Find out the 8 Things You Need to Know to Crush Your Goals and download now this Free Weekly Planner Based on the 7 Habits to help you achieve the dream life you deserve.
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First, A Confession
I felt like a hamster in a wheel. Constantly going but not getting anywhere. On the outside, I was barely keeping up with my job, family and blog and my health was suffering for it. On the inside, I felt like I was drowning, just surviving but not thriving. In hindsight, those were some of my darkest days. Have you had them too?
I knew I needed a change and fast. I decided to pursue happiness and quit my stressful job. I read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People* by Stephen Covey during that first summer after becoming a stay-at-home-mom and it seriously changed my life.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People changed the way I approached the things that happened to me and the health of my personal and work relationships as a result. It changed how I defined my new season of life and how I managed on organizing the seemingly unending chaos going through my mind.
Among the amazing lessons I learned from The 7 Habits, there was a weekly planner template to help us achieve the 7 Habits. Being the planner nerd I am, I adapted the original template for my needs where I:
- Color-coded the roles and its associated tasks
- Added a space to track time spent in each role
- Added a Small Victories and Gratitude section to be sure I stayed focused on accomplishments made and thankfulness
- Added a section for notes for next week
8 Things You Need to Know To Crush Your Goals
So on to the good stuff…here are 8 things you need to know about yourself in order to crush your goals this year. I hope using my Free Weekly Planner Based on 7 Habits of Highly Effective People* will help you define your roles so you can crush your goals. Answer each of these questions as often as you need to and as your season of life changes. My answers today are different than they were when I first became a stay-at-home mom and as a result, my planner changes right along with it.
1. What ROLES Are You Juggling?
Think about your weekly activities and group them into the roles you play and the people you serve. Jot down a quick list of all your roles. Do NOT sell yourself short and do NOT forget about yourself and the important personal relationships you want to strengthen.
Here are some quick ideas of possible roles you might include on your list:
- Household CEO (Facilities Manager)
- Household CFO (Financial Manager)
- Spouse/Significant Other
- Business Owner
- SELF CARE! (personal growth and health)
Calculate your Mom Paycheck (and has a very detailed role list which also might be useful if you are trying to decide whether to stay home with your kids or work outside the home and pay for childcare)
Which of these roles apply to you? What roles did I forget on this list?
2. Where Do You Spend Your TIME?
Whether it is for a day a week or a month, track your time spent in your various roles. I did this for several weeks as part of Enthusiastically Dawn’s Planner Boot Camp and I could not believe the results. I made sure I was honest with myself, the results are only good if they are accurate, so yes, I even tracked when I totally goofed off.
My key takeaways for time tracking were:
- I consistently underestimated how long tasks take me to complete
- I pinpointed my time wasters (Facebook, anyone?)
- I spent a large chunk of time (20%) in my “chef” role (meal planning, cooking and various trips to the grocery store in a week).
As a result of my time tracking, I made it a goal to:
- Focus on completing one task at a time
- Streamline meal planning and make only ONE trip to the grocery store a week
- Turn off notifications from Facebook and other apps on my phone
- Devise a realistic daily routine that I can adhere to
Find resources and tools that help you streamline manual processes and refocus your time on what is more important for crushing YOUR goals. As you make changes to your routine, keep tracking your time to see if you are becoming more efficient with your time and if you need to adjust your routine.
Helpful Tip: Color coding your goal and associated tasks helps you make sure you master your desired work-life balance.
I found Plan to Eat* and it streamlined my menu planning and I can get all my weekly shopping done in one trip.
How do you spend your time? Do you want or need to spend more time in one role and less on another? How will shifting your time allocation help you CRUSH your GOALS?
3. What are your 5 KEY ROLES?
Whittle down that long list in Step 1 into 5 key roles. You can certainly have more than 5 and add them into the planner yourself. I found that 5 was my magic number, any more would be overwhelming and unrealistic to accomplish for me.
My 5 key roles are:
- Household CEO (Facilities Manager includes house cleaning and maintenance)
- Self Care (managing my Autoimmune Rheumatoid Arthritis could be a full-time job in itself)
- Blogger/Work from Home Business Owner
How many KEY ROLES do you have? What are they?
4. What are this week’s MUST DO’s?
Your scheduled appointments and must-dos go in this section first. Then you can fill in your daily routine and track how you spend your time on each role.
At the end of the week, total up the time spent in each role and write it in the “Time Spent in this Role’s Goals” space in Step 2.
5. What are your GOALS?
“Begin with the end in mind”, Dr. Covey tells us as we think about our goals. He tells us to contemplate what we would want our closest family & friends to say about us at our funeral. Jot down your big picture goals for each of the roles you defined.
I dream of being a work-at-home mom and blogger so I can be present for my kids and contribute financially again to my household. I’m greatly inspired by Ruth Soukup of Elite Blog Academy* who tells us “the reality is that big goals get big results, while small goals, get small results. What you will become is what you believe you can become, and the bigger and scarier your goal, the more chance you will have for big success.” Her motto is “Do it Scared.” And it’s simple, but true. Identify those big goals you want to go for, the ones what identify your purpose and your mission for your dream life. If you’re a blogger, this FREE Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers* will help you define your goals and priorities and eliminate your obstacles quickly.
Develop a mission statement for the year and break down your goals into manageable pieces. Craft mission statements that start with an action (create, grow, inspire, in my example below) and keep in mind why you are doing it. Taking advice from GirlXOXO’s lifehack to Look at Your Goals Everyday, I created my own desktop mission statements so that every time I open my computer I remember to stay focused on my goals.
Think about what kind of goals list motivates you and keeps you focused. Would you rather have a mega goals list and migrate to next week what does not get done? Or would you rather start with a small list you can realistically accomplish and add tasks when you get everything done? The choice is yours, do whichever will motivate you to stay focused on your goals.
6. What are your Top 5 TASKS?
What steps do you need to take to achieve your goals? What matters most to you TODAY? Now plan out your tasks on what days you hope to get which tasks done. The advantage of keeping the planner in Google Drive is that it is simple to copy and paste a task easily if you need to rearrange your schedule, if you know life gets in the way as it’s been known to do.
Helpful Tip 1: I read Getting Things Done: The Art to Stress-Free Productivity* by David Allen and it complements the 7 Habits very well giving us a comprehensive system for tracking our projects and tasks and decluttering our mind so that we can stay 100% focused at the task at hand at any point in time.
Helpful Tip 2: I’m a busy mom with 4 hungry big and little men to feed everyday. I use Plan to Eat* menu planning tool to keep all my online and hard copy recipes organized. I can save links to recipes in the tool and it is simple to then copy and paste recipe links I’m going to make into the planner.
7. What are your SMALL VICTORIES? What are you GRATEFUL for?
You might have guessed from my blog name, I think it’s important to celebrate my “small victories.” At the end of the day give yourself a gold star, a pat on the back or a high five. Note your accomplishments in this special little section.
Get in the habit of noting something you are grateful for. This will help you end your day on a positive and happy note. It has been my practice for the last 9 years to think happy thoughts before bed and it has helped me lead a happier life and get a better night’s sleep. With Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is imperative that I get enough sleep or I will be in more pain when I wake up.
8. What do I need for NEXT WEEK?
Use the Notes for Next Week section to jot down any reminders you need for next week. Things you did not get done, appointments you scheduled or need to schedule or things you need to buy. Jot it down so you remember to tackle it when planning out your next week.
Pinpointing your roles and mission, tracking your time, narrowing down your tasks into manageable pieces and decluttering your mind to give you focus on the task at hand will all help you crush your goals this year.
Buy the Book or Listen to the 7 Habits Audiobook with a Free Audible Trial
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People* is one of those books you need to buy and reread as your life changes. Whether dealing with difficult people at work or in your personal life, deciding whether to stay at home with your kids or starting a new business, the lessons learned from the 7 habits change as your life changes. I cannot recommend this book enough and wrote a full review here.
I really enjoy listening to audiobooks on a long commute, while I’m doing more mundane tasks around the house or office or when I exercise. It helps me feel more productive to accomplish my goals. You can try a Free 30-Day Trial of Audible and Get 2 Free Audiobooks* so what have you got to lose? Give the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People* or the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens* a listen and see how it can help you or your teen achieve your goals!
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What does being an “effective person” mean to you? How do you want to be remembered? Being intentional with your weekly tasks and big picture goals will help you achieve your dreams and fulfill the purpose you have for your life. This free weekly planner based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People can help you accomplish your goals and live a more intentional and grateful life full of small victories.
What is your preferred planning tool? What roles do you play in your household? What are some of your goals you’ve been wanting to accomplish? I hope this tool helps you, let me know if there are any items you think I should add/adjust. I’d love to hear your feedback!