Self Life Coach Series #9
We all know that accomplishing our goals gets us closer to making our dreams come true. Simply setting goals does not mean they will be accomplished. We need a to carefully plan actions for goals to happen.
All of these directions & suggestions are based on the fact that your chosen dream and the goals that come from it are inline with your highest values & priorities. If your dream isn’t, you may have some more processing to do to figure out where this dream came from and is it TRULY your dream.
Break Dreams & Goals down
Planning is SO important and planning the right actions is also SO important. Like I mentioned in the Dreams & Goals post, break one of your chosen dreams into goals. Then break the goals down into actions that are doable in a day. This can take some time, detailed thinking and even some research to know the actions involved. You don’t need the entire goal list or dream’s worth of planned actions, just the next several.
Create Goal Lists
When you plan ACTIONS for GOALS to happen, (that rollup to your DREAM,) they need to be a priority. You need to put your “big rocks” in first. You need to put the actions that roll up to the goals that roll up to the BIG DREAM first. If you break your goal down into daily-doable nuggets, this is your to-do list for that goal or a “goal list.” Record these goal lists on pages 20-22 in your workbook and make additional copies as necessary. I would check off accomplishments and make edits as you progress.
Significant “Little” Stuff
I know what you could be thinking. You may think but since I broke that dream down into goals and those goals down into daily actions, it is just such a small (insignificant) nugget of the dream, is it really worth it? YES, YES, YES!!! If you do the tiny nuggets in the right direction every day, you will get there. Like the Chinese proverb goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” If you don’t do the tiny nuggets every day, you won’t complete your journey.
This means choosing that dream/goal action “nugget” over another “to-do” that may seem more urgent or easier to do. I get it BUT you can waste your dreams away if you don’t make these actions a huge priority. I’m not saying to not put out a “fire” because you have to do your action, but I am saying pretty much everything else.
Prioritize your Actions
Once you have your actions you need to prioritize them to each other and prioritize them over other “to-dos.” I have wasted YEARS waiting for my time to free up for my big dreams to happen. That isn’t how it works. Remember in the Priorities post when I told you about the “big rocks?”
Choose the Right Accomplishments
Because I am hugely driven by accomplishment, I literally get a buzz from crossing things off my “to-do” list. What I have found over the years is that spending my time on those insignificant items first, never leaves time for what is most important to me. I’m not reaching for my running a marathon dreams if I vacuum before going for a run. It is easier to vacuum and check it off my list, but it is a quick good, not a lasting good. Accomplishing my goals that roll up to my biggest dreams, that is a good feeling that will last.
For example, if it is a goal of mine to run a marathon in 2020 an action for that goal is to run 4 days a week for at least 5 miles a day and I chose to vacuum because that is distracting me, and then I go to lunch with a friend. If then I end up gardening and then I am too tired to run…I’m never doing to end up accomplishing a marathon. I should tell my friend I am busy til 1 (I’ll be running 11-1) then we can go to lunch. I just know I’ll be energized when I get home from lunch and then I’ll even vacuum and garden a bit before dinner too. See the difference putting the big rocks in first can be? To me it is the difference between living on purpose or not.
Put your “Money Where your Mouth is”
You know the saying, “put your money where your mouth is?” It means being willing to give money to something that you say you want to improve. If you say you want accomplish something, you need to “put your money where your mouth is” and “time is money” so put your time into these actions. Do what you decide you want to do.
Weekly Planning- Plan Actions
It is a must to plan out your week. It includes several steps.
- Put Appointments in your calendar. For example, I know I have to drive my daughter to piano lessons and her tennis carpool to tennis. Those two appointments get put in my calendar because I have committed to those things. Hopefully since you have evaluated your Roles & Responsibilities, you may have less obligations per week. If you have too many to work on your goals list then you need to remove something. Please don’t remove your DREAMS!
- Planning actions for goals to happen, involves prioritizing. Look at the biggest dream you are driving towards currently, then the first goal towards that dream. Then look at the first action on that goal list. Plan when you will start and complete that action in your next week. Sounds simple enough. What is simple, but not easy, is actually doing it when you say you will.
- Plan your work/goal time. I know I can work on my goals from 9am to 3pm that day before I carpool. I have 6 hours to devote to my goals OR I could allow myself to get distracted and vacuum or clean out a closet or do laundry but I decide and choose my goals over the rest. Plan ahead to make those choices. Block out those 6 hours to achieve the actions that lead toward your goal.
- Take into consideration what time of day you are at your best. I have SO much more energy & focus in the morning. You may get a burst of energy at 9pm after the kids go to bed. Use what you know about yourself in your planning.
- Allow some fun/reward time. Since I know if I don’t plan some social time into my calendar, I’ll break down and do something sometime I planned to work on my goals. So I plan in the fun time when it is smartest for me to do that and probably on days I am already planning to be out.
The A, B, C’s of Planning
I learned this system from Franklin Covey back in the day and I was recently reminded of it by Ruth Soukup from Living Well and Spending Less. When planning actions for your goals to happen, list the actions out. The ones that you must do because they are steps toward your chosen goals are called “A’s”. If you would really “should” accomplish something, that is called a “B.” And if you would really like to do something but it isn’t a priority then it is labeled a “C.” You need to commit to doing the A’s before the B’s and the B’s before the C’s. I know the struggle, sometimes that C action is so quick and easy but you need to stay focused.
Monthly Planning- Review & Recap
Monthly planning looks a bit different. I remind myself of my…
- Top 5 Highest Values
- Highest Priorities
- Top 5 Gifts & Talents
- Current Roles & Responsibilities
- Biggest Dreams
- Top Goals (for my Biggest Dreams)
- Goal Lists (actions) I have several goal lists (of the actions that roll up to goals and the dreams) and I check on them and my progress there. Confirm these lists are prioritized correctly.
Also look at your “10s” for the Life Wheel and decide where personal growth needs to happen to get closer to a “10” in an area. Take all of these awarenesses into planning your actions each week.
As we wrap up this Self Life Coach Series and you are on your own to make daily, weekly and monthly choices- I wish you great success! Please leave me comments and let me know how it goes for you. Please share your successes and struggles with me. And if you found this Self Life Coach Series helpful at all, please share it with your friends and on social media.
NEXT Self Life Coach Series 10: Recap
PREVIOUS Self Life Coach Series 8: Top 3 Tools to Visualize