There is no denying that goals are necessary. After all, goals are the integrity of meaning and purpose in life. However, goals are not just to be achieved. You always need an action plan to help you achieve your goals.
With an action plan, you can get a clear idea of how to get where you want to go, what you need to do to get there, and how to find the motivation to keep moving forward. Unless you come up with a plan, you are likely to hesitate and become distracted. This is why many people fail to be consistent about their New Year’s resolutions. If you don’t have a plan, things probably won’t go well.
With that in mind, let’s look at how you can create an action plan to help you achieve any personal goal you set.
1) Identify Your “Why”
Here’s a quick try: Think about the goals you’ve already set. Now think about the goals you’ve reached and haven’t reached. Here you will notice a common theme. Success and goals had a purpose. In fact, there were no goals that you could not reach. In other words, you knew the “why” you were setting these goals for, and that motivated you to pursue them.
Once you understand your WHY, you will be able to articulate what makes you feel satisfied and better understand what triggers your behavior when you are naturally at your best. Once you can do this, you will have a reference point for everything you do in the future.
This allows for better decision making and clearer choices. Simon Sinek says on this subject:
“You will be able to make more informed choices for your job, career and life. You will be able to inspire others to buy from you, work with you, and join your cause. ”
Before you start creating an action plan, consider why you’re setting a new goal. Otherwise you will need a North Star to guide you on this journey and show you what to do when things get tough.
2) Write Your Goal
Now that you have a goal in mind, it’s time to get it out of your head and transfer it to a piece of paper. You can also do this electronically through an app, but research says you’re 42% more likely to meet your pencil-written goals.
This is because of the way the brain works. When you physically write a goal, you access the left side of the brain, which is the real and logical side. So this type of writing tells your brain that this is something you seriously want to do. It even encourages you to open your subconscious so you can come up with ideas for achieving the goal.
3) Set a SMART Goal
SMART is a popular method used in business management. Because it ensures that the goal you set is both realistic and attainable. It can also be used as a reference to guide you in your action plan. By setting a SMART goal, you can start by brainstorming and discovering the steps, tasks, and tools you need to make your actions effective.
Specific: You need to have certain ideas about what you want to achieve. To get started, answer their questions: who, what, where, when and why?
Measurable: Create tangible metrics to measure your progress to make sure you meet the goal. Determine how you will collect the data.
Attainable: Think about the tools or skills needed to achieve your goal. If you don’t have them, learn how to get them.
Realistic: Why is the goal important to you? Is it compatible with other goals? These types of questions can help you determine the true purpose of the goal and whether to pursue it.
Timed (Time Based): Whether it’s a daily, weekly, or monthly goal. Deadlines can motivate us to act sooner.
4) Take One Step At A Time
Have you ever traveled? To get from point A to point B, you most likely needed to use a map, albeit an old paper map or an app on your phone. The same idea can be applied to an action plan.
Like a map, your action plan should include step-by-step instructions on how to reach your goal. In other words, these are smaller goals that help you get where you need to go.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you consider smaller factors such as calories consumed and burned, minutes of exercise, number of steps taken, and sleep quality. Each plays a role in weight loss, and even looking at other aspects like stress can be inspiring. Because cortisol, the stress hormone, helps our body keep weight, reducing your stress levels can result in weight loss.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it makes your action plan less overwhelming and more manageable. Most importantly, it helps you identify the specific actions you need to take at each stage or what behaviors you would like to change.
5) Perform Your Tasks in Order of Priority
Once your action steps are resolved, you will want to review your list and place your tasks in the most meaningful order. This way you will start things off with the most important step to make the biggest impact.
For example, if you have a sedentary job and want to lose weight, the first step is to become a little more active. From there, you can add more time to your workout plan. The next step may be to change your diet, such as avoiding overeating or eating a salad before dinner.
6) Schedule Your Tasks
Setting a deadline for your goal is essential; prevents you from delaying the start of your action plan. But the important thing here is to be realistic. For example, you are unlikely to lose 20 pounds in two weeks.
What’s more, you should also set a start and end date for each action step you create, and a timeline for completing certain tasks. Adding them to your schedule allows you to focus on those tasks as needed so you don’t get distracted by anything else. For example, if you’re scheduling gym time, you can’t schedule anything else during that time period. Be careful not to double-book yourself.
Instead of using a paper calendar or planner, an online calendar may be a better option. You can use it to set deadlines or reminders for when each step needs to be done, and with others who need to know; You can share it with your colleague or mentor.
7) Stay on the Road with Healthy Habits
Without healthy habits, it will be harder to reach your goal. You can hit the gym five days a week, but if you’re having a hamburger for lunch every day, you’re throwing away all your hard work. To reach your weight loss goal, you have to replace these bad eating habits with a more nutritious meal.
You have to think about what will help make you the person you want to be, not just the easiest or most comfortable.
8) Check the Missions You Have Accomplished in the List
You may think you spend a lot of time creating a list. But it not only helps make your goals a reality, it also keeps your action plan organized, creates a sense of urgency, and gives you the opportunity to track your progress. Lists also reduce anxiety, so you know exactly what to do and when to do it.
There is something special in the lists. When you pass a task in your action plan, your brain releases dopamine.
This award makes you feel good and you want to repeat that feeling. When you go to the gym, you want to continue to experience the satisfaction you experience after exercise. This means you will continue to go to the gym.
9) Review and Reset As Necessary
Achieving any personal goal is a process. While it’s great that you can achieve a goal overnight, it takes time. You may experience setbacks along the way. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, do frequent reviews daily, weekly or monthly to see how you’re progressing.
If you are not where you hope to be, you may need to change your action plan. Rework to achieve the goal you set.
Regardless of what you want to achieve in life (loss weight, learn a new skill, or make more money), you need to create an action plan. Action plans will guide you in establishing realistic steps and timeframes to achieve your goal. Best of all, it will keep you on track when you stumble.
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