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.
Table of Contents
- Why Is It Important to Set Weekly Goals?
- How to Set Weekly Goals
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Setting Short Term Weekly Goals
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Setting Long Term Weekly Goals
- 40+ Weekly Goals Examples
- Templates You Can Use
- Take Time to Make time
Why Is It Important to Set Weekly Goals?
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.
How to Set Weekly Goals
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.
- Meditate for 15 minutes every day.
- Work out for 30 minutes per day.
- Immediately leave your bed when the alarm goes off.
- Decrease time on social media.
- Try a vegetarian diet for three days.
- Drink more water instead of soda.
- Take a 10-minute walk after lunch.
- Attend a yoga class.
- Journal for five minutes daily.
- Check up on your parents.
- Develop a new cookie recipe.
- Go to bed before 11 p.m. every night.
- Visit a new restaurant.
- Get a new planner.
- Sort out clothes and donate ones you don’t use anymore.
- Declutter your living room.
- Volunteer in a dog shelter.
- Drive to the nearest beach.
- Invite a friend to dinner.
- Learn how to cook a new dish.
- Have a no-spend day.
- Read one book per week.
- Get new plants for your home.
- Fix ratty cabinets at home.
- Limit consumption of alcohol to twice a week.
- Stop drinking coffee in the afternoon.
- Stretch for 10 minutes per day.
- Do a two-hour hike on the weekend.
- Try a new online course.
- Plan a date night with your partner.
- Host an online game night with your college friends.
- Cook for your parents.
- Listen more.
- Bring your lunch to work twice a week.
- Open a retirement account.
- Make a meal plan.
- Call a financial advisor.
- Do a spa night at home.
- Talk to your boss about a potential pay raise.
- 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.
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.
Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com