Being honest, I never really thought setting goals would work for me, as I always thought they were distant and hard to achieve, akin to News Year’s resolutions. It was only this year that I discovered the idea of setting weekly goals. This makes them much more manageable and achievable.
Now I have a dedicated notebook for my weekly goals, after they are set, I break them down each day into tasks (or mini goals if you will). I used to write these weekly goals up and then forget to look at them, realising on Friday that I had only done two things on the list. It’s so important to keep checking your goals and to do list, and if you are like me, ticking them off as you go (which is incredibly satisfying). Ticking off a whole day’s to-do list and closing the door on my home office feels like a day well spent, rather than doing half a task here and there. At the end of the month, I look back at my weekly goals and make (another) list of my achievements, as it’s easy to forget just how much work you’ve actually done. It’s important to give yourself a pat on the back from time to time!
Recently I heard a tip to set timers to work on specific projects. This means for that set time; you work solely on that task and try your best not to get distracted by unimportant emails/social media etc and put your phone in another room. This has been so helpful for me to actually get stuff done, as I am the Queen of procrastination. It’s also good to force yourself to do the things you are less interested in first, rather than doing all the little nice things that need to be done, but might not be that useful in the long run (she says, writing this blog post whilst putting off trying to understand Google Analytics).
Looking ahead, I have set myself goals for one month/three months/six months and a year and have set reminders to check in on these and see where I’m at. That’s another thing, it’s important to not be too hard on yourself if you look at your goals and realise you haven’t achieved as many as you would have liked. Now is the time to evaluate them, congratulate yourself on the ones you did achieve and look at those you didn’t and consider why. Were they too ambitious? Did you not put enough effort into certain areas? Are you lacking in certain skills which made some goals hard to achieve?
Goals also need to be flexible, there is no point rigidly sticking to your long-term goals if you find that your plans change. Being open to regularly reviewing your goals will mean you are much more likely to work towards them.
It’s hard sometimes to motivate yourself when you work alone, setting goals is a good way to give you a much-needed kick up the backside!