An action plan is the road map you can follow that will get you to your goal. This will help ensure you don’t miss any important steps. Think of this as creating mini-goals, breaking bigger objectives into smaller steps, until you have “bite-sized” chunks. By doing this, your goal will seem less daunting and more attainable. Be specific about what you want to achieve each step of the way.
When they land in your inbox or your letter box make sure that you mentally send them love and say thank you to the Universe for the services you have received in exchange for the bill. Draw little hearts on them and use the bills as an affirmation that prosperity flows into your life in many forms in order for you to pay your bills on time. Whatever you do, don’t send the bills negative energy. Try and re-frame your perspective. Remember that more than 80% of the world’s population survive on less than $10 per day. There’s something to think about.
Break the big picture down into smaller and more specific goals. Consider areas of your life that you either want to change or that you feel you would like to develop with time. Areas might include: career, finances, family, education, or health. Begin to ask yourself questions about what you'd like to achieve in each area and how you would like to approach it within a five year time frame.
This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you'll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term. Read our article on Action Plans for more on how to do this.
So first, we have to make sure we're not shortchanging ourselves when we're setting goals. If the goal is no stretch for us, there's no point to it. For example, if I set a goal to run 2 km every day and I already run 1.8 km every day, I'm not challenging myself. Worse, I'm probably boring myself. A much better goal might be to participate in and finish a particular race. That would be more of a challenge, and it's challenge that keeps us interested.
Goals can be long-term, intermediate, or short-term. The primary difference is the time required to achieve them. Short-term goals expect accomplishment in a short period of time, such as trying to get a bill paid in the next few days. The definition of a short-term goal need not relate to any specific length of time. In other words, one may achieve (or fail to achieve) a short-term goal in a day, week, month, year, etc. The time-frame for a short-term goal relates to its context in the overall time line that it is being applied to. For instance, one could measure a short-term goal for a month-long project in days; whereas one might measure a short-term goal for someone's lifetime in months or in years. Planners usually define short-term goals in relation to long-term goals.