Let’s plan for battle.
In prior days, we’ve learned the importance of SMART goals and their key motivations, chunking your goals, and planning your goals for the year. Now, we want to perform one more step in planning. This is actually part of your ongoing battle to reach your goals. You need to plan your week.
Like our calendar, our days come with a natural reset. For people who work the usual business work week (Monday through Friday), the natural reset occurs Monday—or Sunday evening. For shift-workers and others like them, your reset occurs differently. We all have a weekly reset—however your work “week” is defined.
A plan for the calendar year is key to remaining on track to reach your goals. But you’ll need to think more specifically in order to ensure your progress. This is why you chunked your goals and gave them deadlines Now, you’ll need to plan each week so that every hour is booked for something.
Think of it as time budgeting. If you’re a fan of Dave Ramsey, think in terms of making your time work for you instead of you working for your time. You want each hour of your day to be planned. Here are steps to make that happen.
Identify the Chunk Deadlines for the Week
Sit down where you’re able to think without distractions. (This exercise might require 30-45 minutes at first. But with weekly practice, you should be able to do it much quicker.) List all of the deadlines for this week. You should also include other responsibilities unrelated to your goals. These are the things you need to accomplish this week.
Book the Existing Commitments for the Week
Open your preferred scheduling app like Google Calendar or Apple Calendar so that you see the entire week, hour-by-hour. Then, you want to book all of your existing commitments. These are non-discretionary activities. For instance, as of this post, my son has basketball practice on Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 (including drive time).
Book the Chunk Goals for the Week
You can now start filling in the empty time slots with your list of chunk goals. I advise you to prioritize your list so the most critical goals are first. Additionally, you should keep in mind the goals that require the most time. Then, book the most critical and time consuming goals at the beginning of the week to allow yourself sufficient time in case of unexpected interruptions. I suggest you choose only one or two chunks each day. It’s important not to book more than is possible. You can always start tomorrow’s chunk if you finish today’s early.
You are ready to attack your goals.
This schedule is now your best friend. It will tell you what you need to do each day and prevent you from being distracted (even by others) from reaching your goals. Treat it like you would a business meeting. You should rarely reschedule. When someone spontaneously wants your time, you can decide whether it’s more important than the goal you’re currently attacking.
Aside: Your spouse is always more important than you current chunk.
As a final note, there is an extra benefit that comes with an electronic calendar like those mentioned above. Not only do you have constant access, you can also set up alerts to buzz you with the next activity. This will reduce your stress level.
Next, we’ll look at some practical ways to keep you motivated while you attack your goals.