By: Jordy Peri
With a brand-new year, I am sure you have found yourself creating some new goals for what you want to accomplish this year, or maybe you are trying to reach a goal you haven’t accomplished from the previous year. Of course, the motivation and drive to set out to reach those goals has to be there, but without an action plan set in place to make it happen, you might find yourself falling short again, sometimes not even understanding where you went wrong. My guess would be that you didn’t have an action plan set in place to keep you on track for when life throws you curve balls, like it always does and always will.
So, what is an Action Plan?
Simply put, an action plan is a checklist for the steps or tasks that need to be completed in order to achieve the goals you have set. This is essential. One of the first things you need in an action plan is a well-defined description of the goal you want to achieve. Could you describe in a couple sentences what your goal is to someone without it having hesitation in your voice about it? Next, you need to write out the actual tasks and steps that need to be taken to reach the goal. Essentially, what are you going to DO that will get you there? After you have a clear checklist of steps that must be taken, set a deadline. A deadline will keep you focused and push you on the days where reaching your goal sounds daunting and undoable. Just be certain that your deadline is realistic in relation to the goal you have set. The next step that some forget about or overlook is do you have the resources necessary to complete the tasks? Resources could include a community to keep you accountable, the right kind of gear, and a coach! Lastly, the last step is a measurement system to evaluate your progress along the way. This could be a journal, a scale (preferably inbody scans, shameless plug), progress photos, blood results, etc.
The best tip of advice I can give you is to sit down and write it all out.
The student that I am will tell you the numerous times that professors have drilled into my head the statistics on writing things down versus say typing them out. Not only will you understand your goal more clearly by writing it out, but it will help it come alive and allows you to brain dump (for lack of better terms) your dreams onto paper and refer back to it every day. Hang it up!! Put it on the fridge, your bathroom mirror, your office, or wherever you can be reminded of it every single day. I will not go into a visualization rant on you here, just know there is power behind viewing something every single day.
I would be failing all of you if I didn’t input the wise words of Benjamin Franklin in which he states, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” So, there you have it.
The last piece of knowledge I have to give you is to make sure your goals are SMART goals. Sounds like a no brainer, right? Well yes, but SMART is an acronym that will help guide you in creating goals that you can reach. Here’s the breakdown:
S = specific (make sure your goal is clear cut, such as lose 10 lbs in 100 days, that’s very specific, as you want it to be)
M = measurable (this goes back to the idea of keeping track of your progress through measurements such as scans, blood results, pictures, etc.)
A = action (what are the actual steps you are going to take? This should be specific as well)
R = realistic (10 lbs would not be doable in 10 days, so make sure you aren’t setting yourself up to fail from the start!)
T = time-bound (set a deadline so that you stay focused and have a date to look forward to. It will also push you to work harder since you will feel like you are working against a clock!)
Now that you have a bunch of tips on how to create an action plan for the goals you set at the beginning of this year, I encourage you all to sit down and write out your action plan so that your goals don’t just become another dream that won’t end up happening again. You are the writer of your own story always, and the only person who can make your goals happen for yourself, so put your goals into an actionable plan and you are on the right path to success.