You have a large goal to reach, but itâ€™s lofty and looks impossible to reach, how do you go about obtaining that goal? There is a tool that is accessible to you and that is called an Action Plan.
An Action Plan is unusual from a â€œTo Do Listâ€ since it deals particularly with reaching one single goal. To do lists are used for multiple tasks that are irrelevant to each other.
Why does an Action Plan work? It helps you to focus on each stage of your eventual goal and helps plan your progress towards it. Drawing up an Action Plan just means to list the tasks that need to be completed to achieve your main goal.
It sounds simple and it is, while also being exceptionally useful in charting your progress. An Action Plan will help keep you on path if you tend to get unfocused or discouraged about reaching your goal. Itâ€™s such a joy to be able to mark every task off your list and see how each step is carrying you closer to your goal.
Letâ€™s look at an action plan that I developed to have a book published.
- Develop your plot ideas and your characters. You have to start somewhere and you should know your characters and have a basic idea of what type of book you want to write. Decide if it will be fiction or non-fiction, for adults, children, or a book of poetry. That should be the first item on your Plan of Action.
- Write your book. Take it chapter by chapter and keep plugging away on your manuscript until it is done. You may only write a paragraph at a time, but you are still working toward your main goal of publication.
- After your book is completed, revisions and editing is the next step. Itâ€™s a essential step to the process even if it isnâ€™t your favorite part of writing. You want to send the very best to an interested publishing company, agent, or editor.
- Research where your script should be sent. You really donâ€™t want to send your romance novel to a science fiction publishing house. Itâ€™s important to know your market. Research; find publishing companies that are happy to take a new author if thatâ€™s what you are. Find out what their area of expertise is prior to you send that manuscript.
- You have researched, now itâ€™s time to send a query letter. This letter will give a short synopsis of your story and hope it will grab the interest of an editor.
- Your book has been accepted and is on its way to publication. Now is the time to do pre-publicity. Talk about your book, be your own advertiser. Unless you are a big name author already, chances are, you will be the main PR person for your book. Take a pro-active interest in promoting your book to family, friends, and businesses in your area. In this area, donâ€™t be shy, if you donâ€™t let them know about your book, no one else may.
- Success! Your book is published and now nationally and internationally available. Youâ€™ve reached your goal taking small steps and working your Action Plan. Celebrate and then make a new goal and start working on that.
This can also work when you begin thinking about initiating your own business. Actually, an Action Plan is suggested prior to you begin looking for financing for your new venture. An Action Plan will be somewhat different from the one I skeched above, but will use the same fundamental principals.
When you have marked off each task on your list, take each step one at a time and give yourself a pat on the back. An Action Plan will help you stay planned, chart your progress, and helps keep your goal in vision. Good luck reaching your goals!
Wasnâ€™t it satisfying to mark items off your list as you achieved them? If youâ€™re innovative, Action Plan looks too short or has too many large steps, break them down again. In order to attain your goal, small steps will always help you.
A quote from Ralph Marston says: â€œYour goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.â€