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What is a Goal Action Plan?
All of us have our own goals. Whether we are working professionals, students, CEOs, and people still planning their career paths. It can take up most of our day as our society benefits from productivity to get our finances in order. Our goal’s level of importance also varies: whether your top priority is your Career, having a steady income, maintaining your health, or building relationships, it takes up a large portion of our lives, even without us knowing it. We’re all striving for something. An action plan is a document that illustrates the things you have to do in the process of goal accomplishment. It has a practical approach of breaking down all your tasks into assignments based on a timeline.
What are the Benefits of Using a Goal Action Plan?
Direction in working towards your goals
When you have a well-structured plan in front of you, it will be easier to gain motivation in working towards your goals. When you show consistency in implementing your action plan, you will keep checking tasks off your list. A lot of individuals fail at the first try of goal-setting due to having improper planning, which makes the fear of failure blocks them from achieving more.
Setting an action plan provides you with a clear system to get your activities done
A common cause for an inefficient work process for individuals is burnout. Burnout happens when we hold on to too much pressure by taking on several jobs and responsibilities. Having clear goals sets us on a path to achieving them in an efficient manner. It’s better to tackle your goal list step-by-step and enjoy the journey on the way there instead of taking on too many tasks that may lead to burnout.
What is the difference between an affirmation and a goal?
For big-goal-getters, these two often go hand-in-hand. Affirmations are sayings that promote positive thinking and self-empowerment. They can be recited to oneself; or to others, if it is your goal to positively impact someone else, or written down. They are meant to influence our mindset for us to strive for self-development and achieve our biggest goals. A goal can be said to be a dream or a desire, as it is an idea that we don’t have and want to attain. What they have in common is that they seek to create change in a person’s life that would affect them positively. Through the use of reciting good intentions or affirmations, we can garner positive thought as motivation to work towards our goal action plan.
How to Write a Goal Action Plan
In order to be successful in something, you would want to make whichever goal a reality by concrete action and executing planning. Creating a goal-setting action plan can help you to believe that achieving your goals is indeed possible, and you just now have to go day-to-day to strive for them. If you’ve ever wondered, what are the five steps of an action plan? Well, here we put it on focus.
1.) Set your SMART goals
The first step to planning an endeavor is deciding what you want to take action on. SMART goals help you decide what the outcome of your goal-setting process is and you can plan your steps to get to the end of the path.
Decide what it is that you want, and be clear about it and add detail if you must. Clarity is a quality that helps you achieve success. State your goals clearly and their purpose; so you know not only what you are working towards but also why you are doing it. Being specific with our goals increases the possibility of us accomplishing them because we’re provided clear directions on where to go, instead of improvising our own ways with vague goals. For example, if it is your goal to gain financial wealth, it would be much better to specify how much you aim to earn.
You need to be able to track your own progress from goal-setting and to actually achieving those dreams. Even astronauts in space can measure their distance from the Earth and where they aim to land. Clearly modifying your personal action plan involves setting a time frame for your tasks to gauge if you are near the finish line. To see your progress over time, Goal Trackers are available for use, which business professionals make use of to make their work process efficient. When you set a specific timeline for your progress, it’s easier to strive towards the target date.
Attainable or actionable—once you’ve decided on the path that you want to take, make a comparison as to where you are now and how you can reach your goal. Is it attainable? If so, you can now stride forward and set action goals to achieve it. Realistically speaking, goals are something that we wish to attain, to have, to reach. You have to clearly determine the actions you will need to take to accomplish it. Determining whether the goal is a possibility involves the comparison between our present reality and where or with what we wish to end up in the future. An action goal example would be: I will wake up early in the morning to cook food to bring to work so I can save money.
Ask yourself, what do you need a SMART goal action plan for? Are you part of a business, an organization, or are you a student or just someone who wants to add organization into their goal setting? For the most part, we are striving to achieve to goals that would take us from where we are in life to our desire. The goals most relevant or relatable to us serve us more purpose as they would fit in our long-term goals. According to lifehack, the goals you were successful in achieving had a purpose. Those goals you failed to accomplish did not. In other words, you knew why you put these goals in place, which motivated you to follow through.
The act of setting deadlines to achieve a certain task helps you to get a picture of when it should actually be completed. A deadline acts as an anchor for your goals. For example, you can easily achieve financial independence if you lay out your plans alongside a deadline of a year, three years, or five years. Setting a deadline is much like setting a target for you to hit. As you go along the process of achieving your goals, you can track whether or not you are close to hitting your target or if there are adjustments that need to be made. And by breaking down your goal into smaller tasks within its deadline, you can discipline yourself on your finances.
2.) Write down all the essential tasks
Have you got a hold of what goals you want to achieve? What do you have to do to get there? Set your goals on paper. Get the idea out of your head and make it concrete in reality. You will be able to add items to your list much easier when you already have a pre-written list of your goals. Brainstorm and come up with all of the tasks and activities that you must do to get your goals in order. This is similar to what is done when creating a Critical Path Analysis or Method, wherein each task of a big project is sequentially planned in order to find the shortest time the project can be completed. A PICK Chart can help you with which goals to prioritize and which to leave on the backburner. You cannot get into your desired workspace or achieve that professional milestone without climbing the steps or doing the activities it would take to get there. By having a descriptive plan of what it would take to achieve your goal, it helps rule out the blocks or obstacles that would kill productivity.
3.) Set a timeline
Passion, dedication, and painstaking hard work are among the things that drive individuals to reach their goals. But as the saying goes, nobody will do the work for you. Tasks won’t fall into your lap successfully completed. It must be carefully planned within a timeline that works with your schedule. Each task that you have identified as sequential steps leading to your goal can be divided into specific timeframes. When your tasks are broken down and a schedule is laid out in front of you, it is easier to be consistent with them and start from the small steps. Checking off the tasks within the time frame means Plan your days, weeks, and months according to the goal deadlines that you have set. It requires us to plan carefully and detail our schedules with pre-written tasks. This influences how you manage your time
4.) Designate resources
In order to be successful, we know how important it is to be self-efficient. Companies nowadays seek job candidates who can work with minimum supervision aside from being fast learners. The act of delegating our tasks to others with the capacity to do it allow us to finish the job by tackling the bigger tasks. This creates a sustainable work process.
5.) Monitor your progress
Being able to track our milestones gives us a picture of what we are accomplishing. This visual aid will help us be motivated to climb up the ladder and achieve our goals. It builds up your focus and helps you achieve a more efficient work process and follow-through with your personal tasks.
Developing your own action plan can help you skyrocket from a goal-oriented individual to a successful professional in your chosen field. Goal-oriented people know what they want because they set a standard for themselves that leads towards a path to achieving their goals and ambitions. Dream big all you want, set your goal action plans on their way, and see the life that you want to achieve unfold.