five easy steps to plan your work and work your plan
They say “the fish rots from the head down ” so, when I run into a situation where I have one of my team members not live up to their best, I take it very hard. I take it as a personal failure. When they fail, I fail. The one factor I have seen lead to almost every failure, both mine and theirs is poor planning. That is why I try very hard to empower myself and those around me to have a solid action plan I openly share my action plans. By sharing an action plan you not only have witnesses that will hold you accountable but, would have the collective energy and imaginations of others working towards manifestation. Here are ten steps in creating an extremely effective action plan that will help you achieve any goal you set out to accomplish.
Set a destination: Knowing where you’re going is paramount. Successful people embrace the simple core concept of “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re likely to wind up anywhere”. Don’t let this happen to you. Know where you want to end up.
Let the devil be in the details: Not only must your goal be specific, but you must also create a specific intention as well as very detailed tasks or steps that will move you toward your destination.
Create quantifiable milestones: Once you have a clear and concise idea of where you want to end up, as well as what action items you will need to execute throughout the time span of the project or goal, you are not ready to create measurable milestones or mile markers. Think of this as your road map.
Make a list: Create a list and time line of specific action items or tasks to complete in order to hit those milestones. For instance let’s say you wanted to learn French. Your two month milestone might be to learn at least forty new words or phrases. You action items might be getting a book on French and another may be downloading an app that teaches French phrases.
Take little bites: Your goal may appear insurmountable and some tasks or milestones may appear daunting. That’s when it makes sense to cut some task into little bites size chunks, making them easier to swallow. A journey of a thousand miles takes a series of steps and once broken down into the small steps you will gracefully move towards your destination.
Quantify each step and action with a timeline: Without specific time frames and deadlines, work will definitely expand to fill the time allotted, and some tasks may never get completed. Create a deadline and make it happen.
Make it visual: Once you’ve created your action items and set a specific timeline, the next step is to create some type of visual representation of your plan. You might use a flowchart, a vision board, a collage of accomplishment, a spreadsheet, a hand drawing or some other type of visual tool to accomplish this. Get engaged!
Work your plan: Don’t give up or stop until each step, milestone and action item is complete. Once your plan is established, and accomplishments are scheduled, the next step is simple but extremely critical. Take daily action and hold yourself accountable: Every night before retiring ask yourself “what did I do to take my plan forward”. In the morning look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself “what will I do today to get myself closer to my destination”. This will get you juiced!
Reset but never retreat: Change dates if you must, but never give up on the goal. Occasionally, circumstances or unforeseen events can arise that throw a monkey wrench in your ability to meet deadlines, complete tasks and achieve your goal. If this happens, don’t beat yourself up– revise your plan and continue working to meet targets and move forward.
Celebrate your success: Mission accomplished. You reach your destination. Give yourself credit. Go back over your written road map and really take in all you did to get where you are. You made it and this should be acknowledge and celebrated. This will motivate you on your next journey ahead.
You can use this action plan for anything you want to achieve whether it is personal or professional. As you feel yourself becoming empowered by it, it will become contagious. Share it!