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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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    Agnese Rudzate

    Agnese is a next level success strategist.

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    Published on September 16, 2021

    What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

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    What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

    Ready. Set. Go. For years, this was my three-step mindset when it came to goals. I would reach for the moon and hope to land among the stars without feeling the pain of the fall. This approach was all or nothing, and as a result, I experienced loads of burnout and almost zero productivity. In short, my task list was filled with high-level intentions, but I hadn’t taken the time to create a map to reach the destinations. I was lost in the planning stages because I didn’t understand process goals or have any examples to follow.

    Since then, I’ve learned how to embrace the journey and break my outcome goals into smaller and more manageable process goals. This approach has improved my focus and reduced frustration because I’m now working towards a surefire strategy that will take me where I want to go––I’m creating a plan of action with achievable daily targets (a process goal).

    What Is a Process Goal?

    A process goal is not a destination, it’s the path you plan on taking to get there. For example, if you want to become better at writing, your process goal would be to post one blog article per week and learn from the feedback you receive. The destination is a monthly goal of 12 articles.

    This distinction is important because it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that these types of goals are not all or nothing. Think about it. You’ve heard it said: it’s not about working hard but working smart.

    Well, a process goal is an actionable target with what we call SMART criteria:

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    • Specific – The more detailed your goal, the better. For example, instead of “I want to be fit,” you would say, “I want to lose five pounds.” Make sure your goal is crystal clear.
    • Measurable – You need a way to measure progress and success, so it needs to be quantifiable. This is where you decide what “fit” actually means for you (more on this later).
    • Achievable – If your goal isn’t challenging, then it’s not going to be motivating. On the other hand, there must be a steeper mountain to climb if you want substantial results.
    • Realistic – “I want to run a marathon” is not practical for most people. Ensure you have the time, energy, and resources (e.g., training program) required to achieve your goal.
    • Time-Bound – Your goal needs an assigned deadline or it’s just a pipe dream. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but what happens when the fantasy ends?

    To summarize, these are the essential components of any process goal: specific, measurable, achievable within a certain time frame, and realistic.

    What Is a Destination Goal?

    A destination goal is a point in time when you plan to be at a particular destination. For example, if your goal is to get to represent your country at the 2025 Summer Olympics, you right need to focus on smaller increments to attain that success. On your way to that goal, you need to focus on smaller destinations. First, make the national team. Then, compete in a few events and so forth.

    If you try to make it to the Olympics from the very start without any milestones along the way, it would be too daunting. On the other hand, if you focus on each milestone as a destination goal, it will all seem possible and achievable.

    Process Goal Template

    Let’s say you want to become a better cook. Here is one way of writing the process goal: “I will save $100 per week by cooking all my meals at home for 12 weeks.” This would be your destination (monthly), and the steps required to achieve this goal (weekly) would be:

    1. Spend one hour on Sunday planning my meals for the week.
    2. Shop for groceries after work on Monday and Tuesday nights.
    3. Cook all meals at home on Wednesdays through Sundays.
    4. Pack my lunch for work on Mondays and Tuesdays.
    5. Save $100 per week in cash by cooking at home.

    This process goal will help you become a better cook by teaching you to save money through planning, shopping, cooking, packing your own lunch, and trying new recipes. It also includes a weekly reward (saving $100 in cash) that will help you stay motivated.

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    Process goals encourage you to reach your ultimate goals. When you feel like you can accomplish smaller goals along the way, you gain sustainability and confidence to move forward.

    In many ways, process goals are a lot like faith. Each accomplishment brings you closer to seeing the fullness of the life that you desire––it breaks through the fog and makes things clearer.

    What Questions Helped Me Find My Process Goals?

    After several years of setting lofty goals and becoming increasingly frustrated when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, I decided to take a closer look at my approach.

    Now, there are many ways you can do this, but here’s how I went about it. Last year, I asked myself the following questions:

    • What am I doing right now?
    • How can I get better at this?
    • Is this process goal leading me closer to my ultimate goals?

    The choices I made from the answers to these questions became my process goals. They were the driving force that kept me motivated and moving forward when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. Since then, I’ve been able to accomplish lifelong goals that I had given up on years ago. For example, I’ve been able to obtain a publishing contract, create more digital products for my business, and enjoy the moment.

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    Before I broke down my goals into smaller ones, I was struggling to just get out of bed. The thought of my endless list kept me stagnant. Now, I look forward to each morning and taking on smaller projects to reach profitable outcomes.

    What Are Some Process Goals You Can Try?

    So, now that you understand the importance of process goals, let’s get you started with some examples that you can utilize this week:

    • Sign up for a new class.
    • Complete one portion of your project by Thursday.
    • Start walking around the block instead of running a mile.
    • Improve your writing by spending 30 minutes everyday journaling.
    • Practice your interview skills.
    • Read at least one book from the library this week.
    • Do ten push-ups each day before you leave for work.

    You get the idea. These process goals don’t have to be complicated. If anything, you want to break down your plans to the point of them feeling easy or at least doable without needing a week’s vacation. By breaking your goals down into smaller pieces, you can accomplish a lot more in a shorter period. You’ll also feel more confident that you’re able to accomplish something within the moment.

    It isn’t easy to continue towards your goal if achievement feels too far away. You need to celebrate the small things and embrace the process.

    What Do You Need for Process Goals?

    Think about how much time and money you’ve spent on new clothes, books, technology, etc. Many of us want to keep up with the latest trends and purchase the best gadgets from Apple or Microsoft. But all of these extra investments come at a steep price.

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    To find your process goals, you may have to face some difficult emotions or situations bravely and confront them head-on. You might need to forgo the new outfit or the latest Mac book to meet your overall objectives.[1] Remember, process goals not only protect you from feeling overwhelmed, but they also keep you from being distracted.

    Final Thoughts

    You may feel overwhelmed at first when trying to set a process goal. Sometimes, just thinking about change triggers stress hormones, which only leads to more worries and anxious feelings. However, if you keep yourself focused and take small steps in the right direction, you’ll soon realize that goals don’t have to be complicated.

    You can achieve your process goals one day at a time, and you can start today by breaking down your larger goal into smaller steps. It doesn’t matter if the process takes a week or six months, what matters most is that you’re moving forward and doing something to make yourself better.

    Now, go on out there and achieve one of your process goals!

    Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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    Reference

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