Learn a technique to map out an action plan to achieve professional SMART goals. This step-by-step approach creates the discipline and structure required to see results. To achieve a professional goal, start by creating a goal statement using the SMART goal setting technique. Once you have a strong goal statement, it is now time to create an action plan to map out how you will achieve the goal. A technique I use with clients involves structure, discipline and sticky notes. I teach the goal setting and action planning process over a three month period.
The first month is used to assess, clarify and focus their professional goals. The second and third months are used to create and implement an action plan to achieve a goal that can be obtained in two months so that they see the process through from start to finish. Later, they can then use the same technique to map out bigger goals. The process is as follows: 1. I ask them to write their goal statement on a large sticky note. 2. I then give them smaller sticky notes and ask them, “What will it take to attain your goal? They start to list off all of the tasks that they will need to do and each task is written on a sticky note. After they have a few of the top-of-mind tasks listed (in no particular order), I keep asking the questions “And what needs to be done to complete this task? ” My objective input helps to make sure everything has been considered so partner with someone that can help you see the forest for the trees. 3. Once we have a complete list of all the tasks that need to be done, I ask them to set a deadline to achieve their goal.
4. I then ask them to commit to a goal achievement schedule for the next two months e. g. 2 hours on Monday evening, 2 hours on Thursday morning and 4 hours on Saturday. 5. We then use another colour of ink to mark the time it will take (in hours) to complete each task on a small sticky note. 6. The sticky notes are arranged in sequential order and are added to a spreadsheet. The column headings are: Task Type (broad category like meeting or phone call), Description, Time Estimate, Actual Time, Scheduled (date in the goal achievement schedule), Completed and Progress. . We then work through the plan together. I help them to get over any hurdles and learn from any time management mistakes i. e. over or under budgeting the time it takes to complete a task. 8. At the end of the process, I encourage my clients to celebrate achieving their goal. I believe this is a very important step in the process. My experience has been that clients who work with me through this process see how they can use the same techniques for goals in other areas of their lives.