How to Create an Action Plan – 10 Steps to Setting and Achieving Goals
Here are 10 steps for creating an action plan – because a plan is the best way to get what you want out of life. Are you hoping for a job promotion, more money, or a new house? Create an action plan.
Before the tips, a quip:
“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” ~ Babe Ruth.
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The first and most important tip for creating an action plan and achieving your goals: Never, ever, ever give up. If you’re at the beginning of the creation of your life plan, read Defining Your Life: Creating a Clear and Personalized Plan for Lifelong Wellness.
And, read on for author and relationship specialist Mark Richard Webb’s ten tips for achieving your goals…
10 Steps to Creating an Action Plan
Before you set your goals, review the mistakes you made in the past. What obstacles have stopped you from achieving your goals in the past? Knowing that will help you achieve your goals this time.
1. Take action immediately with SMART goals. Don’t postpone your start date, or you’ll begin procrastination and avoidance. It can be scary to set goals because you risk embarrassment and the possibility of failure. Courage means “feeling the fear and doing it anyway” — and creating an action plan soothes anxiety and builds confidence.
2. Think through your goals. What do you want to achieve? What are reasonable objectives for one month, three months, six months and beyond? Don’t overdo the first week. Instead, set a steady and progressive pace. If you’re out of shape, for example, don’t run three miles the first few days! When you’re setting and achieving your life goals, build up to the desired distance.
3. Spend time visualizing your intentions as accomplished. Your images build a sense of belief that your goals are attainable. Visualization and focusing on the feelings that will come when you’ve created an action plan will help you develop faith. which will motivate you to keep going.
4. Find inspiration and motivation to create the right goals for your life. Establish various methods of getting information and encouragement, such as self-improvement tapes, books, therapy, lectures, online courses, going back to college or sitting in a church pew. We live in a world that has so many negative influences. You have to find ways to stay positive and inspired– and feed your mind positive thoughts that will help you achieve your life goals.
To learn more about different types of goals, read Self-Improvement Vs. Performance Goals.
6. Develop habits that support your life goals. You must be willing to do the things that most people are not willing to do. You must push beyond your limits. When you’re setting and achieving your life goals, you must go beyond your comfort zone.
6. Create good habits. Your habits form the routine that make you get up early or stay up late. Your habits help you skip that candy bar or miss that unnecessary two hours of television. Creating an action plan that you can achieve requires consistency and accountability.
7. Make up your mind that you are going to overcome obstacles to your goals. This is where being hard-headed can be a blessing! Tap into that side of you that hunkers down when someone says, “You’re not smart enough” or “You don’t have what it takes.”
If you’re stuck, read 3 Ways to Overcome Obstacles to Your Goals – Quick and Easy!
8. Get excited about your action plan. You will achieve your goals faster and easier if you’re enthusiastic. Build a passion so strong that no negative influence can discourage you. When you’re setting and achieving your life goals, stay enthusiastic so even the toughest task is more enjoyable.
9. Remember that success is a process. Achieving goals rarely happens overnight. Don’t aim for perfection; instead, strive to just get started. Then place your focus on sticking with your goals and over time, reach for fame. Someone once told me, “You won’t like anything you produce, so produce it anyway.” When you’re working towards your goals, remember that you don’t have to get it right; you just have to get it going!
10. Give your goals your best shot. Most people start with a bang and soon after, end with a fizzle. Give your goals everything you have… and you will succeed! Be willing to put in the time and energy to reach all of your goals. Allow no room for excuses. Make a commitment. Decide in your head and in your heart that you will do whatever it takes.
If you have any thoughts on these tips for creating an action plan, please comment below…
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Mark Richard Webb is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center in Valdosta.