Action Planning: The Right Balance

For some, planning is an overwhelming process. Just say the word planning and many cringe at the thought. That’s because most see it as a drawn out, arduous process that has to take place over a lengthy period of time. That’s not the case with action planning.

Action Planning is such a useful tool because it provides direction. It helps to answer the question: “What’s Next?” It allows you to think about your goals and  objectives and what steps you need to take to move forward.

Many people fall into the category of “whatever happens, happens”. Others are so busy planning they forget to take action. Then there are those that prefer the action without the planning and find themselves doing a lot of drifting.

You have to have a good balance between the two. Plan, then act purposefully.  When you develop your action plan you get so much accomplished.  You feel inspired because you’re getting things done.

Action –the doing of something; state of being in motion or of working; habitual activity characterized by energy and boldness (I love this definition!)

This definition alone makes me want to get up and do something! Then again, I’m writing this article, so I guess that counts.

Action is critical to our success.  But consider acting everyday, all day with no purpose or direction. What would those results look like? Have you ever worked with someone that’s always busy but never really getting anywhere? Don’t let that be YOU. Get in the habit of action planning and take the time to develop your 90 day action plan.

 

5 Reasons to Develop an Action Plan

Have you ever stopped right in the middle of your life and realized you had no idea where you were going? Sounds funny, right? But it happens everyday. People wake up and realize they’re not happy at their job, where they’re living, or with the things they’re doing. That’s when most realize they have no concrete goals, vision or mission in life.

Could this be you? Your next-door neighbor, your spouse, child, or parent? If so, what can you do about it? The worst thing to do is to “stay in stuck”, become overwhelmed, and just do nothing, which will only leave you unhappy and unfilled. Instead, you have to reconsider your options, take a look at the future, and establish some goals and objectives for what to do next. And the best way to do that is to develop an action plan.

 

An action plan is a wonderful tool that offers a lot of benefits

Here are 5 good reasons why you want to develop an ACTION PLAN.

REASON #1 - An action plan helps you focus your energy. How many things do you have going on in your life? When life gets overwhelming you have to focus. And there’s nothing like creating a plan of action to help you center your thoughts.

 

REASON #2 – An action plan forces you to develop a strategy. Come on admit, you’ve been floundering around for long enough. Now it’s time to develop your strategy, which means you have to take some time to think, no offense but it’s not uncommon for people to go through life flying by the seat of their pants – taking the whole idea of “going with the flow” to a totally different level. Sure, it’s a good idea to be open to opportunities, to take some risks, and to live on the spontaneous side, but if you want to really get clear on where you’re going and you have a dream or a vision that is yet fulfilled, an action plan is a great place to begin developing your strategy.

 

REASON #3 – An action plan helps you define your goals concretely. Ever wonder why some people reach their goals and others don’t or why sometimes you meet a goal and other times you don’t? It could be that you haven’t structured your goals in a clear, well thought-out manner. When you write your goals out they become more real to you. Documenting your plans helps you understand better what it will take to make them a reality.

 

REASON #4 – An action plan gives you a tangible place from which to work. So many people work out of their heads. Rarely will they take the time or effort to write out their goals and objectives or to put on paper their vision and mission. This is a mistake and it leads to what I call “brain-clutter”. That’s when you have too much going on in your head to sort it all out. Brain clutter keeps you from moving forward and getting things done. Brain clutter causes “overwhelm”. Brain clutter is a barrier.

 

REASON #5- An action plan keeps you accountable. If you’re ever going to accomplish your goals you have to be accountable and there’s nothing like a plan, written goals, and a commitment to make you accountable.

The Action Plan is a proven tool so don’t forget to grab your copy of the Action Plan Toolkit to get started.

How to Write a Book — Get an Action Plan.

Writing a book may seem like a daunting and arduous task, BUT it doesn’t have to be if you have the right attitude and the right tools such as an action plan.

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When my co-author and I wrote our book, we wanted to make sure that we accomplished our goal. We were able to do that using the following process.

The Process

GET A CLEAR VISION

The first thing we did was to get a vision, which was to write a book to help entrepreneurs answer some of the most commonly asked questions about starting a business. Our mission was to simplify things for future entrepreneurs by writing a simple business guide that shared information and insight on starting and maintaining a business. We wanted to do it in a way that wasn’t intimidating and overwhelming.

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DEVELOP YOUR STRATEGY

The second thing we did was to develop a action plan. We needed a concrete strategy for getting this book written. The idea for our book had come a few months back. We had the concept and conducted some research, but then the process stopped.

When we were ready to pick the project back up we knew we needed a tool to keep us accountable, on task, and one that would allow us to see our project through. That’s where our action plan really came into play.
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DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE STEPS

We knew it wasn’t enough to just want to finish the book. There were a lot of steps involved, which included: writing the book, having the book published, getting ISBN numbers, researching and more!

If we were to make this happen we needed to understand every step of the process for writing a book and if we were to have the book completed on schedule, we had to develop and work by specific time frames. We went about creating our plan of action which included breaking down each step for writing our book. Once we understood the steps we then assigned each other tasks and set deadlines for each one.

“I’ve always wanted to write a book.”

TAKE ACTION

“I’ve always wanted to write a book” is a comment I hear often when people find out I’m a published author, but the only difference between that statement and my experience is that I went through the process to write my book. In other words I took action on my goal. That’s the only difference between what you want and what you have.

Instead of sitting around thinking about writing a book we went about the task of doing it. We were successful because we had a plan of action. Without it we could have easily stopped the process and let a lot of time go by along with the passion we had for writing our book. Or worse, we could be sitting around, years later, looking at old notes wondering why we didn’t accomplish our goal of writing the book.

JUST DO IT!

Thankfully, neither of those scenarios are ours. Maybe writing a book seems like an arduous task. It could have been. But instead of making it the elephant in the room that we couldn’t eat, we broke the process into bit sized tasks and went about the job of accomplishing our goal with the help of a simple tool called an action plan.

If there’s something you’re trying to get accomplished, you have to set your mind and a goal to make it happen. An action plan is a great tool for getting the results you want. Ready to accomplish a big goal?

Start by getting a copy of the Action Plan Toolkit