If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you know that I’m a big fan of goal-setting. You also know that, for years, I’ve shared my weekly goals here and the progress I make each week. If so, you may have noticed that I stopped sharing weekly goals in March (here’s my last weekly goals post from the year, as far I could find from searching).
This wasn’t a big intentional or strategic move. It honestly just sort of happened. We said yes to fostering Baby D and my book launched that same week and I was living in survival mode for a good month as a result of those two things.
In the process, I took a break from setting goals… and then never got back to it!
As I was reflecting on 2021 and what worked and what didn’t work, I realized that not setting weekly goals from April through December definitely impacted my life in four specific ways:
1. I Wasn’t as Focused
Setting weekly goals keeps me focused on what’s important or what I want to prioritize that week. It’s also so good to sit down and review the week prior and make tweaks for the upcoming week. By not doing this, I felt like I just floundered some — without even being aware of it!
2. I Wasn’t as Motivated
It’s amazing how highly motivational goal-setting is for me! Now, let me be clear: I think there are seasons where you should pare down and simplify. For instance, I don’t think you should do much goal-setting when you’re in the midst of a big life chance (such as a move, a job change, having a baby, or bringing a new child into your home through foster care or adoption).
But, after the dust had settled and we had gotten into a good rhythm with Baby D, I never went back to weekly goal-setting. And I look back on this past year and see where it affected my motivation and productivity.
3. I Read Fewer Books
For sure, one of the reasons I read fewer books in 2021 was the result of not setting simple reading goals each week. I felt like I also started so many different books and struggled to finish them — and I think this was, in part, due to not having some specific goals set for reading.
(By the way, I did end up reading 50 books in 2021… but that’s significantly down from the past few years. And yes, stay tuned, because I have a post coming with my favorite reads from 2021!)
4. I Forgot About My 2021 Goals
Okay, so this is really embarrassing, but one of the biggest ways not setting weekly goals impacted my life is that I completely forgot that I actually had created a list of goals for 2021!!! For some reason, I went throughout the second half of this year thinking I hadn’t really set goals for 2021 other than launching my new book and coming up with the topic for my next book.
I was searching on my blog for something the other day and came across the post I had put together with my 2021 goals and my jaw dropped. I totally didn’t even remember about this post! This goes to show how the weekly practice of setting weekly goals and being reminded of your yearly goals and working on chipping away at those with your weekly goals really makes a difference! If anything, at least it means you actually remember that you set yearly goals!!
So there you have it. The surprising — or maybe not-so-surprising? — lessons learned from not setting weekly goals for 75% of a year! While it was totally unintentional, it was a great experiment and I’m so happy to know better what works for me and for my personality. And I’m really excited to be back to setting simple goals for each week!
Coming soon: My Goals for 2022