Setting weekly goals might seem like a small piece, but it is an important piece of a bigger puzzle. It’s up to you to put those pieces together step by step, week by week, to move closer to your bigger goal. Looking ahead to long-term goals will help you determine the right weekly steps. It will also keep you motivated and consistent in following through with your commitments because every new day is an opportunity to do just that.

After getting crystal clear on what it is that you want, it’s time to take those small weekly steps towards that. While it is necessary to have this great big idea/vision/goal in mind, the question is, “what are you doing daily, weekly to achieve that?”.

Let me introduce you to the system that will help you set weekly goals to change your life.

While a week is a relatively short amount of time, it has 168 hours. That’s a lot of hours! Imagine if these hours could be used to your best abilities? A day filled with intentional, focused, and productive action? The following steps will help you set weekly goals to change your life.

Attention: Make yourself a priority. You will not be able to achieve your goals and enjoy them if you will be stress and burned out. Self-care is not selfish. There should be a set time for you in your calendar every single day.

Step 1: Take Time to Reflect

Take time to reflect on last week. Look back at your failures and achievements. It will help you rank this week’s tasks and set clearer goals to reach more success.

Ask yourself, what did you achieve and how is that relating to your bigger monthly or yearly goals? Did you fall off the track and why did that happen? Are you happy with the progress you have made?

Answering these questions will give you a great insight into how well you have used your 168 hours and whether you have moved in your envisioned direction. If it wasn’t the case, it’s worth bringing your attention back to your bigger vision and long-term goals. If you are not excited about your weekly goals, it will take much more effort to achieve them. So, make sure you are aligned with them.


Step 2: Identify Weekly Goals

Identify weekly goals to change your life. Now that you’ve looked back on your recent past and further into your future, it’s time to identify what your goals are going to be for the week ahead. Here is the simple process to follow:

  • Brainstorm exciting weekly goal ideas. Base them on your reflection about last week’s achievements and failures. If you have too many, prioritize them based on what is more time-sensitive and important for progress.
  • Identify logical next steps to move towards the bigger goal for every day of the week. There might be important tasks that need your attention or follow-up.
  • Define a maximum of three daily steps to achieve your set daily goal. This will help you achieve your weekly goals with certainty. To make it easier, you can use the weekly goal template below.


    It’s up to you how many weekly goals you set. However, you must take into account the time commitment each of them will take. Keep in mind that unexpected interruptions will help you to not overcommit yourself.

    Make Sure Your Goals Have the Right Characteristics

    • It has to be specific. Ask yourself what you want to achieve this particular week. Not every week is the same. So, what is your goal for this specific week? Make sure it’s specific and achievable.
    • It has to be realistically achievable. Having a realistic approach will allow you to move forward with more ease. Don’t deem yourself down either. Go over the “safe” (easily achievable) goal and take one step further. If there’s no way you can reach your goal, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
    • It has to be measurable. This means adding a set amount of time to your goal. Whether those are days, hours, minutes, or a set number of specific aspects in your goals.

    Step 3: Schedule Your Goals Into Your Calendar

    If you will just keep your goals on your to-do list, they will stay there for a very long time.

    We know very well that to-do lists tend to have a never-ending aspect to them. This means that you are more likely to struggle by completing the tasks in your imagined time frame. Nothing kills motivation like a never-ending to-do list. This is why everything important should go directly into your calendar. Specific time blocks that allow you to see when and for how long you should be working on a task.

    You know how the saying goes: if you don’t plan your day, someone else will plan it for you. And this is something you want to avoid because that’s how you stop being a leader and start being a follower of other people’s goals.

    We all have limited time. By scheduling your goal-reaching tasks, you emphasize how important it is for you to complete them. This keeps you accountable and motivates you to take action towards your goals.

    Consider this: You are more likely to follow through with your scheduled commitments when planning according to your productivity flow. Knowing your daily rhythm will help to make necessary adjustments in your plan and schedule accordingly.

    For example, you can put your most important tasks during the time when you feel most attentive, creative, and alert. On the other hand, you can plan the downtime when you feel tired or tend to get distracted.

    Step 4: Set Reminders

    Set reminders to take action. It’s great to plan out your steps towards weekly goals. It’s great to allocate time for each of the steps in your calendar to be sure that you actually create time for them. Weekly goals are only a week long. But it never hurts to set reminders for yourself throughout the week for those smaller daily steps. Because if you get distracted and fail to complete your goals, you made all that previous work for nothing.


    The most important step of them all is to take action. Make sure you remind yourself of your commitments. Don’t let yourself slide off the path that you have intentionally started to pave for yourself.

    Step 5: Celebrate Your Achievements

    Learn to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. This is a big part of setting weekly goals that will change your life. It creates a sense of a job well done and motivates you to create even greater weekly goals further on.

    People often forget to celebrate smaller wins and tend to focus on monthly, quarterly, or yearly achievements. But every small step that leads you towards your bigger vision is worth celebrating, even if it means sipping a freshly made smoothly on your tears for 10 minutes.

    Take a moment to acknowledge the work and the fact that you have accomplished your goal. It can be enough to feel good about your progress and motivated to continue. To motivate you further, ask yourself, “what will you do when you achieve that goal?” Or, “what will you have to do if you don’t?”

    Bonus Practice: Write down your weekly goad every single day for that week every morning. This will set your mindset into the success mode subconsciously, which will help you achieve it more effortlessly.

    If, for some reason, you haven’t achieved your weekly goals, reflect and ask yourself: “what was the biggest obstacle?” Understanding what got in your way will help you overcome these obstacles much easier in the future.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Setting Short Term Weekly Goals

    If you want to achieve professional and personal success, you need to get in the habit of setting short term weekly goals. These goals are very powerful in reminding you of the direction you want to take in your life. But despite its amazing effect on your progress, it still poses some drawbacks. We’ve rounded up the pros and cons of short term weekly goals below.

    Advantages of Short Term Goals Setting

    It Helps You Improve Your Focus

    The best thing about short term goals is it allows you to have a clear path towards achieving any long-term goal. Having a shorter action plan will help you avoid distractions, and ensure that you reach every milestone and progress mark.

    It Encourages You to Stop Procrastinating

    Procrastination is a very dangerous habit most people deal with. Unfortunately, many find themselves falling into this trap more if they focus on long term goals which can seem unmanageable at times. When you set short term goals, you can easily overcome challenges and have no room to procrastinate.

    It Builds Self-Confidence

    One of the most important benefits of short term goals is it allows you to measure your outcome. Seeing yourself succeed will help you build your self-esteem. In return, you will feel more motivated and engaged.


    It Helps You Manage Your Schedule More Effectively

    Short term weekly goals aid you to simplify your focus, and make you more productive. When you set short term goals every week, you have something to work on each day and you won’t waste time chasing things that don’t align with your goal.

    Disadvantages of Short Term Goals Setting

    It May Kill Your Creativity

    If your day is filled with to-do lists and short term goals, you will simply restrict your creative juices. This is dangerous if you have very specific goals that can limit how you do things. When setting goals, do not say goodbye to your creative control. Simply let yourself enjoy the journey until you achieve what you want to happen.

    It Makes You Feel More Pressured

    This is one of the most dangerous drawbacks of short term goals. When you have so many goals, your mind will go into fight or flight mode. Make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself and stick to realistic goals.

    It Can Make You Feel Like a Failure

    Imagine setting five short term goals for the week. Even if you accomplished four of those, it may still leave you to feel a sense of self-doubt and failure. Remember that not meeting all your short term goals is normal. If this happens, simply evaluate where you went wrong and see it as an opportunity for learning.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Setting Long Term Weekly Goals

    Become more spiritual, eat healthier, finish a large painting – whether it’s personal, artistic, financial, or related to your career, long-term weekly goals push you to your limits. Take time to learn its pros and cons below.

    Advantages of Long Term Goals Setting

    You’ll Feel Gratified

    Long-term weekly goals take time to achieve, and when you have dedicated hours of your life to these goals, you will feel happier when it comes to life. The victory you’ll feel with long-term goals is more intense compared to short term goals that only take a couple of hours to achieve.

    It Gives You Direction

    Whenever you feel unmotivated or lost, you can always remind yourself of your long term goal to get you back on track. This way, you won’t get distracted by doing things that do not align with your target.

    It Helps You Practice Self-Discipline

    There are many short-term goals involved before you tick off a long term goal. Because you can’t possibly accomplish this in one sitting, you’ll develop more discipline in managing your time and sorting your priorities.

    It’s a Good Motivator

    When you are working towards something big, you will be more motivated because you can imagine your future self becoming a better version of your current one. Visualizing yourself achieving your goal will make you feel more driven.

    Disadvantagesof Long Term Goals Setting

    It’s Easy to Get Distracted

    When you don’t break up your long term goal, you may only have a rough idea of what you want. This may set you up for distractions because the steps you need to undertake are vague.


    It May Take a White To Achieve

    While it’s completely fine to not reach your goal in the exact timeframe you imagined, this can cause a lot of people to feel unmotivated. However, remember that long term weekly goals can easily be adjusted according to your unique situation.

    It Can Stress You Out

    When you set long term goals for yourself, you may be stressed all the time until that goal is finally realized. This is because you never know what the future holds, and you may be unsure if what you’re currently doing will serve a purpose in your long term goal.

    40+ Weekly Goals Examples

    Excited to make your weekly goals but need a little bit of inspiration? Here are some weekly goal ideas you can try.

    1. Meditate for 15 minutes every day.
    2. Work out for 30 minutes per day.
    3. Immediately leave your bed when the alarm goes off.
    4. Decrease time on social media.
    5. Try a vegetarian diet for three days.
    6. Drink more water instead of soda.
    7. Take a 10-minute walk after lunch.
    8. Attend a yoga class.
    9. Journal for five minutes daily.
    10. Check up on your parents.
    11. Develop a new cookie recipe.
    12. Go to bed before 11 p.m. every night.
    13. Visit a new restaurant.
    14. Get a new planner.
    15. Sort out clothes and donate ones you don’t use anymore.
    16. Declutter your living room.
    17. Volunteer in a dog shelter.
    18. Drive to the nearest beach.
    19. Invite a friend to dinner.
    20. Learn how to cook a new dish.
    21. Have a no-spend day.
    22. Read one book per week.
    23. Get new plants for your home.
    24. Fix ratty cabinets at home.
    25. Limit consumption of alcohol to twice a week.
    26. Stop drinking coffee in the afternoon.
    27. Stretch for 10 minutes per day.
    28. Do a two-hour hike on the weekend.
    29. Try a new online course.
    30. Plan a date night with your partner.
    31. Host an online game night with your college friends.
    32. Cook for your parents.
    33. Listen more.
    34. Bring your lunch to work twice a week.
    35. Open a retirement account.
    36. Make a meal plan.
    37. Call a financial advisor.
    38. Do a spa night at home.
    39. Talk to your boss about a potential pay raise.
    40. Take your dog out for a walk every day.

    Templates You Can Use

    Planning your weekly goals can be daunting for first timers. To help make this easier for you, use a template. Thankfully, there are tons of free templates you can use online.

    This detailed template by Smart Sheets is one of our top favorites, but if you prefer to list down the goals without details, try this fun template by Printsbery.

    If you want something that can guide you through your goal getting journey better, then make use of Lifehack’s Make It Happen Handbook and Full Life Planner!

    Take Time to Make time

    Slowing down and reflecting on what has been working and what hast is a time well spent. Taking the time to reassess your goals may be the best thing you can do to be successful at achieving them week by week.

    Ensure your goals are framed in the best possible way. Put a set amount of time aside to plan your weekly goals and block that time in your calendar. You might not need all of the time you set aside, but the point is to make time to truly plan your weekly goals. This way, you will be making more time to follow your goals and will not feel stretched and pressured.

    Most and foremost it’s about making progress in the right direction. It’s not about achieving every single goal you set for yourself. It’s about continuing even if you don’t succeed at first. Every great guru and success story started with the first step.

    More Tips on How to Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via


    More by this author

    Agnese Rudzate

    Agnese is a next level success strategist.

    How to Stay on Task And Avoid Distractions How To Set Weekly Goals To Change Your Life Why You Should Stop Working Long Hours (And How To Stop It) 5 Best Daily Planner Apps To Boost Your Productivity How To Save Time And Achieve More Every Day

    Trending in Goal Getting

    1 Tap Into Success With These Long-Term Career Goals Tips 2 How to Set Goals Smartly to Accomplish More in Life 3 How To Set SMART Goals That You Will Accomplish 4 How to Get Yourself to Take Action Towards Your Goal 5 Understand the Difference Between Goals and Objectives to Advance Your Career

    Read Next


    Last Updated on November 30, 2021

    Tap Into Success With These Long-Term Career Goals Tips

    Tap Into Success With These Long-Term Career Goals Tips

    I’ve been very lucky in my career to have worked with some amazing people, people who built their careers on the back of hard work, passion, and focus. But the most successful of these people had something else. Hard work, passion, and focus were there, but to get to the very top you need more than just these things; you also need solid, long-term career goals.

    In this article, I will give you seven Long Term Career Goals Tips that you can use when goal setting to build a successful career.

    1. Know What You Want

    This one might seem obvious, but many people never take the time to think carefully about what they want to do in their career[1]. They accept jobs in industries or departments they have no interest in and soon find themselves settled into a career of misery and complaining.

    It always amazes me how people spend more time planning their annual summer holiday than they do their career.

    If you want to build success in your work, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to do and where you want to go. You need that North Star to guide you in your decisions and to keep you focused on where you are going with each stepping stone.

    Without that clarity, you will drift from one role to another, never building any momentum towards your ultimate career goal.

    2. Ask Yourself: What Skills Am I Lacking?

    When we begin our working lives, we have the academic skills but lack many practical skills.


    When you know what you want to do with your career, you can identify the skills you will need. Soft skills such as relationship building, the ability to collaborate with others, and your productivity all form part of these skills, and you need to make sure you are developing them.

    Invest in yourself, and for those skills that do not develop naturally, find courses online or some books to study. Once you have studied these skills, make sure you put them into practice through your long-term career goals. This one tip will put you ahead of 98% of your colleagues who treat their work as just a job that pays them money to live.

    3. Know That Success Leaves a Path

    I teach this one to all of my clients. In every industry, there are examples of people who started at the bottom and worked their way up to become industry leaders. Examples include Satya Nadella at Microsoft and Jony Ive at Apple. These people were not founders or entrepreneurs; they worked their way up to the top from the bottom, and left clues along the way

    Whatever company you are in, there will be people who began at the bottom and worked their way up to become leaders. What kind of role models did they have? What books did they read? What skills did they develop?

    I remember when I worked in the hotel industry. One of my mentors began as a receptionist. She rose to become the General Manager of my home city’s top hotel through having a clear goal, diligence, and always putting the guest first. She was tough but fair.

    I learnt from her that every time you come into work, the guest was always the top priority and to always be respectful of your colleagues.

    Find that one person in your industry that rose from the bottom and work out the path they took to get to where you want to be in the future. Then, map out your own path that reflects the path already taken to the top.


    4. Watercooler Gossip Will Not Help Your Career

    I know it is always tempting to be the popular one in your office, to be the one everyone wants to hang out with and the one to go to when there’s some gossip to share. However, if you want to achieve your long-term career goals, don’t get involved.

    Being the “office gossip” will sink your career faster than anything else. If you are serious about building a successful career, you do not have time to get involved in all this gossiping, complaining, and time wasting.

    You don’t have to ignore your colleagues, but never indulge them by listening to the gossip. Make your excuses and get back to work. This one tip will safeguard your career more than any other.

    5. Do Work When at Work

    Your workplace is not a social club. It is a place to do the work you were employed to do.

    Of course, being polite and friendly towards your colleagues is important, but never forget you are there to do work. Avoid getting yourself drawn into long conversations about that episode of Vikings or your local football team’s performance.

    There is a time and place for these conversations, but it is not on company time. When at work, do your work, or you’ll never be able to make progress on your long-term career goals.

    Here are some tips on how to focus on work: 15 Quick Ways To Focus on Work Easily


    6. Focus on How You Can Be Better

    One of the qualities I have seen in all successful career builders is they have a “How can I do it better?” mindset. They are always asking themselves how they can do their work better, or how could they have solved that problem better.

    It is a mindset of continuous self-improvement, and it is a practice that can catapult you to the top faster than anything else.

    Look for parts of your work that are taking too much time and figure out how to streamline. Or, identify ways you could better serve your team and begin to implement them. Any of these can serve you when you’re creating long-term career goals.

    Often, new working practices are welded on to old ones, and this leads to inefficiencies and duplication, especially if you’re in a leadership position. Find those inefficiencies and develop better ways of doing that work. This habit is always appreciated by your bosses and tells them you are serious about your work.

    7. Model Successful Behaviors

    Find the person at the top and work out how they got there. This does not necessarily mean the person at the top of your company; it means the person at the top of your industry.

    If you are an architect, find out how Sir Frank Foster built his career. If you are a writer, find out how Stephen King or Maya Angelou gained experience and built their careers.

    These people have shown you how to do it, and they left clues. Read everything you can about them, learn from them, and model their work habits.


    Modeling does not mean copying. It means taking the traits they used and adapting them to work best for you.

    My legal hero was a British lawyer, George Carmen QC. When I began my legal career, I read everything I could about George Carmen QC. I learned that the key skill that led to his success was his ability to communicate with juries. He was a brilliant communicator, and I realized the one skill I could learn that would have a huge impact on my career was the ability to communicate with people.

    While I did not ultimately follow a legal career, that skill of being good at communicating has served me well in all the industries I have worked in.

    The Bottom Line

    Whatever career path you are following, these tips will serve you well as you aim to create long-term career goals that will point you in the right direction. Creating clear short and long-term goals around the above tips will give you the advantages you need to build a wildly successful career. They are tested, they work, and all you need to do is to adapt them so they work for you.

    More Tips on Setting Career Goals

    Featured photo credit: Smart via


    Read Next