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On Sunday afternoons, I spend about 30 minutes planning my week. I set goals, create to-do lists and compare those plans with my long-term goals.
This simple exercise helps me ensure that I’m spending my time on what matters most from a big picture perspective, and it also prevents me from getting distracted.
In many ways, the process of goal-setting is also a process of boundary setting. How we spend our time is a reflection our priorities, values and desires. And when we determine how we’ll spend our time in advance, we are less susceptible to saying “yes” to things that keep us from achieving our goals.
Another benefit of weekly goal-setting is that it allows us to schedule our self-care activities in advance. Walks, yoga classes or other health-promoting practices can be strategically placed throughout the busy week. For example, if you anticipate one of your meetings being particularly stressful, you might go to bed early the night before or block some time to get a massage later that day. Likewise, if you know you’ll be working late one evening, you can plan a simpler home-cooked meal or go out to dinner.
Weekly goals also help us achieve smaller goals as we work toward the bigger ones. We build confidence as we see the results of our efforts. And that can be motivating!
How do you prepare for the week ahead?