Learn how to achieve goals by creating a solid action plan. Accomplishing and achieving goals can become a lifelong habit with these personal productivity tips.
If you want to accomplish your personal and business goals, you need to create a step-by-step action plan to achieve those goals. Please don’t make the mistake of setting goals without creating an action plan to achieve them–wanting something does not a plan make.
Use this list of goal-setting tips to create a step-by-step plan to accomplish different types of goals and design a life you LOVE! We have even included a few quotes about achieving goals to keep you motivated and on track to accomplish your goals.
How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Goals
Use a goal planner to help you stay on track to reach your business and personal goals! I like to use the goal-setting worksheets included in our Dream Life Tool Kit and the weekly routine planner included in our FREE QuickStart Weekly Planning Guide.
Next, follow the 15 steps listed below to make accomplishing goals easy!
15 Steps to Make Accomplishing Your Goals A Reality Now
Learn how to accomplish goals with these personal productivity tips. Accomplishing personal goals can become a lifelong habit when you follow the simple steps below.
1. Set SMART Goals
Before you can create an action plan to achieve your goals, you need to set specific short-term or long-term goals. Short-term goals, like getting a job, can be accomplished in as little as a few weeks; while long-term goals, such as buying a house, can take several years to achieve. If you have your first three goals ready to go–move on to step two. If not, Learn what the SMART acronym means, and get started with goal setting HERE—> How to set SMART goals.
2. Start with one goal
One goal is sure to have risen to the top as your number one priority since you created your “Master Goal List.” (Included in the Rhythms of Play Dream Life Tool Kit) If not, allow yourself a few more days to contemplate which one holds the most meaning and importance for you at this time in your life.
Starting with one specific personal goal allows you to narrow your focus enough to achieve the end result. It’s better to start with one short-term goal and complete it than to start with three long-term goals and not complete any.
If you feel confident in your plan, come back, and do this process with another goal that you would like to achieve. Just make sure it is a SMART plan. If not, stick with one specific goal at a time until you master the new skill of achieving goals.
3. Research What It Takes To Achieve Goal
If you want to make an action plan to meet a goal, you must first know what it takes to reach that goal. That means it may be time to do some research. Your research may include looking online, going to the library, or speaking with people with prior experience with achieving the end goal.
Once you know the steps it will take to achieve your goal, create a basic outline of the steps to accomplish your goal before moving on to the next step in setting up your goal action plan. Next, use the following tips to finalize your plan of action.
4. List steps to accomplish goal
Next, create a “Goal Action Plan” or a list of action steps it takes to achieve your personal or business goal. To create a plan to reach your goal–start by listing the steps it takes to accomplish that goal. Break large goals with several steps into sub-goals, groups, subcategories, or areas of focus.
Break Each Main Goal, and Sub-Goal, Down into Manageable Baby Steps:
Make sure that you break the steps to achieve your goal down into the tiniest steps possible. Each step should have only one task or action step associated with it. Continue to break it down until there is only one thing to do for each action step in your goal action plan.
Once you have broken each personal goal down, create your official “Goal Action Plan.” Start by getting out a blank piece of paper or Use the Printable “Goal Worksheet” and “Goal Action Plan” in the Rhythms of Play–> Dream Life Tool Kit.
Create a List of Action Steps to Achieve Your Goal:
- Organize the action steps it takes to achieve your goal by priority.
- Place the most important step first, followed by the next most important step, and so on.
- When you are finished, move onto the next step in the goal action plan process.
Related: 15 Ways to Raise a Helper
5. Set a Due Date
Make a realistic assessment of the time frame, or how long it will take you to achieve your goals. Then, choose a due date that feels doable–so you don’t lose faith and give up. Then, add it to your calendar to energize it and make it real–NOW!
Setting a due date is necessary to keep your goals SMART, because it keeps them time-bound. The steps you need to take and the time you have to dedicate can help determine how long it should take you to accomplish your goal.
After completing the steps listed above, you should have a pretty good idea of how long it might take to achieve your goal. Next, consider what you have learned, and choose an attainable due date based on all factors needed for its completion–so you don’t lose faith and give up.
6. Create a Timeline and Set Interim Goals
Interim goals or deadlines are due dates set for reaching smaller goals within the larger overarching end goal or accomplishing specific action steps or phases needed to achieve your goals.
For example, if your goal is to lose 25 pounds in 6 months, an interim plan would be to lose 3-5 pounds in a month. On the other hand, if your goal is to start a business and earn a full-time income in 2 years, the interim goal might be a part-time income after one year.
Interim due dates help people feel like they are making progress toward their goals and are a great way to keep motivated to accomplish goals.
Set interim due dates based on the due date chosen in step 5 in the section above. Then create a basic timeline to help keep your plan SMART and measure your progress toward reaching your goal.
Follow the steps below to create your timeline and set interim goals:
- Enter your overall goal due date; as well as interim goals and deadlines into your goal action plan printable, and your calendar. Write it down and make it happen!
- Next, write each of your goal action steps into your calendar or weekly planner so you can stay on track to achieve your goals. In other words, find a time to complete each task listed in step 4 by writing it into your planner.
- Check off each goal action step as you accomplish it.
7. Delegate As Needed
Delegating responsibility is a superpower that helps us use our time, energy, and talents wisely to accomplish the goals that we set out to achieve. Please delegate all tasks and action steps that you can not or do not want to complete. Hire others to do tasks and action steps, or hire others to take care of your children, or clean the house, so you can do them yourself. Remember, we can’t do it all, but we can ask, or pay, others to help!
8. Post Your Plan of Action
Post your goal plan somewhere you will refer to daily. Then, focus on completing the goal action tasks each day, week, and month to make your goal or dream a reality.
I like to keep the goals and action steps I need to take in my face to stay motivated and on track to accomplish them. I use a large wall calendar with wet-erase markers for this purpose. Maybe they can help you too!
I also like to make copies, use heavyweight sheet protectors or dry erase pockets or laminating sheets, and a laminator so you can reuse goal printables to conserve paper and printer ink. The dry erase pockets are great because they are easy to hang on the wall with a pushpin–and that makes it easy to put them anywhere.
Another beautiful way to display your personal goal plan is to put your printables into a frame and hang it on any wall in your home or office. Wet-erase markers work great with most 8.5 X 11 inch frames and clean up in a snap!
If you are curious, we prefer to use wet-erase markers over dry erase markers on our whiteboards and laminated weekly planning sheets because they don’t rub off when you are writing with them, and all you need is a wet cloth to wipe it clean. Give them a try!
9. Create a “Not Doing List”
A “Not Doing List” is a tool that helps you stay focused on your priorities so you can accomplish goals.
“Give yourself permission to stop doing the things that drain your energy and steal time from your dreams.”Nell Regan
A “Not Doing List” can also help you make time for your dreams by making a simple promise to yourself–that you will NOT DO the things on it. Without one, you are likely to spend your day putting out fires without making any real progress towards your goals.
And, yes, one you can use to help you keep your priorities straight, eliminate distractions, and delegate responsibility–so you can make a beeline straight towards your goals–is provided in our Dream Life Tool Kit.
10. Don’t Detour to “Procrastination Station”
Beware of false productivity–do not take a detour to “Procrastination Station.” “Procrastination Station” is when you finish low-priority tasks instead of completing action steps to achieve your high-priority goals.
“Procrastination Station” can fool you into thinking that you are productive–because you are getting things done. But, unfortunately, no matter how constructive, any form of procrastination will steal your focus and keep you from reaching your goals.
There is not enough time in our day-to-day lives to complete everything on our to-do list, and there never will be. So the most successful people don’t try to do everything. Instead, they create a “Not Doing List” and learn to focus on getting the most important tasks done first. “They eat their frogs.”
Mark Twain wrote, and Brain Tracy mentions in his book Eat That Frog, that if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. Likewise, when we do the most challenging task first, everything else becomes more manageable, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you finished the most difficult thing you’ll have to do all day.
Use these tips to organize each day to zero in on the most critical tasks needed to accomplish your goals and do them efficiently and effectively. But, whatever you do, don’t take a detour to “Procrastination Station.” Instead, complete your high-priority goal action steps FIRST!
11. Use the Power of Rhythm to Make Achieving Goals Easy!
Rhythm is one of the most effective time management tools you can use to accomplish your personal goals. Learn how to use the power of rhythm to plan your daily routine so you can achieve your goals and dreams even faster!
Grab our FREE Guide and get started today–> QuickStart Weekly Planning Guide
12. Turn Goals Into Affirmations
Once you have completed each of the steps listed above, turn your goals into positive affirmation statements to make achieving them a reality. Click HERE to find out why and how to–> turn your goals into positive affirmations!
13. Be True to Your Word and Honor Your Commitments
If you want to achieve your goals–be true to your word, honor your commitments, and do what you say you are going to do–no excuses. Be authentic, take responsibility for the co-creation of your dreams, and live in your integrity. Your commitments matter. You must take responsibility for the co-creation of your dreams–no one else can do it for you.
If you are constantly breaking your promises to yourself and others or not doing what you say you will do, you will have difficulty accomplishing your goals. Prove to yourself that your dreams and goals are worth it–and success will be yours!
Related: Word of the Year Ideas and Tips
14. Visualize Your Success: Act “As If” your Goal is real now
Don’t allow yourself to co-create your life unconsciously or by default. If you want to achieve your goals, it is necessary to make a plan. To make our dreams and goals a reality we must first create a “goal action plan.”
Then, once we have a basic plan to achieve our goals laid out, it is important to visualize what our life would be like if we accomplished them. Take a moment to act “as if” your dreams and goals are real now. Set aside time in your day to see or feel what life is like from the perspective of having attained your goals–to help you reach them.
Ask the following questions to visualize accomplishing goals:
- What does it look like to achieve this goal?
- How would it feel to accomplish this goal?
- Would your life be different? If so, how?
Close your eyes to become aware of the finer details. If it feels good, you are on the right track. The positive emotions you feel are helping you bring your dreams and goals to fruition. Or, you may learn that you need to make some adjustments to your plan, and that’s perfect, too. Just continue to visualize your success, stay true to your vision, and follow through on your goal action steps, and you will get there, one baby step at a time!
15. Complete a Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, or Annual Goal Review
If you want to achieve your business and personal goals, it’s an excellent idea to check your progress and adjust your plan. Performing a goal review is a great way to learn if you need to rework any actions or due dates and keep yourself motivated. Use the “Weekly Review Worksheet” included in the RoP Dream Life Tool Kit and the goal review tips found HERE—> How to do a Goal Review.
Don’t give up on achieving your goals if you ever fall behind. Instead, make a plan to rework your “Goal Action Plan” every week to review your goals and keep yourself on track to accomplish them. Designing an action plan to achieve goals and completing a goal review is the most effective way to create the life of your dreams–one goal, habit, or rhythm at a time!
Create an Action Plan for Achieving Goals With a GOAL SETTING WORKSHEET AND GOAL PLANNER
Create an action plan for achieving goals today! Setting business and personal goals, creating an action plan, and sticking to it is a surefire way to attain your goals and live the life of your dreams. Follow the steps listed above, and you will be well on your way to achieving your goals. So don’t wait–do it today!
I highly recommend using a goal planner to help you stay on track. As I mentioned above, I like to use the goal-setting worksheets in our Dream Life Tool Kit and the weekly routine planner included in our FREE QuickStart Weekly Planning Guide to help me figure out how to fit the action steps that I need to take into my weekly rhythm.Dream Life Tool Kit
I also like to use a large 4-month magnetic whiteboard wall calendar to literally “see” the goal action steps that I need to take next. But, please, use the tools and resources that work best for you.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!