Creating a project or action plan regarding your career goals is the most effective way to ensure that all steps are completed within the timeframe needed to achieve your goal. I have set up project plans for short term events or workshops, as well as for longer career or business related goals.In the 2nd part of my goal setting series I will walk you through how I create a goal action plan and how you can effectively use this technique for all of your long and short term goals.
First step is to jot down everything that needs to be done in order to make the goal successful. Once it is all down on paper you can group the tasks together. If your goal is to find a new job, you might group all of your marketing material tasks in one category, such as create a resume, cover letter, update LinkedIn, all of your networking tasks in another category, join 3 networking groups, participate in 2 LinkedIn groups, and schedule 1 phone call a week. There are no set categories, group tasks together that feel right for you.
Next is one of the most important steps, which is to give everything a completion date. Just like our goals have a date, we need to now break down the tasks and give those a date as well. These dates can be changed; you will be constantly checking in with your plan and making adjustments as needed. Having your categories will help you see how one completion date affects the other tasks, for instance it will be hard to update your LinkedIn if you haven’t already finished your resume.
Now that all the tasks and dates are on paper, go through and see where you can gather support or delegate. No one person is good at all things, so see where you can get support or hire someone to assist. Perhaps writing is not your thing, so having someone else update your LinkedIn would be helpful, or you know of someone that does a lot of networking or has events, reaching out to them might support you in finding events to attend.
For longer goals I also like to set mini goals and check in points. So if you are working on a longer 5-10 year goal, what would you like to have completed in a year. Same with smaller goals, I have 3 month business goals right now and all of them have a 30 day check in date, where I wrote down what I would like to have accomplished within that timeframe.
I also like to break my goals down into daily and weekly tasks; this level of focus ensures that the goal is always at the top of my priority list. Making a commitment to complete a daily task towards your goals is huge, and that level of dedication pays off. When we are focused and put our energy towards our goals, assistance comes from all directions. We are sending a clear message out into the world that this is something that is important and that we are going to succeed at it, others will be drawn to this attitude and you will find your list of supporters growing.
Writing your goals and your action plan down is an amazing catalyst on the road to goal completion. Make sure that you are taking a look at your action plan on a daily basis, and put your goals up somewhere that you can see them. Setting goals is an easy and proven way to create a lasting change in your life and career, don’t cut corners, this step can mean the difference between completing your goals on time or simply wishing someday things will be different.