logo GoalTrak Knowledge Base KB 016

 Category: Help

 Title: Action Steps

 bulb  Summary: The chapter in "Make It Happen!" that discusses the sixth step in creating a goal: Action Steps

 Product: GoalTrak™ EV, GoalTrak™ CV, GoalTrak™ PV  Version: All


GoalTrak EV - Action Steps

Once again, the thought that this thinking/writing process is now over may come to mind. Not quite yet! Hang in there! We know you are champing at the bit to get going. You're almost there. Don't shortcut the system. Remember, we are sharing with you what WORKS, and what works in the real world includes all 9 Steps! Stick with it, you'll be glad you did in the long run. Here is where reality sets in. These are the tasks/actions/activities, "the single units of behavior," that need to happen quickly to begin to make it happen. These are the "one step at a time" actions that get us started on our journey AND, keep us going when things get tough. Most of us are familiar with this part of The Technology of Goal Setting. We are identifying tasks and activities that are very short term, and that will end up being transferred to your calendar/planner, or daily "To Do" list.

Your first action step for each preferred solution answers the question, "What can I do within the next three business days to begin the process of implementing my solution?". Be careful in coming up with this action step. Many people new to goal setting try too hard here. After looking at the big picture in the previous Steps, they have trouble shifting gears to think small enough here. Be sure that the FIRST action step is so small that you absolutely cannot help but achieve it; that you are guaranteed success; that you have absolute control over this single unit of behavior. Set yourself up to win, but win the battle, not the whole war! ACTION STEPS are for winning all the little battles along the way. Conquering each challenge with a series of successfully implemented action steps add up to achieving your goal.

For example, rather than committing to having a meeting with someone, which sounds small enough on the surface, state that you will schedule a meeting or call someone to arrange a meeting. The scheduling of a meeting or calling someone to arrange a meeting is 100% within your control. Holding a meeting requires at least two people; and you do not have 100% of the control of the other person's schedule. These actions steps are, in fact, the first step on your journey. Searching for real estate in the newspaper, or on-line sounds small, but smaller still is “buying the paper,” or “scheduling time in front of your computer.”

Carefully consider your decisions with respect to the number one action step you have for each of the solutions you have chosen. Enter it FIRST in the ACTION STEPS window, and assign a TARGET DATE that is no more than three business days from the day you are writing your goal. If the step is small enough, you will be able to get it done within those three days. Continue writing additional action steps and target dates (these can be further out than three days; only the first ACTION STEP has the three day time limit). Enter these steps as fast as you can think of them. Assign TARGET DATES as you go. There's plenty of time to review and change.

Next, transfer the action steps as a task to your daily planner, calendar, or "To Do" list. Place a reminder on the target date or the day before the deadline you established for that Action Step. You are now making a direct link between your goals and your daily activities. You integrate them into your routine. You direct your attention to your highest priority goals rather than reacting to the exigencies of the moment (often in the form of crises, distractions and interruptions). You also manage yourself better, leading to improved time use and a reduction in stress.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

                                                                             -Calvin Coolidge

Now, review your GOAL STATEMENT and the various target dates you set. The target date is when you want to have the goal accomplished in its entirety. You already wrote the deadline in the goal statement, but, after working through the entire goal setting process, you may find that this date is no longer realistic. Now is the time to change it or other target dates in the Solutions or Action Steps. If appropriate, change the target date for completion of your goal.

Links to the chapters for each of the nine steps are listed in Related Topics below.

 Related Topics:
 Author: Richard Lewine
 Published: January 15, 2006

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