However, it is also equally important to note that humans usually things negatively because of how we view life in bulks—in long-term clusters which present life in absolute uncertainty, and as a result, scares us even more. The thought of unfamiliarity of the future is mind-boggling, and often times very debilitating. Somewhere on the internet says that how you live your days is how you live your life, and that says a lot about how you should be viewing life, and how you should be dealing with things. What if we lived our lives perceiving and planning on short-term endeavors first?

What is a weekly action plan?

A weekly action plan is a document that is designed to serve as pillars of your objectives and goals all throughout the week. They could hold your sub-plans as well, such as your diet, your routine, or perhaps even your business plan. Weekly action plans are completely subjective, and should be made to tailor-fit the needs and characteristics of the owner himself or herself. Through them, you have a direct guide on how you should live your week, along with the tasks that you have to do to fulfill your responsibilities. With that said, your action plan should be precise, specific, and realistic, which means its content has to be true to life, and is able to operate in realistic time frames as well. Your weekly action plan is your play book.

What should your action plan be?

Weekly action plans are made by virtue of the purpose of fulfilling tasks that eventually lead to your end goal. With that, it is clear that the content of this document should not be sporadic and random, but patterned and systematically structured. In order for your goals to be achieved, consistency must be followed all throughout, hence following a schedule or a routine would be really great in establishing a habitual relationship with your tasks. It is important for you not to pass up any written act as per your action plan so as to maintain the build up to your objectives. Mental reflex is also something you are eventually going to develop through maintaining a weekly action plan. In order to achieve everything that has been mentioned, your weekly action plan should contain the following characteristics.

Goal-oriented : Goals are essentially the light at the end of the tunnel. These are the things we look forward to having or achieving by the end of the process. Usually being achieved in the long-term, you must never lose sight of your goal despite the obstacles that could come in your way. The virtue of being goal-oriented should be reflected in your weekly action plan so you never forget. Weekly actions plans are outlines of tasks to be accomplished in the micro-scale to achieve something a lot bigger. In order not to forget what you are ultimately working for, make sure that symbolism or amalgamations of your goal are reflected in your action plan to help you constantly remember what the big deal is, and why you are taking these small steps to begin with. It is easy to blindspot something especially when other concerns and tasks start to arise. You have to preventive of this in the way of being goal-oriented.Specific : Goals are broad concepts of what we want to have or who we want to be. In making a weekly action plan, you have to make sure that you have simplified your goals into something more tangible and narrowed down. Specificity is very important because this determines the direction of your tasks, because then, there is a singular and concrete path of where you ought to go. Developing your self-understanding through asking yourself what you really want helps you create more specific and vivid visions of the kind of life you want to live. Hence, the specificity itself motivates you into getting it, because you now give a body to what was once only a thought.Measurable : The virtue of being measurable means that you are already very familiar with your goal and that you have gauged all the possible sub-outcomes once your goal is there. If the characteristic of being measurable is there, you are able to dictate and say for yourself what “success” is to you. These are completely different things regarding each individual, and are dependent on the kind of individual trying to make an action plan. When your weekly action plan is measurable, you are more able to know when to rest, and when to give yourself a pat in the back when you deserve it.Attainable : You are working on something because you believe that there is a great change of achieving it. When other people deem your goals as absurd, imagine the people who are in shoes of where you want to be. That in and of itself shows that the act is not impossible at all, and if someone is going to be that, then it might as well be you. Attainability is something very important for people to realize. While it is important to keep it simple for your weekly actions plan, also tell yourself that opportunities and dreams do not come in a vacuum, and that you can do so many things in the future, including those you have forgotten in the past. Overall, attainability is a very important value to focus on, in order to check and balance yourself as a person.Relevant : Your goals are in array with your values, and your values are in array with the long-term objectives you have set for yourself. With the concepts of path and sense of direction discussed in the previous parts of the article, it is clear that you are working on a singular vision. The things that you should include in your journal are those that have strong importance to your goal in and of itself. This means that each task targets a strength to be sustained, or a weakness to be improved. The relevance of the tasks you build for yourself will eventually trickle down you and your dreams.Time-based : Because you are focusing on weekly action plans, each task must be clear on its time-frame, because humans intrinsically have a reaction to deadlines, pushing them for more productivity. But other than that, it also informs you what to do next, and when you are supposed to stop your current action. Your weekly action plan being measurable further grounds your goals and objectives, since now, you are able to see the progression of your tasks in real time. The time frames, furthermore, encourage you to check your weekly action plan more, thus indirectly programming you to do the next tasks, and everything that revolves around it.

How to Make a Weekly Action Plan

After diving into the characteristics essential to be possessed by a weekly action plan, one should be able to envision a holistic planning document and see where he or she fits in that kind of paradigm. Because a weekly action plan is made to tailor-fit the lifestyle and objectives of a certain individual, he or she ought to make it very personal to begin with. In order to make a good and effective action plan, follow the respective steps.

Step 1: Creating a Table

Whether manually or digitally made, have a table with three columns, dividing three portions of the important things to be followed. In the first column, the assigned tasks for each day, are to be jotted down. In the second column, indicate if the said task has or has not been accomplished for the day, and in the third and last, the date by which the task has been intended to be successfully finished. These are the three most important things to consider in making an objective weekly action plan, however, you may add more columns if you wish, perhaps for motivational quotes you have found along the day, and the like. Make your action plan as personal and close to you as possible.

Step 2: Contingency Plan

Sometimes, we are unable to finish tasks by virtue of things we were not able to forecast and prepare for, such as emergencies, or sudden changes of plan. With that, it is important for you to brainstorm possibilities of the shifting of tasks, and think about a back-up action. This is called a contingency plan, which enables you to preempt such happenstances, and even if they do happen and bar your way to the original task, you have a fallback in order to still continue the build up of your progress. Consistency is still one of the biggest values to be considered in pursuing a weekly action plan, hence, it is important for you to not have any days where nothing is accomplished.

Step 3: Analysis

By the end of every week, you must weigh the advantages and disadvantages encountered while performing your promised task. Analyze the factors that affected the outcome, and think about how it could have been improved, or if it was a really good outcome, think about what made it good. These are activities that make you reflect on the nature of your successfully completed tasks, which is very essential for the next step. The analysis itself will also let you know more about yourself, and you are affected by the pursuit of your intended goals.

Step 4: Regular Updates

The frequency of your updates is completely dependent on what you want for yourself and your goal. You may choose to update your tasks every week, or every other week. You have to make updates due to the progressive nature of your tasks, leading you closer to your goal. This means that your tasks may change as a whole, in number, or in frequency. Nonetheless, the point of updates is to push yourself into doing more, or to push yourself into developing an improvement in a different department that has not been touched on during the past week or past two weeks. These updates are decided on through the previous step of the weekly action plan, which is a deep analysis regarding the events that happened in a certain week. This enables you to gather empirical data, hence helping you project better, bigger, and more important actions.

Can action plans also be used in business?

Yes, it can absolutely be. Usually, marketing strategies are outlined through a weekly action plan in order to set a clear direction on the project in and of itself. Clarity and unity are things that weekly action plans ultimately provide, hence making them very useful in any type of paradigm.

Are weekly action plans better than long term?

The state of being better will always be dependent on preference. However, when talking about the upper hand, weekly action plans are strategically placed in a short-term setting in order to be able to track progress and development of action through minute details. Once a goal is achieved, your weekly action plan can serve as some sort of record or documentation that showcases the walk-through of the success of your project, or the achievement of your goal.

What are SMART goals?

SMART goals, or SMART is an acronym, directly meaning “specific”, “measurable”, “attainable”, “relevant”, and “time-based”. These pertain to the important characteristics that your goal should have. These are things that should ultimately be reflected in the weekly action plan itself to ensure its success.

Motivations could come in fleeting moments out of nowhere, but sometimes, they could come in the middle of the process of you trying to push yourself to do better, or to finally work on something you’ve wanted for so long. This is something you could get through trying to push your boundaries, and setting a clear mission for yourself to embark on. Weekly action plans are helpful devices because of its ability for you to prepare, strategize and map out specific actions and tasks to be done all throughout the week. Because it is set in a short-term lens, the tasks are likely to feel like normal every day things as opposed to a heavy long-term burden. It is a good motivational tool, but other than that, it is a guarantee for a smooth pursuit of something you are passionate about.