How To Set Weekly Goals for Success
Olivia Groves •
Not only is it important to set weekly goals, but it’s also important to know exactly how to set them. There are so many different goal techniques and strategies, that it can be hard to know where to start.
But weekly goals help divide up larger, long-term goals into easily achievable, smaller chunks. Plus, setting weekly goals is also a great way to integrate good habit formation into your daily routine.
Why setting weekly goals is better than bigger goals
Every week is a new opportunity to set new goals. With weekly goals, you take a look at the coming week and identify what things you work towards each day. You can then form your action steps to help you set aside enough time to achieve them.
The reason why setting weekly goals is sometimes better than bigger goals is simple. A week is just 7 days. It’s a set amount of time. It’s 168 hours. That’s enough time to achieve a lot, but you have to be strategic on a daily basis in order to achieve goals.
Instead of a big, long-term goal which can be hard to stay motivated, weekly goals require a weekly action plan. And each day you have to make progress. For a lot of women especially, this integrates seamlessly into our daily routines and to-do lists every week. It’s a more manageable way of setting personal goals.
7 Strategies to Set Weekly Goals
When it comes to goal setting, many of us dream big. We’re focused on looking ahead to the future and the big picture of life. Even with the right goal-setting technique (and there are many), it’s a shift to think about smaller, weekly goals.
Strategy #1 - Review your daily routines
Before you make progress towards goal setting, take a look at your daily routine. This is a great first step to set weekly goals. What are things do you do on a daily basis that could change for the better? There may be certain things you’re doing every day of every week that need to change. For example, if you’re someone that has a never-ending to-do list, think about pairing it down to a set number of tasks for each day. In other words, set aside time to get your daily life in order before you begin setting weekly goals for yourself. Check out our resources on setting daily goals by morning, afternoon, and evening and establishing better daily routines.
Strategy #2 - Use your calendar, journal, planner to help
It’s helpful to have a place where you can write note about your goals. One approach is to break down your goals into three daily steps. Each goal is assigned step 1, step 2, step 3 in order to check it off as completed. Another approach is to list your goals by priority on a daily basis and use time blocking to help complete them. However you choose to do it, we recommend using your journal or weekly planner to help. It also never hurts to set reminders throughout your week on your phone or on stick notes to help you stay focused. Check out our favorite journals accessories to jazz things up!
Strategy #3 - Identify and divide goals into categories
This is a great strategy to help assign goal priority and to create an action plan. If you’re setting personal goals for the week, then think about the different areas of your life they apply to. For example, if one of your goals is to “cook three meals at home this week”, then the category of that goal may be “health and wellness”. You may also have “work out 20-minutes every evening”. That same category applies. At the end of your week, you can analyze which categories you did well in and which categories you struggled with. This is a part of personal development that goals are meant to uncover. And it’ll help with making new goals every week.
Strategy #4 - Assign goals to certain days
Since weekly goals have to be completed in 7 days, it can be helpful to assign goals to a day of the week. This can also help you stay focused on which daily goals need to be completed in order to hit your total weekly goals. Whether you want to get detailed and break each goal down into individual action steps or not, it’s up to you. But either way, it’s important to identify logical next steps to completing them. By assigning a goal to a day one week, you may notice patterns in your week. Which days are your most productive days? You can move forward into next week with these insights to help you make adjustments and get things done.
Strategy #5 - Have a weekly goal check-in with yourself
Schedule time in your week to set goals for yourself. Make this a consistent time each week. This is when you reset. You can take a look at the week’s tasks, set new weekly goals, create action steps and get your weekly planner ready to go. If you keep falling short on a particular goal, then reshape it and start fresh this week. This doesn’t have to take much time, but it’s an important weekly milestone.
Strategy #6 - Celebrate each goal completion
This may sound silly, but it’s important to celebrate when you achieve goals. Even if that means having a little mini-celebration every day! A day filled with hard work and no reward is not sustainable. It helps us feel good and validates the importance of our personal goals when we make time to recognize our accomplishments within our daily rhythm. Another idea is to set a reward for yourself if you achieve all your weekly goals. This can be incredibly motivating and helps us stop procrastinating if we know a pedicure, new pair of earrings, or a gelato treat awaits us.
Strategy #7 - Think about week-over-week scalability
This is a bigger picture strategy for when you set weekly goals. But once you get going, it may be helpful to think about how your weekly goals amount to monthly goals. And you can think about it two ways: think forward or think backward. In other words, you can think about how one goal every week adds up to accomplish a bigger goal. And you could also think about how one monthly or even yearly goal could be subtracted and broken down into smaller weekly goals. Either way, this week-over-week scalability can be a helpful tool for setting realistic goals that ultimately help you achieve a bigger goal.
Set Weekly Goals Like These Examples
Work Weekly Goal Examples
- Have a better work-life balance
- SMART goal: Sign off from work on time every evening
- Finish one business financial task (set up 401k, tidy accounting, deposit to savings)
- Read a relevant article to your industry
- Join a virtual networking group meeting
- Set a new business-focused intention for the week
Silk+Sonder's Weekly Goal Examples for Exercise
Exercise Weekly Goal Examples
- Go for a 2-mile run every morning
- Complete a 10-minute stretching session
- Wake up 30-minutes early to reset your internal clock
- Do a morning mindfulness meditation
- Invite a friend to join one workout this week
Silk+Sonder's Weekly Goal Examples for Family Life
Family Life Weekly Goal Examples
- Call a loved one this week to check-in
- Write a “just because” or note to encourage someone you care about
- Volunteer to take something off of a family member's to-do list
- Wake up 30-minutes early to prep food for kids instead of being rushed
Play a board or card game after dinner instead of TV one night this week
Silk+Sonder's Weekly Goal Examples for Nutrition
Nutrition Weekly Goal Examples
- Cook four meals at home this week
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake by 50% on weekday/weeknights
- Clean out unwanted foods and snacks from the pantry
- Donate a bag of canned goods to your local food bank
There are so many ways that setting new goals every week can help your overall personal development. It’s important to think about the right characteristics of a weekly goal for your life. The first week you’ll learn so much about what works and what doesn’t work. We hope you’ll try to set weekly goals!
Templates & Tools to Set Weekly Goals
We’ve gathered a list of some great templates and planner pages that can help you set weekly goals!
- Silk+Sonder Monthly Journals
- Onplanner.com Weekly Goal Templates
- Kara J Lovett Co's Weekly & Daily Goal Templates
- Secret Owl Society Week at a Glance Sheet
- Elle Olive & Co. Daily Planner
- Paper Trail Design Weekly Planner Pages
- Malena Haas Goal Tracker Printable
Check out our blog for more resources on goal-setting techniques and types of journaling that can help with weekly goals.