Whether you want to achieve a personal goal such as losing weight or a business goal such as earning a particular income, action plans can help you get where you need to go. Effective action plans break long-term goals into small, manageable steps, so that you continually take action towards the goal and feel a sense of achievement.
Helps Focus Activity
Creating an action plan helps you maintain your focus. Without an action plan, you may engage in a lot of activity without accomplishing anything towards your goal, or you may not take any action at all because you don't know where to begin. Your action plan helps ensure that your actions and decisions are oriented toward accomplishing your goals.
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Strengthens Team Morale
If you work with a team to accomplish goals, creating an action plan together helps strengthen the team's morale and sense of unity. You can ask team members for input into the plan and delegate responsibility to each team member for tracking progress toward portions of the plan. Team members who feel included in plan creation will be more motivated to follow through on actions toward achieving the goal, because they will feel they partially own the goal.
Your action plan can help you strengthen your self-esteem and self-confidence as you work on the plan. Effective action plans contain many small steps to achieve on the way to your goal. As you succeed at each step of your plan, you will gain confidence in your ability to be successful and make things happen. When you accomplish a major goal using your action plan, it generates a large self-esteem boost.
What to Do
To create an action plan, you must determine a specific goal and the steps you must take to achieve it. Both goal and steps should be measurable -- you should be able to tell whether you met the goal or not by examining the outcome. If you work with a team, recruit team members' help in drafting the steps. You may wish to consult an executive coach or life coach to help you create effective action plans.