In my first post on how to be awesome I described a little bit about why I think willpower is the key to getting everything you want in life.
I also wrote about how I was the queen of procrastination when I was a teenager, but managed to turn things around when I almost got kicked out of my university!
In addition to my lengthy history on how I created and strengthened my willpower, I taught one of my favorite tricks on developing your willpower, which is writing down your goals. If you missed that article I suggest you read it first and then come back to this one.
Today I want to teach you about the second most important part of goal setting, and that is creating an action plan.
Deciding on goals and then writing them down is an excellent first step, but it is really only the beginning. So many people think if they have a goal then the rest should just work itself out. But then they get bogged down in the minutia of working towards their stated purpose, or they don’t know where to start!
In order to create and strengthen your willpower you need to systematically work towards achieving your goal. But how does one go about this?
The best way to achieve your goal is by creating a road map on how to get there. This is done by writing down all the steps you need to take to get from here to there.
When you create an action plan you will be able to use it like a map. You will know exactly how to achieve your goal and all the steps that need to be accomplished. That way you aren’t just winging it, which is a surefire way to fail at what it is you want to attain.
How To Create An Action Plan
There are a few different ways to go about this, so let me show you how I make my action plan for my goal of “adding vegetables and grains to my diet and getting rid of processed foods, sugars, and grains.”
First of all, I know in order to be successful at eating healthier, I need to have a comprehensive meal plan for the week. I have been sort of winging my meals for the past month, but usually I am pretty good about following a plan. Now I just need to get back on track and make sure I am only buying foods that are part of my new diet.
So step 1 is creating a meal plan.
Because I am not forcing my whole family to be on the same diet as I am, I can’t go through my food storage and get rid of anything that isn’t on my list. But if my goal was for my whole family to eat in the same way as I am, this would have been my second step.
With that said, my second step is to organize my pantry so all of the food that isn’t on my list is in one area that I must force myself to ignore. This is where willpower comes in.
I know from experience that if I have yummy food pre-prepared for my breakfast, I will eat it. So I need to spend Sunday making a week’s worth of breakfasts so I don’t feel tempted to eat something I shouldn’t in the morning, just because it is easier.
Finally, I also know from experience that I have a lot of problems with willpower from right after dinner until I go to bed. For various reasons I get hungry for something sweet and salty every single night. I am sure this is just my body responding to a bad habit of snacking after dinner, and I need to break this habit.
In order to achieve this I need to plan my evening snack to include something that tastes both sweet and salty in addition to it being on my list of approved foods. If this is something I need to make myself, then I need to add it to my “to-do” list for food I am making on Sunday.
So here is my action plan:
Goal: Adding vegetables and grains to my diet and getting rid of processed foods, sugars, and grains.
- Step 1: Create a meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an evening snack.
- Step 2: Separate the “forbidden” food in the pantry.
- Step 3: Prepare breakfast and evening snacks for the week on Sunday.
Depending on what your goal is, you might have more steps. It is possible you might have fewer, though honestly three steps is about as low as you can go. Any fewer and you might have mistaken a goal for a simple chore.
Now it is time to make your plan on how you will achieve your goal.
On a piece of paper I want you to write down your goal. Then I want you to brainstorm all the things you need to do to get there.
When you are finished you should have all of the steps you need to take in order to get from here, the beginning of goal, to the end which is accomplishing your goal!
Once you know where you are going and how to get there, it is much easier to accomplish any goal you set for yourself!
In my third and final willpower article I will be teaching you my biggest secret on how to create and strengthen your willpower, so be sure to check back to see what that secret could possibly be!
If you want to find out what that secret is and more, click here to purchase my 30 Days Of WillPOWER book HERE!