Goal Setting: Develop a plan of action
Step 3: Draw up a blueprint and develop a plan of action
Your plan of action does not necessarily need to be detailed. It just needs to give you some direction. Use it as a guideline to help you get started along the journey toward your goal.
Sooner or later you will likely face roadblocks whether you prepared for them or not. It’s better to be prepared somewhat in advance than to have to figure things out on the spot. Having to figure something out on the spot may lend to a disruption in the goal achieving process.
An issue with goal planning and setting is people usually don’t take the time to reflect on what could potentially go wrong. They don’t account for Murphy’s Law.
Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
Subsequently, when something “goes wrong” they are ill-prepared to deal with the situation. Unfortunately, we can’t predict everything that can happen, but putting some effort into the possibilities will go a long way and help you stay on the path. Let’s equate this to a roadblock when you’re on a road trip. You don’t simply turn around and go home right? You make a correction in the path that’s leading you to point B. The same application is true for goals. When you hit a roadblock, it’s time to make an adjustment, not give up.
Similar to the things associated with Murphy’s Law are negative thoughts, or our limiting beliefs. Your limiting beliefs will hinder your progress. You must plan in advance how you will deal with your negative thoughts. Sound familiar? The dark voice inside our heads is realistically one of the biggest hindrances to our goals every single day.
Lastly we must think of the other obstacles such as people, events, and circumstances that don’t play to your favor and always “seem to come up”. These are things that you may or may not be able to control, however, what you can control are your responses to these situations. It’s these responses that will dictate your next steps moving forward, or your ability to keep moving moving forward.
Given all this, take time to ask yourself the following questions:
- What potential obstacles/roadblocks could stand in my way?
- What are my routine negative thoughts and do they affect my plan of action?
- How could these things delay or hinder my progress?
- What must I do to successfully work through them?
- All this combined is your Blueprint
Every obstacle you face is nothing more but a problem that you can work through with the right resources and the mental resourcefulness to pull it off.
You can be an incredibly resourceful person, however, if your environment does not support your goal then you will subsequently struggle to make progress. Your environment must support all the work you do in the pursuit of your goal (do you recall the congruence discussion??). If friction exists your progress will be affected. It’s at this point that you may need to make some modifications to your environment to optimize your actions and results. With this in mind, take the time to leverage your environment as best as you can so that it helps support what you are trying to accomplish. Simply put, change the things that will get in your way.
After writing out all the things that are related to your goal, things can get kind of jumbled. The notes are there, but it’s necessary to make some sense of them. It’s time to put it all into action.
Where many people go wrong is that they create this magnificent and detailed plan of action utilizing every aspect of the blueprint. When it comes to the implementation of their plan they soon get bogged down in the details and end up giving up on their goal prematurely. It’s necessary to keep things simple and refer to your blueprint as needed. Did a roadblock come up that you have detailed plans on how to overcome? Good, refer to the detailed blueprint.
Laying out your plans in simple easy to read steps and creating small milestones along the way will help to keep things interesting. Utilize your blueprint when things like obstacles and negative thoughts pop up, so you can recall how to overcome them.
We will close this discussion next week with a few thoughts on putting everything into action. Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement on the second seminar happening in February. If you have any questions of goal setting please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.