They say if you want to get to know someone new, you shouldn’t be asking them what they do or where they come from. The best thing to ask is, What’s keeping them busy during their spare hours.
Their answer to this simple question will tell a lot about their priorities and goals in life.
Try asking yourself the same question. Then follow up with, How will you be spending your time in the next months to come?
If you find yourself fumbling on what to answer, then maybe you’re the type who doesn’t really lay down a specific action plan for yourself in the future.
However, if you find yourself running away with multiple thoughts of tasks at the coming days, then you might be burning yourself with stress which oftentimes leads to less effectivity. You might have an action plan that is not well laid out and time effective.
An action plan is a to-do list that you write down on a specific date as a task to be done on that day. Most people would do this monthly using their calendar journals. According to businessdictionary.com, an action plan is a “sequence of steps that must be taken, or activities that must be performed well, for a strategy to succeed.”
Is it necessary to create this plan? It depends. If you simply do not have any bigger goals that you want to accomplish in life, then you don’t really need to do this. (Skip to next blog or maybe think again…)
But… If you have a life-changing goal in mind that you want to pursue, then YES this is crucial and should be done correctly. It could be any goal that you want to pursue which will add meaning to your life and help you grow as a person. This goal simply adds glitter to your eyes whenever you think of it.
There are so many ways to do an action plan and so many ways it can get you nowhere. It doesn’t mean that getting busy with so many things would guarantee success. It is crucial to have an effective map to your success that only you can make.
So, here’s a healthy (stress-free but effective) way to create your action plan to help you push yourself to achieve your goals one step at a time!
1. List down your long term – 3 to 5 year goal. Starting with the most important ones. It is important to imagine them actually happening before listing them down. Why? This is the way you’re commanding your body to follow through and do what your mind wants to achieve. Follow these 5 golden rules in setting your goal: SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). These goals can be: Owning a cafe business, Having an online clothing shop, or teaching a diet course etc…
2. Next, create your 1 year action plan. Take a step back from your long term goals. Imagine yourself working towards it 1 year from now. What are the necessary things you must accomplish 1 year from now to achieve your long term goals. List these down as your 1 year action plan.
3. Then, create you 30 days and 7 days action plan. Take further step back from your 1 year plan. Imagine yourself 30 days from now and 7 days from now. What are the things you must do to accomplish that 1 year action plan? List these down as your 30 days action plan and another list as your 7 days action plan.
4. Lastly, create your 1 day action plan. Step back a few more days from your 7 days plan. Imagine yourself 1 day from today. What should you accomplish tomorrow to hit your target 7 day action plan? List these down as your 1 day action plan.
Remember, each action plans are crucial to meet your goals. But your 1 day plan will set the ball rolling for your other action plans to follow. It is important to start working towards your goal right away that means starting now until tomorrow.
Now , you have your action plans set and to help you have a clearer view on how to meet your goal 1 day at a time, start scheduling your daily action plan for the coming 1 to 2 months:
1. Your Big Tasks.
On a 30 day calendar sheet, Start to write down under specific dates your big, non negotiable tasks or appointments you have to do. This can be: going to the doctor, travelling out of town, going to church, Visiting parents, Graduation etc… All the important events you need to attend to. Also include here, the important steps that you need to do to achieve your action plans. This can be: attending a 3 day course, meeting with new business partners, creating a website etc…
2. Your Secondary Tasks.
Then, write down on the same calendar month all the secondary tasks that you must do that are important but are quite flexible in terms of dates and time. This could be: going to the gym, Writing an article, researching etc… Don’t forget that some of your secondary tasks should still be leaning towards your long term goals.
3. Your Small Tasks
With your Big and secondary tasks written down, you can now have a clear view on which days are free and you can add your small tasks to fill in the gaps. These are not critical tasks and can be done in small fraction of hours like, reading, jogging, watch movie etc… They may not be related to your long term goal but they provide the right balance to your life.
In this process, you are constantly reminding yourself to start with your priorities in mind. If you consistently follow your action plan, then there’s a 95% chance that you can achieve your goal in time.
This action plan also helps you have the right focus. If you plan well, you will not be jumping from one tasks to another. Being more organized and goal oriented in your action plans, means you become more effective in using your time. You avoid getting yourself too busy and getting burned out. Why? You know your priorities and you stick to what should be done to attain it. You’ll realize which tasks are not important and should be done only when you have time.
If you have read the book from Gary Keller’s The One Thing (which I highly recommend), you will learn that “Most times when we attempt too much, we accomplish too little. It is important to know which things matters the most and which ones matters the least because no two things matters equally. At the end of the day, it is important to make each day a successful step towards the next.”