Have you ever thought what our lives would be like if we never bothered getting outside the comfort zone? Boring. Without action, there would be no revelations. Without goals, there would be no progress. If you want a great ride through life, you have to set some goals and head off to their achievement.
SMART goal-setting is a popular concept. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. That should be the perfect recipe for turning dreams into reality. The challenge is: how do you create a proper action plan that will keep you engaged? How will you maintain the enthusiastic drive along the way?
We have few tips that will help you write a realistic, achievable action plan.
1. Remember the SMART Concept
When you’re creating a plan, it has to be smart. You can’t set unrealistic goals. Sooner or later, you’ll realize you’re nowhere near their achievement. That would make you lose enthusiasm for taking any kind of action. Whenever you write down a goal, remember it has to be:
- Specific – “I want to learn more” is a very broad goal. “I want to complete this programming online course in a month” is something much more specific.
- Measurable – If your goals are specific, you’re already on your way to making them measurable. Create a timeframe and values you can measure along the way.
- Attainable – Yes, the goals should be challenging. That’s the whole meaning of progress: setting challenges and achieving them. However, they should also be attainable in close future.
- Relevant – You should stick to your big plans. Whatever goals you set, make sure they are relevant to your values and the way you see yourself in the future.
- Time-bound – Set a date by which you plan to achieve a goal. Moreover, set a timeframe of actions and measure your achievements through the milestones.
2. Plan the Actions that Will Get You to Those Goals
Setting goals is not enough. You need a clear plan of actions that will take you there. Here’s what we suggest you to do:
Take a big goal.
Think: what mini-goals will lead you there?
Take each mini goal and translate it into actions.
Let’s say your big goal is to lose 50 pounds in 12 months. That’s a challenging, but achievable goal. To get there, you’ll have to set milestones. Those will be your mini-goals. It means you’ll be losing slightly above 4 pounds per month to get to that achievement in 12 months. Now, you’ll need to turn those mini-goals into actions. How will you achieve them? You’ll need daily plans for your meals and exercise routine. You’ll need to develop some healthy habits. The more precise you are, the more successful you’ll be.
3. Write a Good Action Plan
Do you know what will keep you motivated to stay on track? A well-written action plan. If you just promise yourself you’ll achieve a goal, you’ll soon forget about it. When you write things down, you’re leaving a testimony for your decision. When you write a clear, well-structured plan, you’ll realize it’s more realistic than you thought it would be.
You’re not that good at writing? That’s okay. There are professional writing companies that can work under your instructions. You’ll just give them basic details about your goals and the actions you plan to undertake. They will deliver a clear, motivating plan that will help you stay committed.
4. Find Motivation to Achieve the Goals
You’ve completed all steps that take you to a good action plan. Now what? Now, that you’re done with the planning you’ve come to the hard part: doing. You already have clear actions.
It seems like a no-brainer – you just need to do the daily tasks that lead you to the big goals, right? Well, it takes a lot of effort to stay strong throughout the journey. Too many people tend to give up on their goals too early. Maybe it’s because they focus too much on the final goal and they see it’s far away. Maybe it’s because they fail to achieve a mini-goal. You won’t allow any of these things to happen.
If you fail, you’ll just carry on. You will focus on the journey. Maybe you won’t reach the big goal according to your schedule. So what? The important thing is to keep working towards it.
Find something to motivate you. If it’s about losing weight, imagine how you’d like to look like. Buy a piece of clothing every month, but make sure it’s a size smaller. Whatever your goals are, you need to find that motivating factor.
Keep reminding yourself: why are you doing this? Evaluate what you’ve achieved since you started taking actions. The realization that you already made some progress will be enough to keep you going.
Are you ready to start? Think of your big goal and create an action plan. You’ll get there!