With New Years Day right around the corner and with it the tradition of setting one’s New Year’s resolutions or goals, I was asked by a reader of my blog post Decide What You Want how to create an action plan for goal achievement.
1. WRITE DOWN YOUR IDEAL OUTCOME
Begin by writing down your ideal outcome. Remember, don’t worry about the how, your subconscious is already working on that. Let’s say one of your physical goals is to compete in a 100-mile Century bike ride by X date, one year out, and you are not an active cyclist. That was me in 2005 when I set the goal to compete in my first Century (100 mile) ride, the LiveStrong Challenge, in 2006.
2. ESTABLISH YOUR BENCHMARK
First, establish your benchmark by making an honest assessment of where you are right now. Look at where are you in fitness level, knowledge and equipment needed to achieve the goal. Next, write down what you need to fill in the blanks. Since this is your first experience at it, ask other cycling enthusiasts and read up on what you might need to complete the ride.
3. MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED
Then, make a list of what you need to have your cycling ideal: the bike, the clothes, the training schedule, the books or magazines to learn from and motivate you, the bike pals to train with, the needed coaching, the indoor workout routine and off-season training, etc.
4. PRIORITIZE THE LIST
Now, this list is the foundation for your action plan: what bike do you need without over buying, what clothes, etc.; what do you need to learn; what do you need to implement as a training routine; etc etc. Each of these tasks is an action item. Now, prioritize them and you have an Action Plan.
5. REPEAT FOR EACH OF YOUR MAJOR GOALS
Do this for the three major 6-12 month goals in each of the seven categories (physical, financial, professional, relational, spiritual, personal, and philanthropical) and reap the rewards! And, be ready, once you achieve the goal you may want to keep it up as an ongoing lifestyle change for a larger goal like maintaining excellent fitness to boost energy, maintain an ideal weight, and create long-term health benefits (the WHY behind the goal). You’ll want to do more century rides, more saving and investing, more…
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