Coming Up with A Plan of Action
So you’ve decided to muster the passion, perseverance and discipline to propel you towards a cherished goal. You’ve mulled it in your head for days, imagined how you’d feel once it’s in your hands and what you would do with it. But wait. You’re so caught up in your dreams that you might fail to lay the groundwork. Ask yourself and be honest, “How will I get there? Do I have what it takes to get there? Are my resources complete?”
Many good goals never come to fruition because of the lack of an action plan. If you try to proceed without considering what you would have to sacrifice, it is easy to give up or get lost in the midst of trying to achieve your goal.
Here are the steps towards coming up with a plan of action:
Determine where you’re going. Do you have a vision for your goal or will you go about it in a haphazard manner? By knowing where you want to go you create a compass for your goal that leads you back whenever you’re distracted. The straight and narrow path is full of detours, but the few who get to their destinations are those who make careful adjustments to stay on track.
Be very specific. Set concrete expectations about your goal and be able to visualize it. Instead of operating on a vague statement like “I’m going to slim down for the summer,” say, “I’m going to lose four pounds before the summer and run for an hour on the treadmill every day.” By being specific, you keep your goals realistic and achievable.
Set measurable milestones.Break down your goal into tangible parts that you can achieve bit by bit. If your goal is to lose two pounds in a month, try losing half a pound per week. Make a jogging routine that corresponds to this goal: to run at least one kilometer every two days. By going past milestones and keeping your goal specific and tangible you aren’t easily intimidated by all the hard work you have to put in your goal and you can give yourself a pat on the back every now and then.
Make a list and check it twice.Listing down the things you need to do to achieve your goal keeps you from having to stress about the steps you forgot and keeps the process efficient. You can break your list down into specific steps to achieve to reach a milestone, and break down the span of your overall goal into three to six milestones.
Set timelines for your goal. Procrastination can keep you from getting on your feet or taking initiative. You might want to take a day off after a long period of hard work, but before you know it, one day becomes two days, and so on. By creating timelines for when and how you want things done, you bind yourself to your goal and you have target dates for expected results. This also helps you to monitor your progress and perform better if you need to repeat certain tasks.
Use visual representations to your advantage.Collect cut-outs of images that represent the goal you wish to achieve. If you want to earn enough for a travel package, compile tourists’ pictures and guides then arrange them on a board. Attach affirming messages and quotes beside these and look at the collage if you ever need a burst of inspiration. You can even make a morning routine of contemplating on it before you go about your daily tasks, right until you achieve your goal.
Make adjustments and never give up. Every now and then you’ll encounter setbacks that make you feel like your plan is unrealistic and your goal might not be worth pursuing after all. If you are building a delicate piece of furniture and you stick a long nail in the wrong place, don’t think that the whole piece is ruined. Pull out the nail, brush the affected area with wood varnish and move on to complete the work. Don’t even think you’re a failure. Failure is an event, not a person.
Extend the deadline, but never give up on the overall goal. Something tragic might happen while you’re busy with your goal. A family member or close friend might suddenly die and you’ll have to spend time away from progressing. Do remember that goals are achieved despite tragedy. After all, tough times don’t last, but tough people do.