While the pandemic has our days blurred, the weekend is supposed to be the time to kick back and relax. That’s critical—but you want to do so in a way where you won’t get derailed you from your goals, especially if they’re new.
By sticking to your routine over the weekend, you’re more likely to set yourself up for success in the longterm. Weekends can give you space and perspective for planning and strategizing if you take advantage of them and use them the right way.
“The weekend makes up about 30% of our week,” says Julie DeLucca-Collins, business coach and author of Confident You: Simple Habits to Live the Life You Have Imagined. “If you are not working toward your goals over the weekend, it will be much harder to realize success.”
Adopting these five habits can help you stay on track:
1. Create a plan and schedule it
Most people want to the weekend to be fun and easy, but you must be consistent with your efforts to realize your goals during the weekend, as well, says DeLucca-Collins.
“For many years, I’d tell myself to be spontaneous, but without scheduling things and understanding what’s ahead of me, I would lose flexibility,” she says. “My lack of planning was the reason I would get derailed, and I would end up doing things I didn’t anticipate.”
DeLucca-Collins recommends making a plan for the weekend, being intentional with your time. Schedule time to work on your goal. If you’re writing a book, for example, carve out an hour on Saturday and Sunday to write or to edit what you’ve already written. This way, your priorities will be at the forefront so you can do what is important to you.
2. Revisit your goals
It is essential to remind yourself of the goals you have and why they’re important. Many of us set a goal but don’t take time to revisit it to make sure we’re on track. As a result, the goal falls by the wayside.
“When you create goals, you have an idea of where you want to be and picture what it’s going to be like,” says DeLucca-Collins. “If you don’t create a plan to revisit your goals, you’ll often allow things to interfere.”
If your goal is big, set smaller milestones to give yourself a way to measure your progress. Then check in with yourself over the weekend to check how you’re doing.
3. Build in accountability
Achieving a goal takes time and perseverance. One of the best ways to stay committed is to share your goal with others.
“The American Society of Training and Development did a study on accountability and found that you have 65% of completing a goal if you commit to someone,” says DeLucca-Collins. “Choose your spouse, a reliable friend, or friends and tell them what your goal is and why it is important for you to achieve it.”
4. Think ahead
Considering your future self can be a motivator. On Fridays, ask yourself, “How do I want to feel at the end of the weekend?”
“This thought can help you generate the actions and thoughts that will help you stay on track to achieve your goals and consistently work on your habits,” says DeLucca-Collins. “Identify what are three priorities you could do to work toward your goal. Picture yourself finishing the weekend checking off the things you set out to do. This exercise can help you be more connected to the feeling of pride for self-accomplishment.”
5. Find ways to improve
Not every week will be successful, but the things that go wrong can teach you lessons that will help you recalibrate and learn, says DeLucca-Collins. Over the weekend, look back on the week to determine how it went. Then take time to identify how to change going forward.
“The more we learn from our mistakes and grow from them, the more likely we are to reach our goals,” she says. “Failure is a great teacher. Failure allows us to get hang of things. Go back and evaluate how your week went to gain traction.”
Taking control of your weekend may take a mind shift, says DeLucca-Collins. “We have a mentality that the workweek is a struggle, and we need a break to decompress,” she says. “As a result, we don’t schedule things. But all this does is allow somebody else’s schedule to take precedence. When Sunday night rolls around, you dread going back to work because you didn’t plan. Instead, use the weekend intentionally so you can stay on track with your plans.”