How To Break Down Your Goals Into Achievable Steps

How To Break Down Your Goals Into Achievable Steps

If you want to accomplish challenging goals, you need a plan. But coming up with a plan is more difficult than you might think. The next time you have a milestone that you want to reach, you should break your goal down into achievable steps. Find out exactly how to do that and be on the right path to achieving your goals.

Define the Goal

Before you get started, you need to think about your goal. It needs to be specific and not at all vague. For instance, you may want to finish a specific project at work. Think about the exact timeline for that goal and include it in your planning. If you have not clearly defined what finishing the project looks like, create those parameters.

Figure Out What You Need to Reach the Goal

It’s just as important to determine the actions you need to take to reach your goal. In some cases, this means taking an online course or speaking to a mentor. There might be some preliminary steps you need to take, such as researching courses or networking with certain people.

When you do this step, make a list. Almost every goal requires more than one step. So, consider the example of someone wanting to obtain a higher-paying job. One step would be to write your resume, another would be to apply for jobs, and your final step might be to get ready for an interview.

Although this list is a start, it won’t include all of the steps that you need to take to accomplish your goal. Typically, you can break down the steps into subgoals. In the example above, you could include research resume writing tips, look at other resumes in your field, and proofread your resume to the main goal of writing your resume. Each subgoal should have at least one small, achievable step.

Create Actions

Once you have your goals and subgoals, you can create actionable steps. These steps make it easy for you to see what comes next. Without action steps, you may feel overwhelmed or waste time trying to figure out how to get started.

As you create your action steps, think about the timeline. Is it something you want to do immediately, or is it an action that will take place in the future? If it’s a future action, set a date for you to start and complete it. Ideally, you should cross off some of your action steps right away. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and could fuel your desire to work on more of your steps.

Tips for Creating Your Steps

When you have a good game plan for achieving your goal, you’re less likely to experience stress or burnout. Meanwhile, you increase your chance of creating good habits and completing your goal. Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind as you create your plan:

Don’t Plan Everything

While you should be very detailed in your plan, you should also know that you don’t need to have every little detail resolved before you get started. All too often, you can’t know what the future will hold. For example, you might be trying to start your side hustle. You might not be sure about some parts of your plan, and that’s fine. As you progress, you will learn things.

Analysis paralysis is a problem that keeps many people from ever even starting on their goals. Remind yourself that you don’t need to figure out everything before you start. If you have a decent idea of your action steps, you can get started and figure out the rest as you progress.

Do Things in Batches

If you want to be more productive, you can split tasks up into batches. So, think about your workflow and the best way to get multiple tasks done at once. An example of this is to complete all of your computer-related tasks at once or to perform a subgoal in one sitting. It takes time and energy to stop and start projects, and doing similar tasks all at once reduces that time and energy.

With that said, don’t be overly ambitious. If you set too many steps for one day or time period, you might procrastinate or fail. Try to set yourself up for success.

Know How to Handle Permanent Goals

Certain career goals may go on indefinitely. In this case, how do you handle the timeline and steps? Fortunately, you don’t need to write down the steps you need to take every day for eternity. Instead, create the action steps for as long as you need to for them to be daily habits. This might only take a few weeks or it could take several months.

Once you perform your steps without hesitation or complaint, it’s part of your routine. At this point, you don’t need directions or motivation. You can move on to other goals or take comfort in the fact that you’ve worked hard to accomplish your goal.

Pick a Reasonable Timeline

There is no formula for determining how long every step in your plan should take. But as a general rule, the smaller and shorter the steps, the better. If you’re someone who procrastinates, this is a particularly important tip to follow. By having short-term and quick steps, you are more likely to follow through.

Try to keep your action steps a maximum of one hour. However, some steps might be as quick as five minutes long. It all depends on the specific goal. Just make sure that the timeline is something you can achieve without rushing. If you set unrealistic expectations for yourself, you’re bound to fail and you might give up.

Be Confident

Finally, have faith in yourself. You’re more capable than you think. As you come up with your action steps, be mindful of all of your assets and skills. If you go into your goal with the right mindset, you can be successful.

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