- Bettina Applewhite
You've Got Goals. Now Make a Plan.
After you have set a goal, the next step is to come up with a plan to achieve that goal.
You’ve come up with a goal. Now what? It’s time to make a plan. The goal is set and doesn’t change. A plan is a set of directions to get you to achieve your goal. Those directions can change over time. It can be tweaked and updated when needed. There are a few things to consider when making plans to achieve those goals.
There are a few set in stone steps for some goals. Graduating from school requires a certain number of classes and credit hours. It requires that you make minimum grades in order to be successful. How you come to meet these requirements may be different for each individual. The classes you choose may be different. The amount of hours needed to study may be different. How long it takes to meet those requirements vary greatly. Even which school you choose to achieve those goals vary and depend on a number of factors like preference, finances, and environment. Some goal; different plan.
If you haven't decided on a goal yet, click here to learn more about how to make a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
Here are a few things to consider when making a plan to achieve your goals.
Do a little research
Instead of just jumping in blindly, do a little research on what you would like to achieve. How much of a time commitment is needed? Do you need to gather any materials before getting started?
If increasing physical fitness is your goal, what’s the best exercises that are fun for you and that you’ll be excited about instead of feeling like it’s a chore to complete? Think about your childhood and what you were interested in then? Was there a time where working out was a top priority? What were you doing? Why did you stop?
What options are available in your area? Are you more motivated at home? Or with a group?
If you want to start running organized races, what races are in your area? What are the most popular training plans and groups? Which ones fit your lifestyle and schedule?
If you want to start meal prepping during the week, how many dishes should you prepare each week? One dinner for every day or would you be okay eating the same meal more than once? How much time or energy do you want to put into mealtime? Heat and eat or would you be okay preparing the sides fresh?
Are there any classes available on the subject?
Who are some experts or influencers that have already achieved your goal? Are you following them or reading their books?
Consider your resources
Do you have a support system to help you or encourage you or do you need to find a a group with similar interests? How will you find your tribe?
Do you have access to any books or classes or online courses that you can sign up for?
Do you have unlimited time or do you have competing priorities?
Are there any financial costs to your plan? Is it a one-time costs or will there be multiple payments?
What’s Needed to Get Started?
Take inventory of what you already have and what is missing to make sticking to your plan easier
Do you need to go shopping to get ready?
Do you need to set up a desk or working area? Do you need to carve out a corner for exercise?
Consider all you will need to reach your goal. If your goal includes exercise, do you need clothes to work out in, dumbbells at home, a yoga mat, resistance bands, or do you need to get a gym membership?
If your goal is to meal prep, do you have a collection of recipes to try, reusable containers to store your food in, a grocery list app, did you consider snacks between meals too?
If your goal is to get to bed by 10pm nightly, do you need any aromatherapy diffusers, alarms set on your phone to turn off all electronics and social media 1 – 2 hours before bedtime, do you need to buy a journal to write your what you are thankful for daily so you can go to bed with gratitude?
Write Out the Plan and Review It Often
Once you decide on a plan, write it down and put it somewhere you can see it and review it often. It will act as a reminder.
Be detailed in your plan. Schedule dates and times. Schedule prep time. For example, if meal prepping, what day and time is dedicated for creating the week's menu. If exercising on Monday, Wednesday, Friday is the plan, when will you lay out your clothes or pack your gym bag to be ready on those days.
Put your plan on your mirror so you can see it when getting ready.
Set a daily alarm to remind yourself of the plan and to steps that need to be taken that day.
Set a Schedule for Check-Ins
Schedule weekly or bi-weekly reviews to evaluate how the plan is going
Are there any adjustments that need to be made to the plan?
Are you pushing yourself? Are you still growing? Are you still benefitting from your plan and goals?
Do you need to recommit to the plan?
Set-Up Your Start Date
Once you have considered all your resources, gather anything you need and set up a start date.
Set out all your supplies, organize and clean all your equipment needed to get started
Be intentional with your start date. Consider your schedule. Are you a CPA and it's tax season? Is this too busy of a time to commit to the plan? Is there a modified plan to start instead of an intense commitment? Is there a date that is significant for you?
Know that starting something new is exciting and scary, but that's why it's important to have a strong goal
Remember why you are doing this. It motivates you to keep pushing.
Remember that everything new starts off difficult and gets easier as time goes on. Push through the beginning stages.
Love yourself and have fun!