Are you setting a bunch of weekly goals at the beginning of the week but cannot see them through by Sunday? Then you may be plagued by the “Fresh Start Effect” or, as I like to call it, “the New Year’s resolutions effect.” At the beginning of a new week, we feel that past “failures” are behind us, and our motivation spikes, only to decrease by the end of it.
Maybe the criteria you use to select your goals need some trimming. This article will give you some clever weekly goal ideas and help you set the right goals for YOU. Grab a pen and paper and read along.
Gentle Reminder: We all know the influencers with fancy notebooks and expensive planners and the massive game they bring to goal setting. Of course, you don’t need a pretty piece of paper to start mapping out your goals for the week. All you need is a pen, a blank page, and your determination to make this work!
Why Set Weekly Goals?
I am very glad you asked!
When we feel motivated, we tend to dream big. But several steps separate thought from action. If you don’t shape your aspirations into something more tangible, chances are you will see no results.
Motivation is great to get you started. Unfortunately, it is fleeting… Therefore, you need a more concrete system to keep you on track when motivation won’t.
This is where weekly goals come in! By setting weekly goals, you increase your chances of achieving the things you set out to do.
When you write your goals down, you make them physical and visible. They are no longer mere thoughts, but you have made the first step toward realizing them.
You can use them to keep yourself accountable, track your process, and keep your life organized.
How To Set The Right Goals?
Are some goals right and others wrong? The answer is yes and no. Some of them are right for YOU, serve your purposes, and make your life overall easier. So, how do you set weekly goals that hit that sweet spot?
Firstly, set your intention for the week. Reflect on the higher purpose you want to serve with your actions. Your intention sets the tone for the days to come. It helps you prioritize and filter potential goals. Make sure that it is something inspiring, that engages your interest, and that you truly care for.
Before you begin penning down your goals, here are some useful tips to keep in mind:
- Find goals that resonate with you. They need to reflect your needs and personality. It is quite simple. If you don’t like your goals, chances are you will not complete them (or do so without hating your life).
- Avoid stacking too many goals in one week. If you are wired with a productivity mindset, this might be hard. But often, it is more effective to dedicate your focus to a few tasks at a time. Your work will be of higher quality, and you will be less overwhelmed.
- Be honest with what you can and cannot do. Do not underestimate your powers, but also do not overestimate them. There are other factors you need to consider when planning your weekly goals, such as your limited time, tiredness and mental state, etc.
- Show up! If there is only one piece of advice I would pick out of all these, it would be this one. You can set goals for week after week but never actually get to complete any of them. Prefer to start small and prioritize consistency rather than setting tricky goals that make you fall behind.
- Do not give up. Goal-setting is a trial-and-error process (just like most things in life). Don’t expect that you will necessarily nail the weekly goal thing from the get-go. Even if you don’t, it doesn’t mean that you never will or that it is not working for you. View it as an experiment. You can take notes of the process, reflect on what you can improve, modify things, and adjust them to you.
The Goal-Setting Theory
Now, how will you know if a goal will be efficient? Is your success in achieving a goal depending on the goal itself? Are there guidelines for goal-making? There is quite a scientific background that answers these questions.
Psychologist and researcher, Edwin A. Locke has examined goal setting for more than thirty years. His research (here, here, and here) proved that specific and challenging goals are more successful (meaning to lead to higher performance) than vague and easy ones.
In one of his works, he established five goal-setting principles that are proven to increase the chances of success. These are clarity, challenge, commitment, feedback, and task complexity.
- Clarity: Make sure your goal is not a general idea. Write down the specifics of your goal as if you were writing detailed instructions to yourself. Preferably, you can break down larger goals into smaller, clearer steps.
- Challenge: If you think a goal is easy-peasy, you will most likely lay back and disregard it. Great things happen when we operate at the edge of our comfort zone. So, make sure that your goal is not impossibly hard, just hard enough for you to roll up your sleeves.
- Commitment: Showing up for your goals is the key to success. You are more likely to keep trying for something if it aligns with you and you believe it will positively affect your life. When you feel like giving up, remind yourself why it is all worth it. Also, make it easy to stay on track by setting up reminders, writing daily planners, and holding yourself accountable to your peers.
- Feedback: You don’t need someone to tell you how well you are doing, that’s true! But you need some metrics to evaluate your progress. Break down your goals into small tasks and plan them throughout the week. Track your efficacy in achieving these milestones. By the end of the week, reflect on what worked out and what needs improving.
- Task complexity: Consider the task complexity and avoid overworking yourself. Sometimes goals are far beyond our ability to complete in a week. Break complex goals down and give yourself the appropriate time to achieve each task.
Is Your Goal SMART?
The SMART framework is a goal-setting guide widely backed up by Locke’s research. It is a compact and easy way to build weekly goals that will do the trick. SMART is an acronym that is easy to remember and follow. It stands for:
In a few words, a goal should be concrete clear, easy to track, possible for you to complete, in alignment with your intentions, and achievable in a set amount of time.
Weekly Goal Ideas
Now you have mastered the basics of successful goal-setting! Here are some weekly goal ideas to fuel your thoughts and get you started. Don’t forget to tailor these ideas according to your needs and preferences.
Weekly Intention Ideas
- Have more fun
- Be more in tune with yourself
- Get more work done
- Take care of your health
- Connect with more people
Weekly Goal Ideas For Physical Health
- Drink X glasses of water
- Eat more fruit and vegetables
- Don’t skip meals
- Take a small walk every day
- Engage in daily physical activity in a way that feels good for your body
- Sleep earlier – Wake up earlier
Weekly Goal Ideas For Mental Health
- Journal your thoughts every day
- Write down 5 things you are grateful for
- Meditate every day
- Say out loud five things you like about yourself every day
- Limit negative and judgmental self-talk
Work-Related Goal Ideas
- Meet deadlines
- Be on time every day
- Get less distracted during working hours
- Don’t neglect to take breaks
- Set boundaries in the workplace
Weekly Goal Ideas For Personal Growth
- Be kind to people around you
- Be more open-minded – Open your mind to include new narratives
- Deepen your knowledge of a subject you like either by reading, searching on the net, or watching a documentary
- Spend less time on social media
- Connect with people either by phoning them or meeting them in person
Weekly Goal Ideas To Take You Out Of Your Comfort Zone
- Try a cuisine that you have not tasted before
- Connect with people you don’t know so well
- Take yourself on a date – Go out on your own
- Take more risks
Conclusion On Weekly Goal Ideas
Setting achievable weekly goals is a great way to build a better life. It can help you stay organized, stay focused, and form habits that allow you to reach your bigger goals.
Whether your goals are related to career, relationships, health, spiritual or personal growth, or something else, weekly goals can help you stay on track and make progress.
With a little time and effort, you can start setting weekly goals that will positively impact your life and help you reach your long-term goals.