The 4-Step Guide to Action Planning


When we create our business goals and put them in front of us, it often seems like we won’t achieve them fast enough. If you find yourself in this situation, consider looking at it from a new angle. See, goals are merely statements of preferred results: finishing a big project, becoming more profitable, helping more clients, launching a new service, and so on.


In other words, business goals shouldn’t be a wish list – they should state exactly what will get you quicker results. Here’s how action planning will help you create and reach your goals.


  1. Visualize the Big Picture


Your big picture goals are different from your projects. Goals are the results you’re trying to achieve, whereas projects are the vehicles you use to attain those goals.


For instance, let’s say you’re launching a free class. In this case, your class is the project that helps you achieve your goal: building your mailing list. If your new project is a paid class, your goal may be to prove your expert status and build revenue. Now that you know the difference between goals and projects, write down three key goals you have for the next 12 months.


  1. Brainstorm Your Projects


Once you have your goals, it’s time to start thinking about how to go about achieving them. Your first step should be to brainstorm all the projects that can lead you to your goals. If your goal is to become an authority in a specific field, you could write a book, do more speaking engagements, create a podcast, boost your blog audience, and so on.


Then, choose a list of projects that excite you, fit your budget, and align with your knowledge. Don’t pick too many projects right away: start with one or two and consider adding more later.


  1. Create a Task List


For each of your projects, write down a list of the tasks that you’ll need to complete. Next to each task, note whether completing the task will require a specific resource, such as learning a new skill. For example, if your project is to create a new class, your tasks may include writing a lesson plan, picking dates, writing marketing copy, setting the price, etc.


Once you have a task list, organize it into a logical order. If we take the above example, you’d need to write a lesson plan before you’re able to set the price for the class.


  1. Implement Your Plan


Your final step is to start implementing your plan. This stage is where many people start having second thoughts. When you look at your to-do list, it may seem overwhelming.


What you should do is focus on a single action you can do right now. Don’t try to do anything else until this first action is done. For instance, if your project involves writing marketing copy, start by writing a headline. By breaking every project and task into smaller increments and doing them on time, you can achieve everything you set your mind to.