We sat at a table in the local deli. He talked about his situation and his aspirations. I listened. Matt, who had left home to take up a two year training course, had just finished the final year with several assignments to complete to satisfy the course requirements. Wiping the cappuccino froth from my mouth I began to map out an ACTION PLAN for Matt on a serviette.
Matt’s Action Plan (MAP!)
This year I will review and reflect on the past, and clarify my direction for the future.
With this picture in mind my goals are:
Goal #1: Obtain fulltime employment
· Email a copy of my resume to my mentor for comment by…
· Deliver a copy of my resume to the following employment agencies by…
· Prepare letters of application for two advertised positions by…
Goal #2: Complete my study program for the award of a Diploma
Goal #3: Pay off my credit card debt
Goal #4: Reside at home
Goal #5 Meet regularly with my mentor and coach
A personal ACTION PLAN is a valuable tool. It only takes a few minutes to put pen to paper. Enlist the help of a friend.
1. Write a brief statement which describes the overall picture or vision for a period of time. In Matt’s case 12 months was more than adequate.
2. Establish a few clear goals which if achieved will help move you toward your picture or vision. Matt’s number one goal was to obtain fulltime employment so that he could support himself for the 12 month period.
3. Break each goal down into simple action steps or objectives. Use plenty of action words. SMART objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.
A simple plan has several benefits. It:
· Clarifies and orders your thinking
· Maps out the important actions you need to take
· Focuses your thinking
· Directs your energy toward achieving an outcome
Matt had achieved Goal #1 within several weeks when he gained employment as a HelpDesk Operator for an internet service provider. He decided not to continue with Goal #2 at this stage, and he is continuing to work on Goals 3, 4 and 5.
If we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Act now!