The Simple Way to Create a Plan to Accomplish Your Goal

You’ve decided to pursue a goal:

– to buy a new 3-bedroom house in 2 year
– to launch your first live seminar in 18 months
– to start your new blog in 90 days
– to renovate your office before the beginning of the end of the school year
– etc.

Now, you’re ready to rock and roll. What should you do? Answer: create a plan. Your goal defines “what” you want to accomplish; your plan defines the “how” you’re going to accomplish it.

Creating a plan doesn’t have to be complicated. To get from where you are to where you want to go, you must take a series of actions (i.e. you must do the work). At the core, your plan simply outlines the actions you must take if you want to get to your end goal.

Here’s a simple way to create a plan, which will work whether you have to plan on your own or in the context of a team.

List All the Steps You Must Take

Take a sheet of paper or create a new text file on your computer (or mobile device). At the top of your sheet of paper or your text file, write your goal (e.g. I start my new XYZ blog by 31 July 2017).

Now, do a “brain dump” of all the things you’ll need to do in order to reach your goal (e.g. actually launch your new blog).

Establishing the list doesn’t have to take very long. Just make sure you list everything you can think of. Even with your best efforts, you may miss a few items. And some of the items on your list will probably need to be broken down further later.

The important thing is that you do the list, as it will help you have a clear sense of direction, and the blanks will be filled along the way.

Organize Your List in a Logical Sequence

Once you have completed your draft list, organize the items in a logical sequence. This should be fairly straightforward.

You may not always know the exact sequence you should follow, but generally, you’ll have a good sense of what comes first, second, and so on. Again, the important thing is that you go through the process of organizing your list, and this doesn’t have to take very long.

Associate Deadlines With the Items of Your List

Now that your list is in a logical sequence, you can associate a deadline to each item of the list. To do this, you can start by the end and work your way backward; you know your ultimate deadline, and thus, know when the last item (i.e. the last task) on the list should be completed if you’re to meet your “ultimate deadline”.

As you associate dates to the items of your list, you’ll see if you’re giving yourself enough time to complete your goal.

As a general rule, always give yourself a little more time than required to complete your tasks; there are always unforeseen events that cause delays. Thus, you want to make sure you have enough “space” in your planning to account for these.

Take A Step Forward

Nothing happens until you do the work: until you (or someone else) start tackling the tasks on the list.

Starting with task 1, begin completing your tasks, delegating what you can. When you complete a task, mark it as done and move to the next one. Don’t stop until you’ve handled all the items on your plan.