The essential steps when setting an action plan are:
- Set a clear goal. A goal should be simple and not complicated to accomplish and at the same time it should trigger us in order to be motivated. Don’t set a goal that belongs to your comfort zone: set a goal that keeps you calm and not anxious. Be accurate regarding the things you would like to accomplish.
- Keep a record of the profit that results after achieving your goal.
- What you would do at the moment should be your start. An action plan that starts in the far future will not do you any good.
- Determine clearly the steps to be taken. Take into consideration anything no matter how unimportant they can be but that would help you reach your goal faster. Divide the big steps into smaller ones, so everything becomes easier for you. What limits you? What could go wrong?
- Identify the end point for each step and reward yourself with a small gift for achieving it! The gift can be anything you like no matter how silly it may sound for others.
- Organize the steps in a coherent, chronological order and assign each step a start date. Save the dates onto a calendar. you may also set weekly goals: what research you will do, what skills you will would like to improve etc. this will also help you in creating a timetable every day where you set your tasks for the next day or two.
- You have to make sure that your plans are reachable, and what are the consequences if you fail to achieve your goals. Find several paths to your goal, so that if one road is blocked you’ll have another one opened: keep your plan flexible. People aren’t always capable of predicting the needed time for a project, especially in a group work they fall in the trap considering that everything is going smoothly. Think about the problems you might face at each step. What are the obstacles that block your way? How can you work to overcome the issues? Give 10 % of your time for the problem and 90% for the solution. Make every problem a challenge and every challenge an opportunity to reach your goals.
- Examine your growth. Record your daily activities in a journal in order to track your progress: this keeps your plan as concrete as possible. Review your progress two weeks after you have begun. Check how close you are to your objectives, identify the mistakes you have made and how can they teach you, search for innovative ideas and opportunities that have come to light then review your plan and see how you can implement these
- Socialize with positive people who support you to stay motivated! Tell people around you about your goals. They will support you through hardships and they will encourage you for it is hard for you telling them you have given up!