The most important hour of my week


I used to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. No direction, no goals, just going where the wind blew me. That worked for a while until I wanted more from my life.

I don’t remember exactly when I started setting goals, but it was around the time I became a Lululemon ambassador. Goal-setting is a big part of their culture, and part of the process of becoming an ambassador was to set 1, 5 and 10-year goals.

Envisioning a brighter future ignited something in me. I was enamoured with goal-setting and started doing it religiously. But I quickly learned that without a structure and a plan to carry out my dreams they would stay just that, a dream.

SMART goals are specific, measurable and time-bound. Without a deadline, goals can take an eternity to achieve. But once we put a “by when” on our dreams, we get to work on a plan to reach them.

But a plan is not enough. I’ve sketched many plans for goals that never came into fruition because I didn’t schedule them into my calendar. And that’s where the most important hour of my week comes in.

Every Sunday, usually at my favorite tea shop, I sit down with my laptop, my journal, and an almond milk matcha latte and settle in for my weekly review and planning session. This weekly ritual is what I attribute my productivity and ability to manifest my goals. It allows me to:

  • Make time for what matters most so I’m in integrity with my values and goals

  • Get the important things done so I feel accomplished and confident

  • Ensure that all the “boxes” get checked for healthy balance in my life

Part 1 is a review process which is a valuable time for me to reflect on the previous week and celebrate the wins, acknowledge the losses, assimilate the lessons learned and appreciate the gifts and people I’m grateful for. I can then see where I stand in terms of my goals and determine where I need to put my attention on next. Then, part 2 is when I plan the week ahead.

In part 2 I review my quarterly goals, deadlines, events and reconcile everything in my calendar. I schedule specific to-do’s on specific days so that I know exactly what to work on each day. Once I’ve done this, I know I’ve set myself up for success for the week ahead.

I challenge you to create your own weekly review and planning ritual. As they say: “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Steal my weekly review and planning template below:

Part 1 — The Review

  • Wins

  • Losses

  • Lessons learned

  • Fixes from last week

  • What I’m grateful for

Rate myself:

Did I do my best to:

  • Set clear goals?

  • Make progress for achieving my goals?

  • Find meaning?

  • Be happy?

  • Build positive relationships?

  • Be fully engaged?

Part 2: Planning

  • Review quarterly goals + deadlines

  • Establish the 3 M.I.T.’s (most important tasks) for the week

  • Schedule M.I.T.’s and to-do’s in calendar (no more than 4 per day)

  • Plan dinners for Monday — Friday

  • Special events

  • People to contact

  • Skills to develop

*I do this all in my journal first where there’s no distractions from the internet and then I put it all in my google calendar and weekly plan google doc.

And there you have it. My not-so-secret formula for success 😉 Use it and watch your life take off 🚀

Bonus: Download my productivity tip sheet with my top 5 tips to create time for what’s most important. Stop being busy and get more done in less time.

Dana SkoglundComment