Small steps

Developing your GoalGetter plan

You’ve developed some truly inspirational, life-changing goals, and now it is time to start working towards them. Where do you start?

Avoidance.  Vacuuming the house, phoning a friend, playing video games… anything but thinking about your goal. Sometimes our goals seem so unattainable that we actively avoid thinking about working towards them, as it is overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be.

The trick is to break the goal down into smaller steps. This enables us to see the path that we need to follow to achieve success. Once we can see how this is manageable, it becomes less scary and we have the confidence to take that first step.

This article walks you through how to break a goal down into smaller steps and make a manageable plan to achieve your goals.

Identify the steps

There are lots of ways that you can gather the information you need to identify the steps towards your goal.

1. Start with what you know

Brainstorm or list all the steps that you can think of.  Below is an example of a brainstorm of the steps needed to get a new job.

2. Research

Check other sources of information for ideas – books, magazines, online.

3. Ask for advice

Do you know anyone who’s done what you’re trying to achieve?
Ask them what they did (what worked, what didn’t).
If you don’t know anyone with experience, try asking in the GoalGetters community.

Making a plan

Once you have identified the relevant steps, you can start to put these into order. Consider which steps are dependent on others, and which need to come first. You might want to use post it notes so you can move these around until you get it right, or use a computer where you can easily cut and paste.

Take the time to consider some detail for your plan. How much detail will depend upon two things – the size of the goal, and whether you enjoy planning! Even if you are a planner-avoider, for big goals you should make sure that you have covered off the basics – time and cost.

Plan details

1. Time

How much time will you need to complete your project?
Consider duration, frequency and timeframe for each of the steps.
For larger goals, build in 10% contingency

2. Cost

Identify all the relevant costs.
Again, consider each of the steps, and allow contingency for larger goals.

3. Who can help?

Don’t overlook this!! Advice and inspiration, support and motivation, celebration.
Whether helping towards your goal, or supporting with other responsibilities so that you can focus, your support network is invaluable.
Don’t forget the GoalGetters community is a great place for online support towards your goals.

How will you overcome barriers

Consider what obstacles you may face, and take some time to think about how you can either avoid these, or what action you can take if they occur.
Doing this work in advance helps to reduce the anxiety and panic you might feel if you hadn’t contemplated these, helping it to seem more like a setback than a showstopper. It also means that you can consider these with a clear head, rather than when stressed and under pressure when facing a setback.

Again, turn to others for advice and do some research to consider anything that might go wrong, and how best to overcome them.

GoalGetter plan

Community members can download a GoalGetter plan that provides a comprehensive overview of your goal, inspiration and plan. This does cover a lot of detail – if it’s more than you need, just complete the relevant sections and leave the rest.

Now you have a comprehensive plan to work towards your goals. Next week we will look at scheduling these actions into your diary.

Can’t wait until next week? Order your GoalGetting workbook today for $25 (e-copy available for $10).