17 May The Simple System I’m Using to Set (and Achieve) My Goals
A few obstacles to goal-setting for yourself
One of my biggest struggles as an independent creative has always been setting my own professional and practical goals.
After working for 5 years at a digital company where goals were set in front of me and I went toward them, I now have the responsibility to have the clarity needed to understand what I need to do and how to do it, both on a creative, but also on a practical aspect as well.
I must admit I also get easily distracted, but I also recognize that my chaotic interest is healthy for my creativity as well.
Another silent yet deadly struggle I’ve been dealing with has been not being able to visualize my own progress, which on occasion has led me to frustration and unwanted feelings that directly hurt my own purpose of being.
I’ve experienced these situations enough to realize I needed a simple system that helped me make progress, whatever the rate is. Just something to get me in motion.
Enter Weekly Goals
Yeah, not the most original idea, but it’s certainly quite efficient.
At heart, weekly goals are a simple system I put together to set and achieve my goals in the short term, and in that way build up to bigger goals.
I have been reflecting on this concept as I was practicing it in the past few weeks, and here are some of the benefits I’ve found:
- They are easier to set. When setting a weekly goal, you will most likely think about something that’s within logic and reason. Something you can actually achieve on that week.
- They are easier to achieve. When goals are reasonable and within reach, you are highly likely to achieve them
- You are free to make anything into a weekly goal. It can be a big goal or a small goal. It can be something that nobody else is interested in, and that’s great too. The week is your oyster.
- They keep you accountable. You are responsible for them. At the end of the week, it is you who you have to answer to. You set them, you get them. All these are different ways to say the same thing.
- They can help achieve bigger goals. You can break down bigger, more long-term goals into smaller, weekly goals.
- It helps you become aware of your strengths and weaknesses. As days go by, you will inevitably encounter things you can do and things you can’t do, which in turn tell you where you have to work on or improve further. Side effect: They keep you honest and grounded.
I’ve found even more benefits that I’ll most likely leave for another post since there’s so much power to this concept alone.
How to set your weekly goals
For starters, here’s a rough template:
- Write down up to 3 goals for your week.
- Check up on them every day at the start and at the end of your day.
- Make notes and updates necessary as days go by. If you get something done, just scratch it from the list.
- At the end of the week, set about half an hour aside to check them out and review how you did. Write down your thoughts and reflections if it helps you.
- Set a new list of goals and repeat.
Here’s a sample of my goals for this week.
Other tips on how to set your weekly goals
- They can be more or they can be less than three goals. Just make sure they are reasonable to achieve.
- If you’re reading this on a Thursday, you might sneak a goal before the weekend’s over. If you’re reading this on Friday, maybe you’d like to start thinking about your goals for next week. Do as you please.
- Take it as an open system, you make whatever you want of it, make it fit your own life.
- Be flexible and welcome disruption. Stuff may happen during the week that changes your plans toward the weekly goals you’ve already set. That’s just life. Take it as an opportunity to adjust your priorities and respond to them, so you can get back to your other goals later on, or just reformulate your goals altogether.
I made a simple Notion template to help you set goals
I made this lite Notion template for weekly goals that might also help you get some clarity and ideas when it’s goal-setting time.
This one is meant to be simple, just to get you started.
If the link is not working, tweet at me or write me an email and I’ll send it over.
If you use it, let me know anything about it. Why it works for you, why it doesn’t, and what would you change.
Hope this system helps you make better decisions and take better action, wherever it finds you.