Improve Your Week: Why + How to Conduct an Effective Weekly Review

When it comes to long-term goals, it's very easy to lose track or get distracted.

Little things during the day to day can hinder your progress and soon you don't know how far you've come or what's next. You may forget the goal or choose to focus on something else. The weeks turn into months, and before you know it, it's New Years again.

What you set out to do in the first place never gets done - or if you are making progress each week, the process moves at a painfully slow rate, like there's nothing you can do that will help you get back on track.

So how do we ensure we're making progress with our goals each week?

Introducing the Weekly Review


It's exactly what it sounds like - a sit down with yourself at the end of the week to review how it went and what you can improve. The goal is to improve your productivity so that you make progress and move forward with your goals.


The benefits of a weekly review:

  • Track each week's progress and figure out what it is you need to do during the next week to improve productivity.
  • Review your goals and continue to correct your steps so you remain in line with what you want to achieve.
  • Look at what distracts you each week and figure out ways to remove these distractions.

If you're convinced weekly reviews are for you, then...

How to conduct an effective weekly review:

An effective weekly review has two parts:
  1. Reviewing your past week
  2. Planning your upcoming week
(Tweet this)

In my weekly review, it may not be segmented into these two parts, but what I go over does fall into either part.

My weekly review

My weekly review is adapted from Muchelleb's video about "How to do a Weekly Review". The more I honed my weekly review, the more it developed into what I'm about to share with you now. :)

The breakdown:

  • Pick a day to have your weekly review - mine is Sunday
  • Brain Dump
  • Balance Wheel
  • Highs
  • Lows
  • Avoiding
  • Accomplished
  • Improve
  • A question that focuses on my month's goal
  • Radar (a recent addition)

Brain Dump

This is similar to looking at the to-dos you did not complete from the week before and listing them out - but it also serves as a way to get everything that has piled up in your mind over the past week out onto paper.

We've gone over brain dumping before on the blog, but here is a quick recap: List all the little tasks and to-dos from the week out onto paper. Include everything on your mind, from chores to upcoming events you find yourself worried about. This can help you put things into perspective and allow you to realize "Hey, this isn't for a while so I can stop focusing on that." Or if you think you have a heavy to do list, you can weave the tasks you find you need to do into your week.

Now, look at your list. Anything you can do in 5 minutes or less, take the time to complete that now.

With everything else, schedule it to do during your week (calendar block it, friend) or discard them if they turn out to be something unimportant.

Image result for my balance wheel
Balance Wheel

This is an exercise I developed from the photo above. I like to list out each of these categories and then rate how good I feel or am doing in each one with a number (1 - 10). This lets me know which areas are suffering and I need to improve the next week, as well as the areas that I want to celebrate for being so lovely.

Highs & Lows

Back in my youth Sunday school days, if our group was small enough, we would go around the room to name our highs and lows of that week. I like to do this, along with the Balance Wheel, so that I can get into the specifics behind why my sleep was good that week or why I'm struggling with work.

Another reason is to provide an honest snapshot of my week and create a little pocket of memories (good and bad) on the page. I like to flip back through and read about how something that knocked me down actually turned out for the better.

Avoiding, Accomplished, Improve

The next section of my weekly review is dedicated to asking myself three questions.

What have I been avoiding? >> This is sometimes a little task I keep procrastinating on. I like to complete it ASAP so that it's no longer on my radar, weighing me down.

What have I accomplished? >> This question is a moment to celebrate those big to small wins.

What can I improve? >> What processes can I apply next week that will help me in the long run?

A question that focuses on my month's goal

I like to review the "why" behind my goals and remind myself there's a reason behind the struggle. Big tasks, like editing a book or vowing to exercise every day are hard and I find them overwhelming. So this space on my weekly review is set aside for me to write something to propel me forward into the next week.

Radar (a recent addition)

When school got crazy busy, I had to add a miniature weekly overview to my reviews. A space that I could use to write down when assignments were due (this helped me relax and de-stress a bit because I could visually see that I had time) as well as appointments or events that I committed to going to. It looks like this on the page:

W - piano lesson, 2p
S - grad party, 6 - 10p

Remember, this was a breakdown of MY weekly review.

What works for me may not work for you. But I can say that doing a weekly review has helped me stay on track and organize my life a little better with each passing week. It's a time to reflect and improve.

Hopefully, this post has inspired you to begin doing your own weekly review and find a process that works for you.

If you need help creating your own weekly review, I suggest starting with this template.

Will you start doing weekly reviews?

If so, what will you focus on? What areas will you try to improve each week? Will you track your progress toward your goals?


  1. This is so helpful! I set so many goals but I never really take much time to look back on them, so I'll definitely keep this post bookmarked and refer back to it!


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