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Planning for Action = Planning for Success

A beige wall with nine yellow post-its in a 3x3 formation

I’ve noticed a recurring message coming at me lately. 

Three times in the past week, I encountered messaging through my social media and email talking about the importance of not just learning new things, but applying them to growth through action.

It got me thinking – have I been so focused on learning that taking action has taken a backseat?

Learning is the easy part. We can sit and read a book, watch a video, or listen to a podcast without much discomfort, right? I love learning and am committed to being a lifelong learner, but I don’t APPLY as much of my learning as possible.

Taking action definitely takes us outside of our comfort cave, but it is necessary if we really want to do big things.

Planning for Action

This week, I have a few questions for you to help you plan the ACTIONS you need to take to meet your big goals in the new year.

I want you to take the big goals you set for yourself last week and reflect on these questions to create your action plan.

#1: What are the short-term milestones that will lead to the achievement of the bigger goals? 

Write out all of the steps that need to be taken to reach your goal. 

I like to do this on post-its or notecards. I brain-dump each step out onto a card in no particular order.

Then I take the cards and arrange them in a chronological order that makes sense.

When I’ve finished, I now have a roadmap of actions I need to complete to help me reach my goals. 

#2: How will I measure success for each of these short-term milestones?

Define specific, measurable criteria for success to objectively assess your progress: What will success look like? How will you know when you’re done? 

Remember that doing new things brings with it lots of discomfort so don’t get lured into sticking with mini-milestones that have already been met.

#3: What is my timeline for accomplishing these bigger goals?

Set a realistic timeline for achieving your larger goals, taking into account mini-deadlines for each of the short-term milestones you identified in step 1 above.

I like to divide these mini-deadlines by quarters. So by the end of Q1, I will have finished x,y, & x  Using a quarterly framework allows for some flexibility when I work on my mini-steps and keeps me on track overall.

Commit to Action

Finally, once you have determined the timeline for your mini-milestones, it’s important to set a start date and then commit to starting. 

Committing to taking action is much different than saying that you “plan to” begin.

Committing is a whole different level and if you haven’t listened to my Flight School podcast episode on Wanting vs Committing, now is a great time to do so. It will help you see your goals in a whole new light. (Click here to listen.) 

Just imagine what could be possible for you if you made an action plan and committed to seeing your goals through this next year!

Want help making this easier? Join me in The Goal Getters Club here.

A blue Goal Getters Club Logo

Jen Laffin wearing a brightly flowered dress, glasses, smiling at the camera

Jen Laffin is an Accountability & Success Mentor for people who like to finish big goals, a master teacher, host of The Flight School Podcast, a possible thinker, and a recovering procrastinator. She helps goal-SETTERS become goal-GETTERS. To learn more, visit, or find Jen on Linkedin.


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