Have you ever stopped right in the middle of your life and realized you had no idea where you were going? Sounds funny, right? But it happens everyday. People wake up and realize they’re not happy at their job, where they’re living, or with the things they’re doing. That’s when most realize they have no concrete goals, vision or mission in life.
Could this be you? Your next-door neighbor, your spouse, child, or parent? If so, what can you do about it? The worst thing to do is to “stay in stuck”, become overwhelmed, and just do nothing, which will only leave you unhappy and unfilled. Instead, you have to reconsider your options, take a look at the future, and establish some goals and objectives for what to do next. And the best way to do that is to develop an action plan.
An action plan is a wonderful tool that offers a lot of benefits and if you keep reading I’m going to give you seven good reasons to create one.
REASON #1 – It helps you focus your energy. How many things do you have going on in your life? When life gets overwhelming you have to focus. And there’s nothing like creating a plan of action to help you center your thoughts.
REASON #2 – It forces you to develop a strategy. Come on admit, you’ve been floundering around for long enough. Now it’s time to develop yours strategy, which means you have to take some time to think (no offense), but it’s not uncommon for people to go through life flying by the seat of their pants – taking the whole idea of “going with the flow” to a totally different level. Sure, it’s a good idea to be open to opportunities, to take some risks, and to live on the spontaneous side, but if you want to really get clear on where you’re going and you have a dream or a vision that is yet fulfilled, an action plan is a great place to begin developing your strategy.
REASON #3 – It helps you define your goals concretely. Ever wonder why some people reach their goals and others don’t? Or why sometimes you meet a goal and other times you don’t? It could be that you haven’t structured your goals in a clear, well thought-out manner. When you write your goals out they become more real to you. Documenting your plans helps you understand better what it will take to make them a reality.
REASON #4 – It gives you a tangible place from which to work. So many people work out of their heads. Rarely will they take the time or effort to write out their goals and objectives or to put on paper their vision and mission. This is a mistake and it leads to what I call “brain-clutter”. That’s when you have too much going on in your head to sort it all out. Brain clutter keeps you from moving forward and getting things done. Brain clutter causes “overwhelm”. Brain clutter is a barrier.
REASON #5- It keeps you accountable. If you’re ever going to accomplish your goals you have to be accountable and there’s nothing like a plan, written goals, and a commitment to make you accountable.
Sheronde Glover is a business consultant and coach who works with individuals, businesses, and organizations in the area of goal setting and strategic planning. For more great tips on developing your action plan, visit http://www.actionplantools.com.