How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals | Fierce

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This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Balance and talks about how to create an action plan that will help you achieve your lofty goals in 2017.

We all know that setting goals is important for personal and professional development. It can be much more difficult to identify specific tactics that work to move the needle towards achieving your goals.

For starters, try writing down your goals and placing them close to your desk. This may seem minor, but a surprisingly small percentage of people physically write down their goals. The act of writing the goal down solidifies it and forces you to revisit your goals every time you see them staring at you.

Leslie Truex, The Balance, offers six steps that can help create an action plan towards achieving goals. For starters, you must make sure your goals are SMART.

“Here is a basic definition of SMART goals:

Specific: Your goal is clearly defined. “I want to make more money,” is vague. “I want to make $10,000 per month,” is specific.
Measurable: You need to quantify your goal so you know you achieved it.
Attainable: It’s good to set goals that make you stretch and challenge yourself, but you set yourself up for frustration and failure if your goal is impossible.
Relevant: Your goals should fit within your ultimate plans in life.
Time: You’ve set a date by which your goal will be achieved.”

Another important step is identifying a realistic timeline. This is often where people run into trouble. A goal is hard to steadily work towards when the due date is so far off. By the time most people start to get the wheels moving, it is too late. Try working backwards from your end goal and setting milestones along the way that are feasible to achieve. These can be quarterly, monthly or even weekly tiny goals. This way you will know when you are off track and need to step it up a notch or two to keep pace.

Read Truex’s four other steps in the full article here.

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