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setting personal goals

Personal Goals in a Busy Work World

Setting goals on any given day can be a daunting task; with multiple priorities and urgent tasks that require our attention, it can be difficult to focus on your personal goals, and accomplish some of the non-work projects that you want to tackle.

Its so critically important to your physical and mental health that you take care of your personal goals as well as your business goals.  In the same way that you are diligent about your business goals, so should you spend time and energy on your personal goals.

If you’ve never given much thought to what a personal goal may look like, I’ve brainstormed a bunch of ideas that you can use to springboard your creativity and think of some personal goals that will feed into your overall well-being:

  1. Take a class – the course can be hobby related, or perhaps something that you can apply to your workplace as well
    • Hobbies – gardening, cooking classes, learn to knit, wine 101, dance classes, yoga, underwater basket weaving, etc.
    • Work (ish) – technology courses, social media, personal branding, leadership
  2. Read a book – again, you may choose to put a few books on your yearly list, and then can be a fun mix of both fiction (pleasure reading) and non-fiction (learning reading). Books can be related to your business, or for personal use
  3. Fitness goals – you may decide this is THE YEAR you run a 10km race! For these types of fitness goals, planning ahead and plotting your personal goals into a calendar is essential for success
  4. Travel goals – whether you’re planning a staycation or an away vacation, you can plot travel goals in your calendar as well.
    • Getting to know your neighbourhood – make a list of places in your hometown that you’d like to visit this year – parks, museums, new restaurants, local shops
  5. Hobbies – are there some hobbies that you’ve neglected because of busyness?
    • Scrapbooks and photo albums – this is ALWAYS on my list, but I need to do a better job of finishing!
    • Crafts/knitting/sewing – what craft projects do you want to tackle this year? Pick a few select ones, and start early to ensure completion (ie. Start your Christmas craft in June/July and maybe you’ll get it done in time for Christmas!)
  6. Home repairs and spring cleaning – ok, this may not be your most desired tasks, but do you remember the feeling you get when you do clean out a drawer, or fix that broken blind in the kitchen? Maybe its just me, but I feel like a million bucks and it spurs me on to do more!  I’m currently repainting my house (every single room, one room at a time) and I feel transformed and inspired by the fresh colours and refreshed walls!
  7. Retreat days – these are scheduled, protected days that you use to tend to your business plans and work goals. While not personal in nature, these retreat days can invigorate you to plan some personal goals as well (and you may as well address some personal goals during this day of inspiration 😊)
  8. Relationships – whether its with family, spouse, a new dating relationship or friendships, spending time with the important people in your life may be the best fuel source for your energy and happiness.  Consciously carve out time and activities with the special people in your life, and give them 100% of your attention and care.
  9. Volunteer – while some volunteer commitments may seem more like work than pleasure, giving back to your community can really increase your happiness and energy levels.  Find a volunteer position that you are passionate about, and it should either speak to your strengths, or helps you learn a new skill.

Just as you would plot and plan to achieve your business goals, so too should you “plan” on your personal goals

  1. Put them into your business plan! Include a section of your plan (that you review bi-weekly) for your personal goals.  Then they are always top-of-mind
  2. Business plan action plan – If your business plan has a calendar with timelines for start/finish dates, put your personal goals in there as well! Break it down into smaller chunks in order to achieve the final goal.  Consider each personal goal like you would a marathon – you can’t run 42kms until you’ve run 1km.
  3. CRM – do you use a CRM to run your business? Put your personal goals in there too!
  4. Calendar – timeblock your personal goals into your calendar and keep the promise to yourself to indulge in your personal goals
  5. Turn off your phone and notifications – don’t allow others to disrupt your personal time. This is YOUR time, guard it as preciously as you would other commitments in your life.

I’ve created a worksheet that can help you schedule your time and talents better, use it to find out how you can spend your time more effectively and on the things most important in your life.

Setting goals for things in your personal life may seem too structured and planned, but with our busy lives, making conscious choices to spend time on yourself may be just what you need to find balance and happiness in your life.  To dive deeper in choices that improve your productivity, please check out FranklinCovey’s The 5 Choices research here.  Seize the day!


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