By Gina Mullis, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (poet, author, and WWII fighter pilot) once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Read that quote again, and think very carefully about what it means. You need goals, you deserve to live the life of your dreams, and you can accomplish anything you set out to achieve. In order to successfully complete any of those things, however, you have to have a plan of action. All goals need action steps, whether they are small or large goals, or short-term or long-term ones.
Assembling action steps to accompany your goals is simple. All you need is a little patience, a hint of focus, and the desire to achieve a task.
Steps to Creating Actions that lead to Success:
1. Restate your goal or dream for your action step planning
Continue revisiting and restating your goals. This will keep you motivated to take action, plus your goals and dreams may change over time.
For example: My dream is to someday become a sixth grade English teacher. Or, my goal is to become a master car mechanic and own my own shop.
2. How will you benefit from achieving this goal?
List three ways that this specific goal will increase your happiness, your success, or will help you thrive and grow in a positive way.
For example: Becoming an English teacher will allow me to positively affect students’ lives, earn a stable income, and allow me to continue learning and growing through professional development.
3. Action steps with target dates
List four specific things you need to do in order to reach this goal. Be sure to include deadlines for when these actions must be completed.
To become a mechanic:
1) Complete application for a two-year trade school to study auto-mechanic education, deadline October 31, 2021.
2) Attend all classes, and complete all assignments on time to graduate, deadline two years.
3) Secure an internship, relevant part-time work, and/or apprenticeship in the field, deadline August 2022.
4) Learn more about operations of auto-mechanic shop by talking with owners/managers, and find out what I need to do in order to eventually move up to a management position, deadline is ongoing.
Goal is a management position by 2025.
***You may even choose to break your action steps down into short-term goals that you can accomplish this week, in the next month, in the next six months, and so on.**
4. Identifying obstacles in your action steps
Make sure you also list possible obstacles towards reaching your goals and living your dreams, to help you round-out your action steps. What are things that may stand in your way, or make it difficult for you to reach any part of your goal?
To become a teacher:
Two possible obstacles for me reaching this goal are…
1) Securing financial aid for college.
2) Finding open teaching positions within my desired community.
5. Overcoming those obstacles in your action steps
If you haven’t already, be sure to read our recent blog post about how to overcome obstacles to find success. Re-read the potential obstacles posted above. Now, think of ways you could possibly bypass those roadblocks. You may have to think outside the box, or list strategies you aren’t even sure will work, and that’s okay!
For example: To overcome the possible obstacle of securing financial aid for college, I will apply for several scholarship opportunities. I will also work part-time to save funds to use toward college expenses.
NOTE: Stride Career Prep Success Coaches can help you learn how to search and apply for scholarships and other financial aid.
Think of people in your life who could help you, as you take action towards reaching your goals. Share with them the steps you need to take, and the deadlines you’ve set for yourself. Ask if they can help keep you accountable, motivated, and on track. Write your action steps down in your planner, or as a list you can view regularly. Check them off as you complete them, or adjust them, as needed. Make sure your action steps are aligned with what you hope to accomplish, and never give up!
If you are a Career Prep student, did you know you can get up to 5 free 1:1 coaching sessions with a Stride Career Prep Success Coach? Visit here to learn more.
If you aren’t a Career Prep student, that’s ok, you can still get access to live coaching weekly on Wednesdays at 1pm Eastern on Instagram, follow us for updates and more career tips!