Conquering the Creative Work-Life Balance: Goal-Setting Step 4 (Scheduling Your Goals)

Wanna know a little secret about today’s topic? Yes? No? Well, I’m gonna tell you anyway. IT’S A TWO-PARTER! Yes, I can feel it in my bones. I’m predicting that there’s going to be way too much information to squeeze into one Tuesday blog post, so I’m opening up the flood gates and letting some of the rushing water pour out today and some more the next time.

So, no use in delaying the inevitable. Let’s get going on SCHEDULES in goal setting.

In step 3, we marched to the beat of SMART goaling, or at least, we were supposed to. We were to take our “basic” goals from brainstorming and list-making/sorting and add details, making them:

  1. (Specific) – where the goal has a clearly defined expectation that is communicated,
  2. (Measurable) – where the goal can be observed or compared and therefore assigned a number, value, amount, or estimation,
  3. A (Achievable) – where the goal is challenging yet attainable, where the necessary resources are accessible,
  4. R (Realistic) – where the goal has a relatable purpose and meaning to the desired outcome, and
  5. (Timely) – where the goal has a certain timeframe for completion or a deadline attached to it.

Yes, we were to make them SMART!

And we were to do this very process for all our goals that fell into the categories of “immediate” goals through “one to three month” goals, based on time to completion.

You could easily do this process with personal (life) as well as professional (work) goals. But, I specifically chose to focus on just the professional goals, as I have a pretty regular routine set up for handling my family/household/personal life tasks (with a lot of flexibility built in to accommodate others’ schedules that are interwoven into mine).

So, I really wanted to concentrate only on my professional goals that I have currently going on as well as those I’m accounting for throughout the next three months.

And, in scheduling YOUR goals for the next three months, I suggest you do what helps you create the work-life balance you need.

If you have your “life” goals going and flowing into some regular routine, then work on sliding those work-related goals into your work-in-progress weekly to-dos. And if your work-related goals are all being managed in an efficient manner, then work the personal goals you’ve set into some semblance of organization by adding them to your schedule.

Remember: we’re going for work-life balance with as-needed flexibility and overall simplicity.

And here’s where the SMARTening of the goals becomes the superstar in this whole process . . .

When it comes to fitting your goals into your schedule, you have to use those details from the specific, measurable, and timely components to map out where the goals go in your daily time slots.

For example, let’s go back to my sample SMART goal that I shared in step 3 of the goal-setting process:

I will exercise to strengthen my heart by walking in the mornings (around my neighborhood or at the mall when the weather is uncooperative) for at least 5 days out of the week (Monday thru Friday) for 45 minutes to 1 hour a day.

The specific, measurable, and timely components that I’ll be pulling out of my SMART goal above are the type of task I’ll be doing (walking), the number of times and days a week I’ll be walking (5 and Monday through Friday), and the amount of time I’ll be walking (45 minutes to an hour).

And wouldn’t you know it. All of those components can fit neatly onto my weekly schedule where I can squeeze them in outside of my regularly-scheduled tasks, already occupying space in my day. Or, it might be necessary to even switch a few things around to fit the newcomers in.

So, do you see where I’m going with this whole schedule thing?

Even though I can’t hear your voice answering my question, I’m pretty sure you’re trekking along with me. And so, I think I’ll close out our time together by giving you a little assignment to work on over the week, until we meet again next Tuesday.

I’d like for you to grab a piece of paper and create a handmade schedule for each day of the week. Or, you can use a calendar/planner you already have, or use your online scheduling tool. Whatever suits your fancy. And, go to town on filling out your schedule with your SMART goals, wherever they should appear based on their SMART components.

If I was entering my sample SMART goal into my schedule, I’d simply place “walking” at 8:30a – 9:15a on Monday’s, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, Thursday’s, and Friday’s schedule pages.

See how easy that was to do? It wouldn’t have been as easy if I hadn’t made my original goal of “I will exercise for my health” . . . SMART.

Okay, so now that you get my drift, go do your thing. And we’ll, hopefully, meet up next week for some more “scheduling your goals” tips.

Schedule 3

2 thoughts on “Conquering the Creative Work-Life Balance: Goal-Setting Step 4 (Scheduling Your Goals)

  1. Jana, I like the above piece on “Setting Goals” as it is a subject I used to present at older people’s seminars a few years ago. I am not sure why, but most people have extreme difficulty setting meaningful and realistic goals for themselves and/or their families. They may be able to plan a holiday or cruise, but planning for a goal that is life changing is another matter.
    Thinking about goal settings, I have just completed page 115 of my novel, only slightly behind schedule. The research necessary to write a historical novel adds another dimension to the whole process. Melding over 230 year old timelines, characters, locations and lifestyle into ones story certainly makes it a real challenge. Never mind, we are getting there and I hope to finish the first draft before Christmas. That is one of my current goals!
    By the way, I do a brisk walk every morning up and down hills before breakfast for about 30 minutes, so that is a schedule I keep, subject to bad weather of course. For some reason or other, I cannot get into any regular schedule with my writing though. I just write when I feel like it, which seems to work for me.
    Goals setting, I like it!!
    Regards, Phil

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Phil – you are already 115 pages in? You’re my hero. Wow! Hard work and diligence makes a difference every time. Love hearing about your progress, so please keep it coming. Goal setting is such a wonderful strategy for making moves if we actually follow through with it. And, you’re doing it in spades. As a matter of fact, it looks like you’re pretty impressive with the walking routine as well. You’re, most definitely, putting me to shame, as the “walking” SMART goal I used in this post was simply for explanation purposes. I wish I was actually implementing it on a regular basis (in real life). I’ll be working to get there though, although it’s already getting pretty toasty outside. Guess early, early mornings will have to be my best times for outdoor exercising, which is really when my writing is on point. Ughh, competing priorities. Well, I’ll figure out something. Anyway, I’m so genuinely excited for what you’re accomplishing with your book. It’s the type of good stuff I like hearing about. Keep up your stellar goal setting and follow through, Phil. You’re truly an inspiration to me.


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