How to Make Progress On Your Goals When You Have a Full-Time Job

How to Make Progress On Your Goals When You Have a Full-Time Job

You want to live an intentional life - to be thoughtful in your relationships, motivated in your goals, growing as a person, present - but sometimes that feels impossible with pesky things like, you know, a job, or paying rent, or running errands getting in the way. It doesn't have to be that way! Though you may have more time constraints on your day if you have a full-time job, there are so many ways to tend to your PowerSheets® intentional goals around a 9-5. Here are a few of our favorites!

1. Focus - don't try to tackle all your goals at once. Pace yourself for success! With fewer hours in your day to work toward your goals, choose just one or two to put your effort behind each quarter. You'll see more movement faster, which will motivate you to keep going! The Yearly Overview in your PowerSheets is perfect for staying on track.

2. Believe you can cultivate what matters AT your job. No matter what job you have - whether you love it or loathe it - the place where you spend many hours a day is ripe for cultivating. What can you learn? Who could you meet? How can you treat people? How can you grow? Whether through official professional development channels or casual connections with colleagues, how could you translate your personal goals into your work day, or see your work as a part of your intentional life?

3. Set "future you" up for success. If your big-picture vision for your life does not include your current job, what changes could you make to better align with it? Could you consider switching to a job with a higher salary, so you have the funds to pursue your passion? Or seeking out a company with parent-friendly policies if you'd like to have children in the future? Or switching careers to one where flex time is standard?

4. Incorporate your goals into your work day, where appropriate. Most jobs include some breaks or downtime. Instead of reaching for your phone or your mindless activity of choice, use those small pockets of time to read a book, take the next step on a project, or even get in a quick workout (squats can be done anywhere!). 15 minutes adds up over time!

5. Use your commute. Yes, many of us are working from home now given our current pandemic reality. If that's you, great! Instead of letting work bleed into your former commute, use the time to get a jump on a goal.

If you're still hopping in the car each day, there are lots of chances to use that time, too! Deepen a relationship by calling a friend or family member (hands free!), listen to a podcast, or just let your mind wander and think through the needed next steps in your current project.

6. Use the timer trick. At the end of a long work day, sometimes the last thing you want to do is spend the focused energy to make progress on a goal. Or maybe your schedule feels packed before you even add in anything to do with goals. If that's you, set a timer for just 30 minutes each day, and use it to make progress on a goal (laying out a photo album, writing a business plan, designing a product, planning a celebration, making a meal plan - whatever that looks like for you!). You'll still have hours left in your evening to relax and tend to other necessities, and you can rest easy knowing you've already made progress.

7. Batch your intentionality. Remember that SO many facets of an intentional life don't take a ton of time, they just take intention and some forethought. Something that has been extremely fruitful for me has been scheduling a monthly "relationship prep day," where I look ahead to the next month and set birthday text reminders, buy gifts, make plans - whatever is needed to celebrate people well and mark occasions, I try to do in one concentrated block. It saves so much time and brain space to do it at once instead of sprinkling it out a little each day! Others do this for routine household or "life administration" tasks to free up pockets of time, too.

8. Take care of the basics. Never sacrifice healthy meals or good sleep in pursuit of your goals. Without those basics, everything will feel harder and your motivation will wane. Your PowerSheets® can help keep these simple habits top of mind! :)

As someone who's cultivated her goals while working a full-time job for many years, there's so much more I could say here, but I want to hear from YOU! If you work full time, how do you pursue your goals? Please share in the comments!

1 comment

I got the power sheets and so far I am 100% more connected to my goals. I’m loving these sheets. I’m much more motivated as I use them and they’re really lovely visually to work with. Thanks a bunch!


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Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

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