Setting a goal is the start of something amazing, but it’s just the first step. You will also need a detailed plan to set into motion the things you desire. A well thought out plan outlines the actions that need to be taken, the resources required to take the actions and the timeframe in which each action must be taken. Because there is so much to think about when you make the commitment of setting and achieving a new goal, I have made it easier by outlining a step-by-step process for you to follow. Your intention will become an action plan, which will eventually become your desired result. The timeframe required to achieve your goal will vary depending on what type of goal you are setting. You can set goals with a 30 day, 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, 3 year or longer deadline. For the purpose of this article, we are working on 30 days. This is an easier starting point, but you can adjust it to what is more suited to you and your goal.
So, let’s jump in. Here’s what you need to do in order to create an action plan to successfully achieve all your goals.
1. Define What You Want
Do you have a specific statement that clearly defines what you want? Is it clear enough for someone else to read and take action on? Being vague about your goals and writing down statements such as, ‘I want to make more money’ only create vague plans which in turn create vague results. So if you want to make more money, define that clearly: how much more money, in exchange for what services and in what space of time. Go on, write it down, be specific, and believe in your ability to make it happen.
2. Ask Yourself Why You Want It
A big enough WHY draws you to the ‘how’ in order for the ‘what’ to come true. A strong why gives your goal power and purpose. Your why will act as powerful motivation that propels you to take action. Your why cannot be based on someone else’s desires or reasons. It must come from the most inspired and authentic part of yourself, and is often described as having an emotional why. Attaching emotion to any experience automatically deepens its meaning, making it more meaningful to you and inspiring.
3. Chunk It Down Into Bite-Sized Tasks
Now that you have a clear idea of WHAT you want and WHY you want it, you’re ready to move onto the next step which is to chunk your goal down into bite-sized tasks. This means it’s time to pull out a pen and paper, and write down everything you know so far about what you need to do to achieve your goal. It would also be worth your while to do some extra research on what’s required to make it happen. Consult books, articles and people who have done what you are setting out to do. Here are some great questions to ask yourself:
- What are the first steps required?
- What resources do I need or who do I need to speak to?
- How much time do I need?
A great tool to use is a mind map. Write down keywords, names, phrases and anything else that comes to mind around achieving your goal. If you want, you can use big sheets of paper and colour pens to really get everything in your head and heart onto paper. Keep each phrase and sentence simple and straightforward. You can execute simple (or rather bite-sized!)
4. Compile A List Of High Priority Actions
You will begin to notice a pattern form from your ideas. Maybe one phrase or keyword keeps repeating itself. Maybe you can spot a central idea that has formed. These key ideas will now become your high priority actions. Your goal is to make sense of your ideas and begin creating a set of high priority actions which are detailed enough and ultimately lead you to your end goal. I would suggest no more than 5 high priority actions to start off with. Remember, even these high priority actions can be broken down into smaller actions which you will then schedule into your daily plan.
5. Create A Timeline
Using your high priority actions, you can now add a specific date to each action. This is an extremely important step that will give your goals finality and get you into action mode. With a definite date and time you’re more likely to take action on what’s important vs spend your time on low priority distractions. For a 30 day timeframe, I would suggest you break your actions up into each week and then each day so that you are taking small actions consistently.
6. Schedule Your Daily Actions
Use your current daily planning tool to schedule your daily actions. Whether this is your diary or online calendar, it’s important to write (or type out) these specific actions. To further increase the chances of getting these actions done, schedule them at a certain time, and you may even offer yourself an incentive for getting it done. If you have very busy days, why not start your day a little earlier and do it then. Remember, what gets scheduled gets done. So use the power of planning and scheduling to set yourself up for a win.
7. Know What It Would Look And Feel Like To Achieve Your Goal
Complete the sentence: I know I will have achieved my goal when _____________.
How will you know when you have achieved your goal? What will it look like, and feel like when you have achieved your goal? What will change? What sensations will you experience? Have a clear mental image of exactly what will take place when you achieve your goal.
8. Bonus Step (whoo hoo!): Write Your Empowering Goal Statement And Review It Daily
Here are some examples of empowering goal statements:
“By August 31, I have run my 1st half marathon”
“I have generated $3000 worth of sales on my online course by November 15th, and impacted the lives of thousands of people through my writing and speaking on health and happiness”
“I am the proud owner of a 5 bedroom home in Palm Beach, Florida”
Once you have written it down, put it in a place where you will see it daily. Stick it near your mirror, desk or in your car. Make it a reminder on your phone. This simple action of reviewing it daily (or more than once a day), and believing that it has already been achieved, will send your brain a message that says ‘I am committed’ and you will naturally begin to take the actions required. If you understand how The Law of Attraction works, you will agree with me on this, but that’s a topic for another time.
So, I bet you’re ready to start achieving your goals! What goal are you going to start with? Share it in the comments below. I read all of your comments and I would love to hear your goals and how you’re getting along.
Also, if there is any topic you would like me to write on, share that in the comments below. I promise to do my best to bring you content that is valuable and relevant to living a life full of happiness and success.
– Saajidah Esat
Contributing Writer | Health & Happiness Enthusiast
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