It’s fitting that January’s theme is goal setting for the blog. It’s almost like we planned it! Setting short term goals is talked about less than long term goals. They’re tougher and massive, but they’re more daunting. If we can accomplish more short term goals, we’ll be able to put our long term goals into a more realistic scope, so in this article, we’ll focus on how to best set weekly and daily goals.
Let’s start with the three criteria I use for setting weekly or daily goals:
- Be realistic
- Set a deadline
I use these in my everyday goal and task setting as it allows me to be nimble in my job and it can really make life easier when you can cut out unnecessary work.
When setting goals and tasks for the week, I’ll take time to write out what I want to accomplish and then go over each one and run them through that criteria lens. Prioritizing is also something I spend a fair amount of time on, as it will help with whether or not it’s sensible.
“Is this something I should be working on?”
“Will it solve current problems or will it solve problems that are “potential problems”?”
If the answers to those questions are anything other than yes, remove them from your list. Going down rabbit holes can be fun because they often keep your attention but you burn up so much time when you could be being more productive. Work that seems important but really just puts you behind. An example of this would be trying to solve a support issue for your customer when you should be working on their Quarterly Business Review (QBR).
Realistic goal setting sounds simple but often times it’s the hardest to accomplish because it requires you to be honest with yourself, both from a capabilities and a timing standpoint.
“Is this goal or task something that I want to get done or something that needs to get done?”
The difference between the two is a “want” is often something that will sit on your list for weeks until you forget about it and a need is something you affects your everyday life. Knowing the difference allows you to do focus set the right goals or tasks. I am guilty of thinking I can do more than I can and it always ends up causing way more stress than needed.
Setting a deadline is the most important piece to set a goal or task. If what I am attempting to do does not have an end date or time, I will keep shifting it further and further back. Especially the tasks or goals that I don’t necessarily want to do. My struggle with setting a deadline is that there is (usually) no risk in accomplishing that goal or task on time, so it’s important to find different ways to motivate yourself to hit those deadlines.
This month is largely going to be dedicated to you, but think about how you can leverage this to help customer projects as well.
Using these simple tools, you’re able to put things into motion with concrete steps. Take some time to put smaller goals in place to help build momentum toward your larger targets.