Creating an Action Plan to Achieve your Goals
If you’ve been laid off, or you’ve been out of the workforce or education system for awhile, it may take some time for you to find the resolve to make the transition from where you are to getting the job you want or the training you want to pursue your career or work-related goals. Once you make the decision to accomplish your work, career, or educational goals, congratulate yourself! Making that decision is really the first step to achieving your goals, and changing your current situation.
Now, the next step is to form your Action Plan. You may not have all the answers at this point about how you’re going to move from Point A (where you are right now) to Point B (where you want to be e.g. being offered the job you want, or graduating from your program of choice), but the answers will be provided as you compile information to complete your Action Plan.
What is an Action Plan?
An Action Plan lists the steps or actions that will help you achieve your goal. It is your map or guide, for moving from Point A (where you are now) to Point B (where you want to be). During your journey from Point A to Point B, if you ever feel overwhelmed, confused, or frustrated, your Action Plan will help you get back on the right track and continue navigating your way to achieving your goal.
Creating your Action Plan
Identify Your Goal
The first step to completing your action plan is to identify what the goal you want to achieve is and why you want to achieve it. When you state what you want and why you want it, you are attaching a purpose to what you want and giving your desire meaning.
While completing your Action Plan, you may discover your goal influences more than one area of your life, or you may realize you have a list of goals you want to accomplish for one specific area of your life. You can start by asking yourself these questions and writing down the answers to each of them:
- What is my overall objective or goal? What is it I really want to achieve at this phase in my life?
- What steps can I immediately identify that I must take in order to achieve this goal?
- When do I want to complete each step in order to achieve my goal?
- What information or resources are available for me to assist me in achieving my goal?
Organize your Information
The next step is to organize your information into an Action Plan. Here is an example of Action Plan you may use to assist you:
My Action Plan
- Career - I want to be a successful Web Designer and Developer.
- Family - I want to spend more time with my family.
- Ultimate Goal - I want unity between my career goals and family goals.
I love navigating the website and seeing the many different ways businesses and individuals are using websites to market their products and services, and express and share their thoughts and ideas. From their choice of colours and templates to splash pages and audio and visual effects, I love the thought of using the internet to create, build, and design.
Being home with my family has helped me to see how important the time I spend with them is.
- Ultimate Goal
Both my career and family are important to me, and if I can effectively harmonize these areas of my life together, this will be my idea of success.
- Research institutions which are offering programs in web design and development. August 24, 2012 (1 week)
- Check the program start dates and decide which institution I want to attend and the date I want to start the program. August 31, 2012 (1 week)
- Find a safe, certified, and overqualified childcare provider for my child. September 14, 2012 (3 weeks)
- Enrol at the institution of my choice and register for the program. September 28, 2012 (2 weeks)
- Start classes and be present and punctual for each of my classes. January 7, 2013 (4 months)
- Complete all assignments and exams, and receive an “A” mark for each one. December 5, 2014 (2 years)
- Graduate and receive my Web Design and Development Diploma. January 23, 2014 (2 years)
- Develop a home office to begin working as a Freelance Web Designer and Developer. April 1, 2014 (2.5 years)
- Dedicate 35 hours per week and develop 2 websites per month to generate $7,500.00 in monthly revenue. September 1, 2014 (3 years)
- Dedicate 25 hours per week and develop 2 websites per month to generate $7,500 in monthly revenue. December 31, 2014 (3 years)
- Work 3 days a week. Remove my child from the childcare program. Be mommy/daddy-focused, during the hours before and after school and on weekends. January 1, 2012 (3 years)
This is the most important step in your whole Action Plan! Your Action Plan requires ACTION in order for it to be effective. Even if there are obstacles or challenges in you path from Point A (where you are) to Point B (where you want to be), it does not matter. If you have no idea how you are going to accomplish one of your steps, it does not matter. If you focus on these obstacles or problems, you will slow your progress in finding a solution, or the resources which will help to overcome any obstacle you may face while moving from Point A to Point B.
Instead, FOCUS ON FINDING AS MANY RESOURCES AS YOU CAN. Your RESOURCES are your SOLUTIONS. The more resources you compile the more tools you have available to you to assist you in achieving your goal. Even if you currently have do not have any resources listed on your action plan, you still HAVE one tool you can use to start your journey – your Action Plan.
Your Action Plan may change a little, as you start implementing it. As you discover new information, you may find certain steps aren’t necessary to achieve your goal, and discover additional resources which may help you achieve your goal faster. Keep an open-mind, and remember to have fun in the process.