I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, because I don’t believe you have to have the start of a new year to reinvent yourself. However this year, my hope to reinvent myself just happened to fall around New Year’s. But a resolution or goal is just a dream unless you make it actionable. So how do you create actionable goals?
That is the problem I’ve had for a long time and the reason I needed to reinvent myself. I had lots of goals but no action plan. So therefore, they just stayed filed under goals, or better category that fits is wishes.
So this year, I decided to come up with action plans instead of just goals. My biggest achievements have been accomplished when I create actionable goals.
For example, I wanted to run a half marathon. We all know unless you’re a superhero, you don’t just take off and run 13.1 miles. I had to set up a training program and work for three months to reach that goal.
I am not a runner – never have been a runner. So for me to run a half marathon is a major accomplishment. After I crossed that finish line, I knew I could do anything I put my mind to as long as I worked to create actionable goals.
I found the key in making goals actionable and therefore doable, i to create a detailed action plan. When I trained for the half marathon, it was a little easier because I ran with a training app on my phone. The training app had an action plan all mapped out for me.
1. Set your goal – write down your wish, what you want
The first step you want to take is to identify your goal. I know this sounds obvious, but if you are a dreamer like me, you simply imagine yourself in stories doing cool things. You see a documentary on someone doing something rad and you put yourself into that story.
What is it about that story that you want to be apart of?
2. Make them specific
Again, to move past the dream phase you have to narrow down your goal, that way you can create actionable goals
Say you want to be more adventurous? Ask yourself, “what do you define as adventurous? What specific adventure speaks the most to you?” Some ways to make this goal of being more adventurous specific would be to do an overnight hike, hike to 14,000 feet above sea level, or take a solo road. Really narrow down what you want to do.
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Then narrow it down even more. Say you have a goal to hike to 14er, what 14er are you going to hike? By making it specific, you have an end reward to work toward.
3. Write down five (give or take) necessary steps needed to meet your goal
One of the best things you can do to create actionable goals is to divide that goal up so you have little accomplishments along the way. Take training for a half marathon for example. You don’t just begin running 13 miles. You first train for a 5K, then a 10K, then for the half marathon – and if you’re really ambitious – a full marathon after that.
4. Break those steps down into even smaller digestible chunks.
Next, take those smaller steps and break them down even more. When training for a half marathon, you don’t begin training for a 5K by running three miles. You first set a goal to run a mile, then two, and then 3.1 miles.
5. Set reevaluation dates
Sometimes you lose interest, life gets in the way, or you simply may have set a goal that you found to be too hard. It’s important to set reevaluation dates. And on those dates, evaluate you goals, your wants, and your needs.
6. Celebrate successes
And the best part when you create actionable goals is to celebrate your successes. So when you cross that finish line, make that summit, or accomplish a task you once thought impossible, celebrate it and reward yourself for all of your hard work!
But also celebrate your small successes along the way. These are important because they remind you of your end goal, and give you encouragement to keep on going.