When I was younger, I always wanted to execute tasks and projects without thinking them through. My dad always used to scold me; “Have a plan!” he would say. Now that I am older, I realize the importance knowing how to write an action plan to have a clear definition of how to achieve a goal. You can have the best, most creative and innovative ideas, but without an action plan to outline the steps you need to achieve your goal, you run the risk of going nowhere fast.
So, what was the last plan you made? If you need help on how to write an action plan, we are going to show you how to formulate the ideal action or business plan to achieve the goal or outcome that you so desire.
How to Create An Action Plan For…
There are three different types of action plans we are going to look at today:
- An action plan for your day
- An action plan for your life
- An action plan to solve a problem
Plan 1: An Action Plan For Your Day
- Write it out: Get out a pencil or pen and have a journal, notebook, or a piece of paper on hand. Write down all the things that you need to accomplish for the day. Include any appointments that you might have along with little things such as working out, relaxing, or reading. Make sure that you put a star next to the most important things that you absolutely must finish today.
- Make a timeline: Now it is time to get more specific. If you need certain tasks to be finished by today, do any of them have a deadline? If they do, write down when you have to finish certain tasks. To make it easier for you to manage, begin your list with what you need to finish first and work your way down.
- Refocus: After you complete one activity (or every hour), it is important to stop and see how much progress you are making. This will help you gauge your productivity levels during the time you allowed yourself on your action plan. If you need more time, then adjust your plan accordingly. Also, between your activities, take a few minutes to take a breather, stretch, and relax to get your body and mind energized for your next task.
- Review: At the end of your day, go over your action plan and check out the things that you accomplished. How good were you at sticking to the plan? Did you finish everything in your day that you needed to? Ask yourself questions that will help you determine how well your plan worked for you.
Plan 2: An Action Plan for Your Life
- What is your role now? Everyone has a different role in life that they currently engage in. For instance, you could be a: student, a writer, a sister, or a wife. How do you define yourself now? Answer that question first to determine your current state of daily life.
- What role do you want to play? Now that you know where you stand in the present, determine what future role you may want to play. Do you like what you are doing now? Maybe you do not want your current role to propel you into the future. Make a list of the things that you want and value in life, what is important to you, and what you want to change about your current role.
- Why? Now that you have an idea of the roles you want to play in the future, ask yourself why. Why do you want those new roles to define yourself and give your life meaning? This will help you better imagine an action plan you can take to get there through visualization.
- Create goals: You have already determined what roles you want to play in the future, so let’s get into more broad and specific goals that you can achieve. This could look like a sort of bucket list, or a category of things you want to accomplish. For instance: publish a book, get a scuba-diving license, learn how to meditate, etc.
- When? Now, when do you want to achieve those goals by? Creating a time line will help add some immediacy to your plan and make them seem more real. For instance, you might want to lose 10 pounds within the next six months. This will require that you put action to your words.
- Steps: You have your goals in mind, so it is time to make a plan of action as to how you are going to achieve those goals to develop into the role you want to assume. If you want to get a Master’s Degree; write the steps down that you need to take to get there. This will act as the action plan for some of your life goals.
- Readjust: Even if you have the perfect plan, there are bound to be things that happen in life that will change. As you go about your life, feel free to adjust and readjust certain aspects of your life plan to fine tune it to your liking.
Plan 3: An Action Plan to Solve a Problem
We all deal with problems, and an active and effective way to go about solving them is by creating an action plan.
- Define your problem: First recognize and define the type of problem you are facing. The problem is that sometimes we fail to recognize or admit we have a problem, so that is the first step. Once you are aware of the problem, you can take the steps to solve it.
- Result of fix: Before you write out the steps you want to take to fix the problem, what do you hope to achieve for solving the problem? What do you want solving the problem to do for you or someone else?
- Brainstorm: Brainstorm ideas and solutions that can help you fix your problem. Consider a course such as this one to help you develop the skill of mind mapping.
- Write out a plan of action: After you identify the problem and brainstorm possible solutions, write the solutions that you think are best and use those to form your action plan.
- Evaluate: After about a week of attacking the steps to solve your problem with an action plan, evaluate your success and progress. If you notice problems in your plan, adjust them to help things continue on more smoothly.
In addition, make sure your action plan is complete, clear, and current. Does your draft list all the action steps necessary to reach your goal? Are the steps clear to all parties involved in the business or goal? Is it current according to all latest rules, regulations, and technology? Your action plan will be a breathing, living document, so be open to many changes along the way.
With any plan that you have, it is important that you stay motivated throughout the process so that you will have enough energy and motivation to see the plan through to finish. For some motivation boosters, enroll in this motivation booster course that will help you attain your goals and dreams by inspiring you to achieve success.