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Last Updated on August 27, 2021

How To Set Weekly Goals To Change Your Life

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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.

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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.

    Attention:

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 unsplash.com

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    More by this author

    Agnese Rudzate

    Agnese is a next level success strategist.

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    Last Updated on September 27, 2021

    8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

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    8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

    The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

    Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

    Thus, this article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question — why is goal setting important?

    1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

    It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

    But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

    Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

    Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

    “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

    And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

    Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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    So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

    2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

    Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

    You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

    Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

    Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

    So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

    3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

    A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

    But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

    Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

    Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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    So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

    4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

    This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

    Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

    What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

    This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

    If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

    So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

    5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

    This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

    What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

    The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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    Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

    So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

    6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

    Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

    For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

    A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

    Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

    So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

    7. Goals Make You Feel Good

    Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

    Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

    Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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    If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

    So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

    8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

    I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

    Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

    Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

    There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

    Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

    So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

    If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

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    Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

    More Tips About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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