Many productivity experts talk about the importance of a weekly review and I agree, I do one myself. But most of these reviews consist of looking at a long list of areas you may need to work on, or a “triggers list.” You take this list and run through it to make sure you don’t miss anything. But I want a weekly review with a bigger perspective, a more long-term focus.
The LifeMap weekly review has a different focus. While doing the weekly review is still very important, with the Week-At-A-Glance or WAAG review you begin to move the focus more toward your goals and what you plan to do each week toward those goals. These are the roads to your LifeMap and a changed life. Check it out.
Completing Goals Using WAAG
Week-At-A-Glance or a WAAG is designed to help you move through your goals and tasks every week. Using a Week-At-A-Glance approach will help you to put order and timelines to accomplishing your goals.This allows you to keep your tasks organized and at the forefront of your week. The WAAG can be done on paper or digitally (using a to-do application), whichever works for you. Click this link for a PDF of the WAAG template.
There are three parts to a WAAG: the Critical Areas you are working on, the specific SMART Goal(s) you are focused on, and the tasks associated with these goals for the week. Using this method allows you to stay focused and put your SMART goals into action every week.
Steps to Completing a WAAG
Pick at least 3 goals to focus on for the week and/or consecutive weeks. If you are using the LifeMap SMART Goal approach or are just starting with weekly goal planning, first work on a couple goals that will be easy to accomplish and one goal that may be a bit more challenging.
Write out your goals and tasks on the WAAG template or you can do this digitally by adding your goal to a to-do application in a list or project or folder (whatever is the proper term for your application) and then add the appropriate tasks.
Add date and/or time requirements to the goals and tasks, as needed. This creates a sense of urgency and some personal accountability.
Schedule your next week’s WAAG planning session and start tackling your tasks.
Two Different Types of Goals
It takes about 10-30 minutes to plan a WAAG and as you repeatedly complete the process you will get faster. Like the examples below you will discover some of your goals will have a project feel to them and you will tackle one task then the next and the next etc., with each task being different and leading to a goal completion date. Other times, though, you will find the goals are longer term and have a repetitive nature to them.
When the goal has a repetitive nature to complete it, the goal still needs to be SMART, but will be more habits/routines as compared to a goal that has a clear end point. The two examples below illustrate this difference.
Whether the goal is more of a project or repetitive in nature, the tasks need to fit within the SMART goals context and be on your WAAG. This system is very effective and allows you to tackle the challenge of your goals one week at a time. You can of course plan out further, but this is a great starting point.
Short Term Goals
Physical Goal: Lose Weight
S: Lose 20 lbs
M: Go from 203 to 183 lbs, losing 1 pound per week.
A: John will work out with me 1x per week on Mondays and check in on me weekly.
R: Weight loss of at least one pound per week.
T: Lose the weight in 20 weeks at a pace of 1 pound per week.
Immediate Next Step:
Call “Club Fitness” and join today.
Add the tasks below to this SMART goal and its value and the likelihood of accomplishing the goal greatly increases. Without actionable items, any goal you set will be useless.
Tasks to add to your WAAG (or to-do list):
- Join “Club Fitness” today after work
- Pay for a personal trainer today to train with 1x per week for 10 weeks
- Workout with John 1x per week (Wednesdays) for 10 weeks.
- Call John to set up the plan for this Friday.
- Lift weights 3x per week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday)
- Eat 5-6 small meals per day.
- Eat out only 1x per week.
- Eat dessert only when you go out.
- Run/walk 1x per week for 1-2 miles.
As the weight comes off or if it doesn’t, you would continue to create tasks to fit your weight loss goal. Each of these tasks – if I was doing this – would go into my Wunderlist account for tracking and into Google Calendar to remind me of my appointments. Anything that I could take care of in 2-minutes or less on this list I would do right away, as well.
The next sample goal focuses on goals that are more continuous. These goals don’t necessarily have a due date to them, but they still will need to have a time element and be measurable. In other words, they will still need to be SMART goals.
Spiritual Goal: Read and Pray More
S – Read and pray every morning
M – Journal on some mornings about what God has taught me. Doing this specifically on every Saturday (start a google doc for the specific chapter/book I’m reading).
A – Setup accountability with Kari and Walter, and create a daily alarm on phone at 6:30 am.
R – Daily write a simple way to apply what I read and/or prayed about.
T – Pray for 10 minutes and read for 10 minutes
Immediate Next Step:
Set an alarm on my phone for 6:30 am for every day.
Tasks to add to my WAAG (or to-do list):
- Set my 6:30 am phone alarm.
- Talk to Kari and Walter about accountability tomorrow.
- Download a Bible application to get daily emailed scriptures.
- Buy a notebook on Wednesday to write down what I can apply to my life.
Just like the previous example, the tasks would go into my Wunderlist application, or on my WAAG, or I would do them immediately, if possible. If you are not careful, you can get lost in the smallest of details or you can let the smallest of details work for you. Choose carefully what tasks you need to record and track and which ones come naturally and don’t need to be documented. You will learn a lot about your habits and tendencies as you do this and can adjust accordingly.
When you create SMART Goals and weekly plans for these goals using a WAAG, you push your planning and accomplishments to a new level. Start by downloading the template today!