Have I mentioned I’m a goal setter and planner addict?  No? Are you sure?? 100%. Without a doubt.

It all comes from my love of setting goals. Putting my goals into my planner and getting them done feels great. I love having my schedule laid out ahead of me so there’s no question what I have to do any given day. Being organized keeps me sane (for the most part.) 

When Goal Setting Wasn’t Part of My Life

When I think back to the days I didn’t write down my goals and use a planner, I have no idea how I survived. Truth is, I didn’t do anything effectively. I was completely overwhelmed by a chaotic schedule and time-sucking habits. Agreeing to volunteer my time even though I didn’t have a lot of extra time to volunteer left me burnt out. I had people in my life that took my time without adding any value to my life. When I discovered goal setting, it saved my life AND my time!

Setting Yearly Goals

When I decided to get serious about how I spent my time, I sat down and mapped out my yearly goals. Now, these are not New Year’s resolutions. I don’t do resolutions. You can tweak, redirect, and change goals if need be.  Resolutions are over once you deviate at all from the process. While New Year’s resolutions require you to meet goals every week or every day even, yearly goals don’t necessarily have deadlines because you have a year to complete them. 

Let’s say one of your goals is to take five kayak trips to new places. Depending on where you live, you may have a shorter window to accomplish that goal (winter in Wisconsin is NOT the best time to kayak). You don’t want to rush to five new places just to get it done and not be able to enjoy the trip. Instead, plan a kayak trip once a month from May to September. Much more manageable, right?  

Tip: I used to put Post-it Notes in my planner but now I write with erasable ink in different colors to code my plans/goals/etc. It’s what works for me! However, you choose to do it, what’s important is you put the kayak trip in your planner each month. Plan it! Do it! 

Break your yearly goals into manageable steps. I recommend you plan monthly goals to keep you on track for your yearly goals. As you can see with the example above, planning one kayak trip per month would help you achieve your goal of five kayak trips in the next year.

Setting Monthly Goals

You can also have monthly goals that have nothing to do with your yearly ones. One example would be to reorganize the garage. Maybe the first few months of the year left your garage a mess and now you want to reorganize it. This would be a great monthly goal. You can break this goal down further into weekly steps. The first weekend you can get rid of anything you don’t need anymore. During the second weekend, you can move everything back to where it belongs. On the third weekend, you can sweep and clean up whatever is left. Put a check by it, it’s done! 

Setting Weekly Goals

Next focus on your weekly goals. These usually change the most if not constantly.  Not only do weekly goals help you achieve monthly and yearly goals, but they also help with the little things that come up. A great example would be to clean expired food from the refrigerator. It’s something you can do in an hour and then it’s done! I love working with my weekly goals for that reason – they are quick to accomplish and make you feel good you got something done. 

Some goals are super important and need to be done in a timely manner, and others are can be moved to the following week if needed.  You can color-code based on importance. Then, put the more important goals on days you know you can get them done.  

Tip: I do my goal-setting every Friday so I know exactly what my week entails. This also means that I can enjoy my weekend and not worry about the coming week because it’s already scheduled. There are no unknowns! Sunday evening, I review one last time to start my week out the right way.

Setting Daily Goals

Yep, you guessed it: daily goals. Daily goals are the last goals I plan for myself. To set daily goals, I schedule everything I need to get done that day.  

Significant tip: I leave time open for a buffer in case something takes longer, or a fire comes up I need to take care of. 

I always schedule one hour of my day just for me. No interruptions. My Me Time is no longer an option – it’s a must!  If I don’t need to utilize the buffer time, I can end my day sooner, start another project early or take some extra time at lunch.  It’s your schedule! You get to do it your way. 

Once you write down your goals in addition to any appointments and duties, you will have a better sense of what you can add to your plate. Some days it won’t be anything and that’s okay. Say no. You have my permission! You can always change things around if you need to. Remember, you color-coded weekly goals that could be pushed back a week. It’s your schedule! 


Goal Setting Changed My Life

This has been a complete game-changer for me. Now I get things done. Knowing my schedule makes it easier for me to say no, to preserve my time. I am less likely to burn out or get completely overwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, it still happens from time to time, but it’s more manageable when it does. 

I’d love to hear how you write down your goals and if my techniques work for you! 

Live life on your terms!