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Part 2: Powerful 5 Step Action Plan to Reach Your 2013 Goals
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In Part 1, we discussed the importance of making specific, measurable, timed, and realistic goals where your own actions will influence the goal’s outcome. Now it’s time to set into place a step-by step action plan designed to help you finally reach your well-structured goals.

Keep this in mind as you begin the action steps needed to reach your goals:

-If you don’t reach for the stars you will never catch them

-All can be accomplished with belief in yourself

Use the following steps for each of your goals:

Action Step 1. Decide on your goal. At this stage, your goal can be vague. Just get out a piece of paper and write down what it is. For example, lose weight, make more money, gain more clients, increase sales, or get that promotion.

Action Step 2. Be brutally honest with yourself. Hold nothing back. Say you’re a freelance writer and your goal is to gain more clients. Write down the realities:

-I don’t know where to start

-Although I am knowledgeable in my field, I don’t have much experience

-Being new to freelancing, I don’t have many samples of my work to show to potential clients

-I’m afraid to cold call potential clients

Action Step #3. Write down your options. What do you think will help you reach your goal? Just start writing and let your mind jump from one idea to the next. This is called brainstorming and it’s a vital part of the creative process. You’ll be surprised by the many options you come up with. Continue this until you can think of nothing more. You can do some research on the subject for additional help. For example:

-Look in the phone book and make a list of the businesses you would like to to work for and visit them

-Write a sales letter promoting your services

-Have business cards made

-Develop a web presence (website, social-media, blog)

-Join a local networking group

-Write a script for cold calling potential clients

-Write samples of the type of writing that you do for samples

-Find a mentor

-Offer to do a job on spec to gain a sample and a possible new client

Action Step #4. Now, it’s time to move ahead and refine your goal. Remember your goal must be specific, measurable, realistic, timed, and you must be able to influence the outcome of the goal.

Let’s take a look at our example goal : You’re a freelance writer and your goal is to gain more clients.

Refined goal: Gain 3 new business clients in the first quarter of 2013. (End date March 31, 2013)

Let’s see if this defined goal follows the guidelines we discussed. Is it: 1. Specific—yes, this is a specific goal, to gain more business clients; 2. Measurable—yes, this is a measurable goal, to gain 3 new business clients; 3. Realistic—yes, this goal can easily be reached with work on your part; 4. Actionable—yes, you can influence the outcome of the goal by following Action Step #3; and 5. Timed—yes, this goal has a specific end time, March 31, 2013.

Action Step #5. Plan what action step you will take first, and then next, and next, etc. Write them down in a list.

If you don’t plan your steps you may never achieve your goal. Look over action steps #3. Decide which action you want to do first. Write it down. Now, decide what you should do next, etc. Of course, as you complete these steps you may change your mind on the next step if you find that another would be more beneficial.

To be successful you need to make a promise to yourself to follow through on this plan of action. You will find that by holding yourself accountable and sticking to your plan, you now have a very powerful and valuable tool guaranteed to help you reach all of your goals. Now, write those goals down on paper and get to work! I know you can do it.



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Dawn Baird, Copy Expertise
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