Is your goal getting out of reach? I’ve found that breaking goals down into actionable steps is the key to getting things done. It’s human nature to want to get to the end of the journey. But there are a lot of steps along the way, and at some point, the path can seem insurmountable.
But if you break your goal into steps and take one step at a time, it becomes much more manageable. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll feel relieved, more confident, and able to tackle any goal you’ve set for yourself.
Let’s get started!
The Benefits of Breaking Goals Down into Actionable Steps
One of the biggest benefits of breaking down your goals into a series of actionable steps is that it becomes easy to track progress and determine when you’ve completed each step. You’ll be able to see when you’ve completed your first step, and you’ll be able to celebrate that achievement.
Another benefit is that you also be able to keep momentum. As you complete each step, you will stay motivated to continue on your journey. This is extremely important since goals require effort. If you fail to complete the steps or don’t attempt them at all, there is a good chance that you will lose motivation and give up on your goals.
Breaking down your goals into steps also gives you a roadmap on where to go next. With large goals, it is hard to have a sense of direction. We break your goal into actionable steps, you always know what you need to do next.
This step-by-step method is also a great way to stay focused. If you get distracted and start to lose focus, it is easy to get back on track. Also, if you are unable to complete a step, you can either go on to the next step or added another step to fill in the gap.
For example, if you are learning a new skill, you can mark down the things you need to learn next or in which order.
Having a step-by-step plan gives you an opportunity to set up your goals and help you break up the daily grind.
How to break your goal down into actionable steps
The process of breaking down your goal into actionable steps requires you to decide what each step is going to look like.
In order to do this, you need to:
- Identify your goal
- Brainstorm what actions you need to take
- Create a list of all actions that best fit your goal
- Develop a timeframe in which you want to complete the goal
- Prioritize your steps to fit your timeline
- Set deadlines for yourself
Once you have completed this process, it will be easier to follow through with completing your goal. There will be fewer distractions and it will be easier to stay on track. Before you know it, you will have completed your steps with less effort than if you would have tried to complete a single big goal.
Identify your goal
Identify the goals you want to achieve. Before you can break down a goal, you need to know what you want to achieve.
Do you want to run your own business? Learn a new language? Write a book?
If you’ve got an idea of what you want to achieve, you can do some research to determine the key areas in which you’ll want to focus your attention. Then, it’s time to start breaking down the big picture into smaller, more focused areas.
For example, if you want to write a book, you wanted to be fiction or nonfiction? Will be a novel or a biography?
Answering the specific questions about your goal will make the process of creating steps easier. This will make you more likely to succeed in completing your goal. It will also stop you from wasting too much time on things that won’t help you reach your goal.
It’s tough to reach your goals when you don’t have a solid plan. This is why it’s important to brainstorm. This is why it’s important to brainstorm. Write down all the steps you think it will take to complete your goal.
During your brainstorming process, connect with people who have already completed your goal or a similar goal. Find out what they did to get to where you want to be and figure out how long it took them to get there. Ask them specific questions.
You want to have a clear understanding of what it will take to reach your goal. The better you understand your goal, the better you can create steps that will fit your lifestyle. Think about how the steps she will take to complete your goal will fit into your daily life.
Also, consider if completing the goal is even worth it. Sometimes, we have big goals and dreams. When we figure out what it takes to be successful in our goals, we realize that there just dreams or maybe, we should save them for a later date.
Create an Action List
Before you can start to take action on your goals, you need to create a list of all the steps you are going to take. As you decide on the actions you want to add to your list, consider if they are feasible.
The key point to remember is that you’re only setting yourself up for failure if you do not have a feasible plan. Always make sure you have the ability to complete each step of your goal. Don’t choose steps that rely on other people or specific events to happen for them to work.
Also, If you’re too ambitious and try to complicate your steps, you’ll fail. You’ll burn out, giving up on your goal altogether. The point of the steps is to make reaching your goals easier, not harder. The more you complicate things, the easier it is to procrastinate and put off completing your steps.
As you write your steps, if you take a step back and look at them, you may notice that they are somewhat vague. This is because they aren’t clearly written. In this case, you’ll need to break them down into smaller, more specific actions.
The sooner you begin breaking these down, the easier it will be to create your next set of steps. You want your steps to be practical. If they are too vague, you will not be able to move forward. You will have to go back and redo all the other steps you created in order to move forward with completing your goal.
Make a Schedule
The single most important thing you can take to make yourself steps actionable is to set a schedule. Create a schedule for yourself that’s balanced, fun, and flexible. You don’t have to adhere to it strictly, but you do need to commit to it.
If you do the same thing every day, you’ll never move forward. Also, if you don’t do anything or doing wrong things will never move forward. You created the steps to make progress on your goal and that can’t happen if you don’t add them to your schedule.
Adding your steps to your schedule will help you see the pathway that you need to go through in order to reach your goal. It will also force you to be specific in your actions. You will have to make choices as to whether you want to work on your goal or engage in leisure activities or spend time with your friends and family.
Having a schedule makes it easier to balance everything that is going on in your life. When you’re able to balance your life, you don’t like you’re missing out or giving up on anything when you’re working on your goal.
Prioritize Your steps
Once you’ve created your schedule, go through it and figure out which steps are essential. How can you accomplish each step?
You’ll have to prioritize the actions in your plan. Sometimes you’ll have to make some difficult decisions and decide which actions are essential.
You’ll also need to pick a few steps that will be very time-consuming and difficult. These are the steps that will determine if you’re able to reach your goal. You can’t just focus on the easy steps.
The real beauty of this method is you can re-evaluate your steps periodically. Steps are hoping you on the journey towards completing your goal or taking you on another path.
Set Deadlines for Yourself
There’s a difference between having a deadline and knowing when you need to have a deadline. You need a deadline to take action, but if you can’t define the deadline, you’ll procrastinate until you do. When you want to complete something in a short amount of time, set deadlines for yourself and stick to them.
If you don’t set an end date, you might find yourself feeling stressed and overwhelmed because of all the pressure to finish.
For example, let’s say you are going to clean your whole house in one day. It might seem like a daunting task, but set deadlines for each step makes the task go by easier.
This will make also it easier for you to stick to your plan. When it comes to anything you want to accomplish, deadlines are important.
Deadlines, it’s not the end of the world. You have your entire life to complete your goal. Even though you have an extended time to complete your goal, don’t use this as an excuse to procrastinate.
Everyone has their own personal reasons for why they want to set deadlines for themselves. Some people might have more time constraints, some might want to take things slow, and some might want to take the pressure off themselves by setting deadlines. Figure out what those reasons are in use that to your advantage.
Remember, the purpose of setting a deadline is to move you forward on your journey, not to stress you out.
Common Pitfalls to Be Aware Of
When you set out to break a goal into actionable steps, there are some common pitfalls that can set you back. It is important to understand these pitfalls so that you’re able to tackle them head-on. Also, knowing what these pitfalls are will make you more likely to complete your goal.
The first common pitfall is your steps are too big. If your steps are too big, you will be doing a lot of actions to complete that single step. You may get discouraged because you might have to work on a step for a long period of time without any progress. The solution to this is to make sure that your steps only contain a few actions.
The next pitfall is you have too many steps. It is okay to have a lot of steps when you have a clear schedule and deadline of when each step will be completed. If you are just adding in steps for the sake of adding in more steps, this is a procrastination technique that will keep you from completing your goal. So, when you decide on your steps make sure they will actually get you towards your goal.
Another common pitfall you may experience is that you think that going through each and every step will be a lot of work. Try to look at it from another perspective. If you have a lot of steps and you’re going through them all you’re making progress towards your goal. Look at the past steps you have completed as accomplishments.
Although there are many more pitfalls I can go over, I just wanted to give you three common ones that you should be aware of when you start to break your goals down into steps.
As you can see from the process above, breaking down goals is not as simple as it may seem. The process needs to be done with care and thoughtfulness.
In order to be successful, you need to consistently work on your steps so that you don’t lose sight of your purpose and lose focus on the achievement of your goal.
You also need to be aware of possible pitfalls. It’s easy to get bogged down in the process and get stressed when the time comes to take action, but if you’re focused on the goal that was set, you will be successful.
Now, I want to hear from you. What’s your experience with breaking your goals down into actionable steps? Is breaking down your goals into steps easier or harder than other ways to break down your goals?
Share your insights in the comments section below.