Create an action plan to reach your goals

I’ve used action plans to help me focus my efforts. Especially when my goals tend to outsize the state of my efforts. So a great way to ensure that I’m able to focus with deliberate action is to create an action plan and attempt to stick with it.

In the last post I talked about apprenticing. Well, apprenticing is a part of my action plan process. For example, I was considering a role in recruiting which led me to have a conversation with a former recruiter which led to an almost job offer. 

A quick note before proceeding: this is a mostly unedited draft. If you have questions or you need further clarification, please leave a comment or DM me on Twitter (DMs are open) and I’ll do my best to answer.

What you don’t know, and I’m about to tell you now, is that my action plan was about looking into the possibility of transitioning to L&D in the HR environment. I’ve spent the last four years creating workshops in the CX/Product space, but I’ve always been interested in helping people discover their path in life. And a perfect merge of my career experience and my next step/stage in my career seemed to be L&D.

Here’s an example of how to set up an action plan:

Action Plan:
  • Area of Focus – is this career, health, social, personal, hobby, etc?
  • Specific Goal – create a specific and measurable goal that realistically achievable in the next 3 months
  • Reason for Accomplishing this goal – be honest
  • One obstacle that is in your way – be honest
  • Three-step jump start – three steps that you can take that are specific, incremental, and actionable “i.e. use the insurance company website to locate a podiatrist near me; ask Billy for a recommendation; and ask Uncle Tim for a recommendation”  Tip: drill your actions down to the smallest steps required to move you forward.
  • Estimated time required to achieve the goal – for example, “I will spend a total of 4-6 hours hours to find a doctor, make an appointment, drive the appointment, fill out paperwork, and see the doctor.”
  • Metrics – “one appointment with a podiatrist”

It wouldn’t be the first pivot in my career. But it seems quite closely related to what I’m interested in. 

I use the concept of apprenticing to learn about areas of HR. Usually, some experience in HR or an area function is necessary. And while I looked to move into an L&D role, I thought about potentially gaining some experience in recruiting to learn more about the L&ER side of things. 

I’m still working through my action plan, but it’s a proven method that works for me.

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