7 doesn’t sound like a big number.
It’s only 7. Not 23. Not 54.
How much do you get done in a week—7 days?
Your answer is probably ‘not much’.
Days pass you by so quickly. Weeks go by without you realizing it.
You wait for the weekend to come, then it’s over, so you wait for the next. All that happens in between is a filler.
You lie your head on your pillow Friday night and realize you didn’t make any progress that week. You barely even started the project you said you would last month. You haven’t exercised for two weeks (or was it three?). Those tasks you wanted to finish but kept putting off are still on your to-do list.
You sigh, turn in your bed, and decide to do better the next week.
You already know how the next week goes…
Once again, you make negligible progress, and the cycle repeats.
Why does this happen despite your honest intentions to make the next week more productive?
You haven’t set weekly goals.
You head in the direction of your goals, but your progress is minuscule. You have no one to report to at the end of the week, so nothing is keeping you accountable.
Weekly goals combine the pull of goals and the urgency of deadlines into a motivating force.
Let’s look at what weekly goals are, how to set them, and examples of good personal and professional weekly goals to set for yourself.
What Are Weekly Goals and Why You Need Them
Weekly goals are mini goals that give you direction for the week. At the beginning of the week, you decide that by the end of it you will have done X, Y, and Z.
Weekly goals are flexible aims to work toward. They aren’t the same as your weekly schedule or routine. They are commitments to yourself to have your side hustle project done by the end of the week or to have left your comfort zone three times by next Monday.
These goals aren’t major accomplishments, but they take you closer to your long-term goals, nonetheless. They aren’t small steps, either. Your weekly goals produce substantial progress toward your goal.
At the end of the week, you should be able to say that you did your best.
Here’s an example:
I have a weekly goal of writing 2 posts per week. I set up a system to guarantee it happens. At the end of the week, if I don’t have two new posts scheduled, I’m disappointed.
I know I can write 2 posts a week, so I review my week, see when I slacked off, and what I can do better.
Most weeks, I do write those two posts. At the end of the week, I’m rewarded with a sense of achievement for completing my modest goals.
Weekly goals are important. They ensure that you make mentionable progress every single week instead of cramming everything into the few days before your deadline. Fail to complete your weekly goal and suffer the soul-crushing disappointment of letting yourself down.
That leads us to the next benefit:
Weekly goals give you weekly feedback on how you’re doing.
We can spend months working on something only to realize that we weren’t doing the right things or weren’t working hard enough.
With weekly goals, you get a progress report at the end of each week. If you slacked off, you’ll answer for it Sunday night.
How To Set Weekly Goals For Recurrent Success
The statement, “I will have made $500 by Sunday”, doesn’t qualify as a good weekly goal. Weekly goals are carefully crafted guides to progress. Take the time to set your goals right.
Here’s how to do that:
1. Pick a Day and Time to Set and Review Your Weekly Goals
You could write down your weekly goals right after reading this post. These goals will make next week incredibly productive, but the week after things will fall apart because you didn’t add this habit to your weekly routine.
Setting and reviewing your weekly goals should be a weekly habit. Choose a time at the beginning or end of each week when you have an hour to spare.
I like setting my weekly goals every Sunday night, so I have a vision when I start work on Monday. It may be different for you. You may want to set your weekly goals Monday morning when the kids are at school or Friday evening when the past week is still fresh in your mind.
Pick a time and stick to it. Setting a time to perform your new habit is key to making it stick. (Set a reminder on your calendar app.)
2. Break Your Long-Term Goals into Actions
What goal or goals are you striving to achieve?
What tasks need to be completed to attain your success?
Take your long-term goals and break them down into actions that you can do weekly.
Writing blog posts is a small part of my bigger goal to grow Shut Up and Achieve. (Help me out by sharing this post.) Other parts include writing newsletters, creating great products, and interacting with you—my readers.
These are all repetitive tasks I do weekly. Yet, other goals can be broken down, too. A goal to renovate your house is composed of move furniture out of the living room, choose paint colors, and go carpet shopping.
These steps can then be converted into weekly goals.
3. Ascertain How Much You Can Do in a Week
Weekly goals need to hit a sweet spot.
You don’t want them to be so extensive that you become overwhelmed. At the same time, you don’t want them to be insubstantial to the point where you can disregard them or postpone them until the last moment.
Finding this sweet spot requires trial and error. Now, just guess how much progress you can make in a week.
You may be able to come up with a 5,000-word proposal in a week. Maybe you can only fit 5 hours of writing into your already-crammed schedule.
Make next week an experiment where you do your absolute best and see how much you can get done. Use that as a reference point. Test different goals and see what works for you.
4. Set Your Weekly Goals
Now, it’s time to craft your weekly goals.
You know the tasks that need done and how many of them you can do each week.
Your goal should be actionable and measurable.
Researching side hustle ideas isn’t a good weekly goal. Researching is an action, but it’s not measurable. You can spend 2 minutes researching and pat yourself on the back.
A better goal would be to have chosen a side hustle to pursue by the end of the week.
In addition to your goal, you should also have a vague idea of how you’re going to achieve it, else you may put it off to the last minute.
One of my weekly goals is to write two posts a week. To do that, I need to outline the posts on Monday, write on Tuesday and Wednesday, and so on.
Say your goal is to spend less than $300 eating out. How will you do that? Will you limit your takeouts to 2 nights a week or will you eat at cheap restaurants?
5. Review Your Progress, Improve Your Goals, and Repeat
At the end of each week, reflect on what you did this week and whether you achieved your goals.
Assess what worked and what didn’t. If you achieved your goals, reflect on how you did it and what issues you faced. If you didn’t, analyze what went wrong and how you can do better moving forward.
Then, set your goals for the next week. Set them higher for a new challenge or lower if your previous goals were too stressful. Keep tweaking until you find the weekly goal sweet spot.
Keep track of your progress and visualize your success with these tracking templates!
The Habit Tracker 2.0 and Goal Tracker 2.0 are tracking spreadsheets that make tracking your habits and planning your goals a breeze.
With their colorful charts and useful insights, you can see your progress at a glance.
Good Weekly Goals to Set for Yourself
- Exercise for 20 minutes 3 times a week
- Reach one of your goal’s milestones.
- Wake up 30 minutes earlier 5 days this week.
- Drink two 32-oz bottles of water every day.
- Be mindful the majority of the day 3 times this week.
- Spend less than $XXX.
- Do all your work at least 2 days before the deadlines.
- Clear your inbox by 9 pm every day this week.
- Read 5 chapters of a book.
- Connect with 2 friends through a text or phone call.
- Escape your comfort zone 4 times.
- Cook at home 5 days or meal prep 5 meals.
- Spend 8 hours without your phone.
- Have at least 2 quality conversations with your partner without distractions.
- Sign up for an online course and work on it twice each week.
What weekly goals will you set this week? How will they bring you closer to your long-term goals? Let me know in the comments below!