1. Be clear on your goal
To reduce overwhelm and focus your action, choose one goal to work on at a time. Make sure you state your goal positively, so rather than saying, “I don’t want to be scared of giving presentations”, flip it to “I want to feel confident giving presentations”. This way you’ll be sure to focus your energy on what you want.
2. Be specific
The clearer you are on your goal, the more focused your action and the greater your success. Is your goal just for work or other areas of your life? Realistically, when would you like to achieve it by? Break it down into as much detail as possible and split it into multiple goals if necessary.
3. Know WHY you want it
Go a little deeper than looking at what you want and think about why you want to achieve it. Remembering your “why” will help with long term motivation, especially when you face difficult obstacles along the way.
4. Visualise it
Visualising yourself achieving your goal instantly makes it feel more possible. What will it look like when you achieve it? How will you feel? What might people say to you? Describe this in as much detail as possible to build up a really clear picture of your desired outcome.
5. Identify your support
Write down a list of everyone and everything that can support you. This could be colleagues, friends, family, a mentor or even books, podcasts, coaching, training etc. Separate those things already available to you and those people or resources that you still need to find.
6. Check your commitment
There’s no point setting actions if you’ve no real intention of achieving them! So ask yourself, how committed are you on a scale of 1-10? If it’s 7 or under, then ask yourself what would make it an “8” or what could you commit to instead? It may be that the goal feels too big or unrealistic so choose something that feels more comfortable.
7. Set your first step
Rather than trying to plan the entire action plan, start with the very first step you need to take. Give yourself a short deadline for this and once this is done, you can then set the second step. This allows you to evolve your goals and action plan rather than trying to predefine everything before you’ve even started!
8. Set aside regular development time
Setting a regular date in the diary to review your goals and progress is critical. Consistency and continual action is key to development success. Choose a time and space where you’re free to reflect, without interruption, and commit to sticking to it, even if it’s for just 10 minutes a week. Using a journal is a great to record your progress and recognise your successes.