Everyone has the ability to become abundantly successful. Some of the most successful people in the world attribute their success to writing personal action plans in one form or another. Personal action plans are potential road maps to achieving success. As with all road maps, sometimes there are detours, U-turns or unexpected road construction, but ultimately, they lead to the charted destination.
Creating a personal action plan is not difficult. It takes a little time, thought and planning. Here’s one of the many ways to go about creating a personal action plan:
- Define the goal. With any road map there is a beginning point and an endpoint. The endpoint in a personal action plan is the goal. The goal can be anything from losing weight for an important event or saving money to go on vacation. The destination is something that is important and personal to the goal setter.
- Chart the route. It is important to plan a direct route from beginning to end. Expect a few detours along the way, but do not intentionally build detours into the personal action plan. For example, if the goal is to lose weight, do not build in a detour if it is taking longer than expected. Building a Twinkie pit stop on the road map is an intentional detour.
- Define every step it will take to attain the goal and keep track of it. If the goal is to lose weight by Aunt Mary’s wedding, the obvious steps to reaching the personal action plan goal will be to exercise, modify food intake, and drink more water. Personal action plans need more than the obvious steps to be successful. They need steps that can be quantified. Exercising for 45 minutes 4 times a week is better than the obvious goal to simply exercise. Drinking eight 8-oz glasses of water daily is more detailed than the goal of drinking more water. Track your progress with a personal goal log.
- Modify the personal action plan as necessary. The great thing about action plans is that they can be modified. An unexpected detour and/or road construction is cause to modify the personal action plan. For example, an athlete’s goal of running 5 miles in the park daily hits a detour upon hearing the forecast of a severe snowstorm. Instead of running in the park, the athlete will have to use a less desirable means of exercise, the stationary bike. The athlete is still headed in the right direction, but has had to take a temporary side road to reach the goal.
- Review the action plan. The best personal action plan in the world is useless if it’s not reviewed. Review the personal action plan as often as necessary in order to reach the desired goal.
Remember, a personal action plan is a map to attain a personal goal. It is a life enhancement tool. As with life, detours happen. When the detours and road construction occur, be flexible, embrace them and move on.