Planning: Achieving Goals Step-By-Step

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao-Tzu, Chinese philosopher.

Once you have developed your SMART goals, you need a roadmap to make them happen.  This involves establishing a step-by-step process of getting from where you are to where you want to be.  A well-written plan is one that, if given to a colleague to execute, would be detailed enough to eliminate any confusion as to how it would get done.

Here’s an example:

Goal:  Hire an administrative assistant by (date).
(This is important to me because I will be able to delegate routine work, freeing me to spend time on more important, high payoff activities that will increase my income, and give me more free time to spend with my family.)

Action Plan:

1.   Identify primary and secondary tasks for the job by (date).
2.   Develop a formal job description by (date).
3.   Write an ad and research best places to advertise for help.
4.   Develop a list of questions to ask on phone interview.
5.   Place the ad.
6.   Screen resumes.
7.   Call the ten best candidates for phone interviews.
8.   Invite the best five candidates for personal interviews.
9.   Rate the candidates from best to worst.
10. Invite the best candidate in for a second interview.
11. Make an offer to best candidate.
12. Negotiate the start date and compensation.

Anyone could come in and execute this simple action plan with little or no prior experience.  It’s quite clear what needs to be done.  Reduced to a series of simple steps, the goal seems easy to achieve.

The benefits of developing action plans are:

  • Provides an easy-to-read roadmap to the completion of the goal
  • Breaks the process down to small, manageable tasks
  • Allows you to execute one small step at a time

“Reduce your plan to writing.  The moment you complete this you will have given concrete form to the intangible.” – Napoleon Hill, author, Think & Grow Rich

Self-Study Assignment:  You should have developed goals by this time, now develop a plan to achieve each of your goals.