We have all heard about the importance of setting goals, of working towards a goal, why goals are important, etc. So I am not going to give you a list of why you need to set goals. Basically, it’s important to set goals so you can know where you are headed. For example, my goal is to hit a certain weight so I know that I have to exercise, eat right and take care of my body. Those things are like a plan that I have to reach my goal. Another example can be to finish reading 5 books by the end of the month so I know I have to plan how many hours a day I will dedicate to each of the books and mark where to stop every day or every week.
With that being said, let’s dive into today’s post – how I use it in my life. Ok, setting goals is great right? Yes of course. But how exactly do I work with that? Easy – I set goals on a regular basis. This is not a “New-Year Resolution” type of deal. No, this is something I work on a regular basis. I set goals yearly, monthly, weekly and sometimes even daily (I do this most often when I’m at work).
Setting Yearly Goals:
At the beginning of each year, I write down a series of goals I want to achieve throughout the year. I divide them into categories and I set a timeline for them. For example, I will say that by summertime I will lose 20 pounds or that I will host Thanksgiving dinner this year (I never end up doing it but it keeps coming back every year). My goal of losing weight will go into my “physical wellbeing” category (or any other name I give it) and the Thanksgiving Dinner will go into a “social activities” category. This will give me an overall view of what I want to accomplish this year and gives me a large-scale perspective of how I will work on them so come December I will be happy (crossing fingers right here) that I was able to check them off.
Setting Monthly Goals:
Now that I have a clear view of what I want to accomplish during the year, I want to go and set monthly goals so I make sure that I’m constantly and actively working on my goals. I will, of course, revise my goals every single month. At the beginning of each month, I will sit down and review what I want to do, what I have done already, and how I plan on working towards my goals during that particular month.
I will not start planning the Thanksgiving menu in January or February. I will revise that later in the year. However, I will plan on what exercise routines I will follow and I will make a meal plan for the month. Setting goals on a monthly basis helps me break down those big yearly goals into more doable ones. Also, it’s good to include check-up days to follow up on what goals I started out with and see how I’m doing or if I need to adjust something.
This month (it’s August) I have three personal goals:
1. Get a blog post up regularly and by regularly I mean at least 3 times a week – wish me luck!
2. Start an exercise routine again
3. Follow Samantha March self-care challenge to take care of myself – you can check out her YouTube video here where she explains what the challenge is all about and you can also follow her on Instagram here.
I have other goals that I’m working on in other aspects of my life but I wanted to share these ones for this post.
Setting Weekly Goals:
Now that I have my monthly goals and I know what I want to work on I will set weekly goals. These are more like a game plan on how I will achieve my monthly goals. When I am setting my weekly goals I will have my calendar in front of me and I will list the things I want to get done each week. For example, each week my goal is to have at least 3 posts on my blog. So I will plan on what I’m going to be working on each week to be able to accomplish that. At the end of the week, I will revise if I was able to do that or not. I will also ask myself questions like “Did this week’s plan work for me?” “Did I struggle with time management?” “Can I change plans for next week to make it work better?”
This way I switch things up every week if I need to so I can make sure I am actively working toward my goals. Every two weeks or so I will throw a “follow-up day” where I can sit down and evaluate where I’m standing, what adjustments I need to make, and see if my goals are realistic or not. It’s ok if I don’t reach 100% of my goals on the first try but I will get to that later.
Setting Daily Goals:
I use daily goals mainly for my job and my books. Every day at work I want to work on a certain amount of tasks and at the end of the day I go back and check what I did and whether I have to re-organize workday or not. One of my goals for the year is to read at least 20 books (ok maybe that’s too little but I don’t want to fail miserably ok?). I know that I have to read 1.5 books a month to reach my yearly goal. Each month I take a look at the books I signed up to read (book clubs and buddy reads on IG) and on my daily goals, I include how many pages or chapters I have to read on each book so I can achieve that monthly goal.
So you see, these daily goals are more like the little things I’m doing every day that will help me achieve my weekly and monthly goals and consequently, my yearly goals. I see them as my “game plan” and they help me so much, especially because I have two kids that need momma’s attention. Setting daily goals is really planning my day and having a plan for the day keeps me sane, keeps me focused and helps me with my anxiety like you have no idea!
Is it really ok if I don’t check off all my goals?
Yes, it is! Of course, it is ok! If I say it’s not then I will go crazy. Seriously, I can’t put that kind of pressure on me and neither should you. What if you decided to go out with friends one night or a getaway for the weekend and didn’t finish that book like you planned to? What if you got sick and couldn’t work out as much? Is that really bad? I don’t think so! Its part of life and life is worth living for so it’s ok! Trust me on this one and you will be much happier. At least I know I am because I’m enjoying myself, I’m enjoying the ride and I am trying and working on my goals.
I got a little behind, so what? I can plan for next week and catch up or do a better job in planning. Or maybe I really need to revisit my goals and see if they were realistic in the first place. I’m going to give you an example here: This month I want to finish reading The Count of Monte Cristo – it’s a huge book alright! Let’s say I also wanted to read War and Peace (because I really wanted to IRL). I also have three other books I want to finish by the end of the month. That is a lot! By the end of the first week, I will most likely realize that it’s too much and I won’t be able to either finish all of them or enjoy them because I’ll be rushing. So it’s time to realize my goal was not very realistic for me and I’ll have to give something up.
To wrap it all up…
So you see, all my kinds of planning are really helping me to keep a balance on everything that I’m doing in my life. I have a job, a house to run, two kids and a husband that need attention, two pets, family and friends I like to spend my time with, books to read, places to go, recipes to try. I have a lot going on and I like it, but if I want to keep all of that I need to set goals. And goals won’t achieve themselves; I need to plan and organize my time so I can check them off my list.
Another thing I want to add is that I’m not perfect at planning. Sometimes I don’t do it as consistently as other times and sometimes I don’t have a lot of goals. There will be months where I have more things to get done and there are other months when I take it easy and “relax” more. Whatever I do, I try to keep a balance so I don’t throw my own mental health off-balance and I keep myself happy and on-track.
Are you in the habit of planning? How often do you do it? I would love to read your comments and thoughts so please share! I also hope you enjoyed this post.