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Goal Setting Action Plan

Goal Setting Action Plan. Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins

Why Create a Goal Setting Action Plan?

A life without a plan is like driving from A to B in a foreign city without a map. Creating a Goal Setting Action Plan is essential to moving forward towards your dream life. Not only do you need to question the rules of life to keep yourself on track to achieve your dreams, but you need a road map to make it happen.

Writing a goal setting action plan allows you to:

  • Create the life you have a vision of on paper
  • Gain control of your overall life direction instead of just going with the flow
  • Start working on a step-by-step plan to achieve the life you really want
  • Divide your daily actions between what is essential to achieving your goals and what is irrelevant
  • Maintain focus and dismiss distractions
  • Long-term vision +  short-term motivation = the life you dream of
  • Gain relevant information and resources related to your goals
  • Track your successes which in turn encourages you to take further steps forward
  • Boost your self-confidence as each step in your plan is completed

Where to start 

Your Goal Setting Action Plan is created step by step. Set aside some time to do this, preferably somewhere quiet where you can think without interruption.

Step 1 Defining your Large Scale Life Goal/s

You might be one of those blessed people who knows what they want out of life and can write their goal/s out very quickly. The rest of us need some prompting. Here are some areas to gather ideas:

  • Do you want to make a career change or adjustment? What is your ideal career path?
  • Are there any major life purchases you want to make such as buying a house, car, wedding, holiday etc
  • Is there anything you need to study?
  • Do you want to relocate?
  • What areas of your relationships do you want to focus on?
  • Are you as healthy as you would like? What changes and improvements would you like to make in this area?
  • Do you have any investing goals or wish to change something major in your financial future?

 

Now you have written down some broad ideas, you need to get specific. Clearly write what it is that you want to achieve. For example, instead of writing ‘I want to be healthy’ you would write ‘to lose 20 pounds before 31 December 2013 by eating healthy foods and exercising more than twice a week’ What is your target date to achieve your goal? Write that down. How would you know you have achieved that goal? In the example above this would mean that you have lost 20 pounds.

Be very specific when writing down your goals. Follow the SMART guideline. Specific (I want to lose 20 pounds), Measurable (I know I have achieved it because I can see the result on the scales), Attainable (It is possible to lose 20 pounds before the end of the year), Realistic (I don’t want to lose 20 pounds in a day) and Timely (I have written an end date).

Step 2 Break Down Your Goals

Write each of the goals you came up with across the top of a separate page. You are now going to break each goal down bit by bit until you have something you can write some short term actions for. As an example based on the lose 20 pounds goal, you would write down relevant areas relating to this goal such as eat only natural foods, exercise twice a week for half an hour etc

Step 3 Individual Steps

What are the individual steps to achieve each of your goals? Underneath each goal on each page, write the next thing that needs to be done to get to the step before. Using the food example above, individual steps might include:

  • Donating all packaged junk/processed foods to XYZ charity
  • Writing a shopping list based on healthy foods
  • Spending 30 minutes each night on a healthy food website
  • Trying new healthy recipes once a week

etc

Step 4 Add Deadlines to the Individual Steps

This means putting a time limit on each of the steps. For instance: donating all packaged junk/processed foods to XYZ charity prior to 5pm Friday 3 May 2013.

Step 5 Resources

What resources do you need to complete each individual step? Does the step need a Mentor? Information? Money? Time? Add your answers to these against every single step.

Step 6 Positive Effects

What positive effects will ticking off this goal have on your life? This is a very personal area of your goal setting action plan. Knowing what the positive effects each goal will have on your life can make a massive difference in your motivation to stay on track.

Step 7 Prioritize

Look at the all the items in the individual steps from Step 4. Sort them into order with the close deadlines and most important first. What are the top three most important things you want to achieve? What are the things that will move you forward the most? These are the ones to focus on. Create a To Do List based on your priorities.

Step 8 Results

Ticking a completed goal off your list is very rewarding, but it doesn’t always happen for one reason or another. You never know when you will come across a roadblock to your dream life. Don’t give up. Merely review your goal setting action plan and reschedule. Reviewing the area of a goal that hasn’t happened is vital to this process. You may find that the goal wasn’t what you really wanted in life. You might also find that one or more of the steps you had written were unnecessary to achieve the goal you set. Some steps might have been missed and you may need to break it down further. In Step 8 it is important that you don’t get disheartened. Look at what went wrong, come up with new ideas and steps, then set a modified target.

What does this have to do with Dreamlining?

Goal setting is very complimentary to Dreamlining though they are different from each other. Personally, I see goal setting a big picture thinking that steers your life in a particular overall direction. Dreamlining is about the specific things you want to do in life to live your dream life. The BE-DO-HAVE of life. By creating a goal setting action plan, you are working on your overall big dreams in life, and breaking them down into smaller, achievable steps.

So what are some of the goals from your Goal Setting Action Plan? Share them below in the comments.

 

Smash your Dreamline List Today in 5 Fast Steps

Seriously lacking the motivation at the moment to work on your Dreamline list? Here are 5 Steps You Can Take Today to Smash your Dreamline List.

Step 1 – Go find your Dreamline List

You know the one you wrote out six months ago and shoved in your underwear drawer? The list you forgot all about despite staring into space at work and thinking about those very Dreamlines that you wrote down. 

Couldn’t find it? Ya goose! Now you need to sit down and write them out. You might need a beer or wine to help you along, or is that just me? Can’t remember how? Here is how to write out your Dreamline List. Now hurry up and get back here.

Step 2 – Cross it off

Have you actually done anything on the list? Yippee if you have! You are crack-a-lacking! Mark it off with a big fat red texta. Red is better because it makes you cross a Dreamline off your list like a boss

Smash Your Dreamline List in Red Texta Like a Boss

Step 3 – Put a price on it

Make sure you have priced your Dreamline List. Not everything will need a cost, but you have gotta know how much moulah you are up for to make this happen. If you want to check that you did it right, check out the Dreamline Planning Details post if you need Dreamline examples.

Step 4 – Take Action

Write down 3 things you can do today to move towards something on your Dreamline List. Who can you call, what can you research, what appointments can you book, can you write an email. Moving forward and getting your dream life means you need to take action to make it happen. Action = success.

Step 5 – Plan for Tomorrow

Before you go getting all snugly in your pajamas tonight, look through your Dreamline List again and write down the next 3 things you are going to do tomorrow to make it happen.

Now keep repeating steps 4 and 5 daily until you start gaining momentum. Once you start seeing your success and those big red texta marks, you won’t want to stop. Also, at least once a week go back to your Dreamline List and check over it. Make sure you are on track. If you can, stick a copy of it somewhere you will see it everyday without fail. The refrigerator and the toilet are two places that come to mind.

Want more?? Click for more Dreamlining Motivation

 

 

 

Feb 18, 2013 - Conscious Spending Plan    2 Comments

Fast and Furious Saving for Long Term Travel and a Strange Question from my Mother

My mother is lovely, she really is, but geez she asks some random questions. It is hardly her fault. She is over 80 after all. And please don’t be rude, I am not THAT bloody old, she just had me ridiculously late. It is challenging having a mother who is older than the grandparents of most people my age. Such is life though.

So I was having a quick conversation with her yesterday as hubby and I are taking her on a road trip later this week. He is bursting with excitement at the idea of 9 hours in the car with his mother in law. However, it is a good chance to catch up with her before we take off on our one way Asian adventure in a few weeks. I gently suggested to her that she might take some travel sickness tablets before we go. Being in the back seat of our V8 as it flies around hairpin bends up a massive mountain and back down again generally isn’t her idea of fun. She seemed to think she would be fine, but I have seen the wicked combination of her and winding mountains. Better to be safe than sorry.

Then the random question comes soaring over the phone line. This is in her words not mine: ‘How can you travel when you haven’t been working properly?’

Hmmm…

I couldn’t explain the answer to her, but I will explain it here: I am a tight arse. A woman on a mission.

If you have ever wondered how average, everyday people who speak of long term travel do it, being frugal is almost always the answer. In Ramit Sethi’s words, “You can have anything you want in the world, but you can’t have everything”. What I wanted more than anything in the world was time to spend working on my business whilst travelling with my husband.

In practical terms, this is what has been done to achieve up to 12 months worth of freedom:

  • I changed from part time work to full time temp work at a higher rate of pay
  • Hubby is on a full time wage too
  • No regular dinners out. We have had about three dinners out in six months
  • Takeaway food is off limits. We cook at home every single day. We also eat Paleo which is more expensive, but that is a personal choice and one we have been willing to pay for.
  • Long weekend drives were off the cards. Our only driving is to work and back. That is it. Outside of work, we stay in our small town and purchase what we need here.
  • Our savings plan is on autopilot. I worked out the maximum we can save and we pay that first.
  • If we don’t have the money to buy something, we don’t get it.
  • We consciously work on reducing our bills
  • Our savings level is about 2/3 of our income with 1/3 going to living expenses.
  • Every bit of overtime that has been made available has been taken up. All extra income goes into the travel kitty
  • We have also saved enough to cover our mortgage repayments for the next 6 months plus all expenses to ensure that our belongings are all well insured. Our mortgage is fairly low through years of shaving money off the balance.
  • We sold a heap of useless crap online and with a yard/garage sale.

 

Six months of saving this hard gives us up to 12 months of living expenses for travel through Asia. Yes we will still be on a budget, but we are able to travel. So the answer to my mother’s question is a little convoluted and perhaps even impossible. Maybe that is why many people believe it cannot be done, and why so few people do it.

Nov 18, 2012 - Fear Setting    2 Comments

How to Take Charge of your Life in the Next Six Months

 Making a big life change is pretty scary. But, know what's even scarier? Regret

If you could do anything in the next 6 months to change your life what would it be? What would be a Dreamline so far out of your comfort zone that it would scare you half to death if you actually did it? A Dreamline so big that your life would change one way or another? 
 
I have been thinking about this today. My life, actually our life, is at a crossroads. 
 
For me, if I spent six months working solidly on my digital scrapbooking business and other income producing ideas, I would know if there was a chance that my businesses would succeed or not. Even scarier is, what if I wasn’t successful? My whole direction in life would have to change. I do want to be my own boss and create my own income. I know in my heart that online business is the way for me – I am not interested in a bricks and mortar business. So for me, six months of solid uninterrupted work would be the make or break dreamline. I would know if I had a chance at this game. What if my Dreamline Diary website took off and I could help people like you move closer to your dreams? What if I was truly helping you change your life? What if my digital scrapbooking store made me an income that I could live off? 
 
For my husband, he has had such huge changes in his life with his injury and he hasn’t worked for the past six months. The concept of doing something way out of his comfort zone to make an income would be a massive change. He too would like to be in control of his own future income, but he has no idea of where and how to start. 
 
For us, the answer is to fear set. Write down the worst and best possible outcomes of our situation, and if the chance of a positive outcome outweighs the chance of a negative outcome (and we can continue to survive and pay bills) then we owe it to ourselves to do it. Take the challenge and have a decent crack at it. 
 
So tell me, have you ever made a massive life changing decision? Created a goal or dreamline that was so far removed from your previous ideas in life that your world wasn’t the same after your success? Share your story in the comments below – tell us how you have taken charge of your life.

I’m Fine Thanks

Have you ever done something epic? I haven’t. I have never been one to want to change the world, just my world. But a few months ago, some guys from the USA had a message so strong that they wanted to share it with the world. They did something epic. They created a documentary called I’m Fine Thanks. If you have ever wanted the courage to change your world, then you need to see this movie. It will be the best $5 you have ever spent, the cost of a supersize coffee in the morning. Here is the link http://imfinethanksmovie.com/ and no I am not an affiliate. I just want to share the message as much as the people who opened themselves up to the camera to share their message. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Entrepreneur or Employee??

You have completed the process of dreamlining are now you are ready to fulfil your dreamlines, commit to long term travel or simply spend more time being with friends and family or doing the things you love. However, you are still unsure whether to be an entrepreneur or an employee. Hopefully this will help.

In my humble opinion the answer is to do both. Here is why:

Your day job gives you a regular income which is nice for surviving in this crazy old world. My solution to being both an employee and an entrepreneur lies in bending your day job to your will. What do I mean? I am referring to temp work. Temping is great for your income and your free time – you know the old time vs money debate.

By taking on set length contracts you can continue to have a regular income, generally at a higher rate than a permanent employee due to the nature of temp jobs. In your spare time you can build on your business ideas. Then at the end of your contract, spend some time doing those things you love before taking on your next gig.

During your break from work, concentrate on building your businesses. The break will give you a clear headspace to work from and if you can change location and free yourself from your normal day to day life, you will find the break to be refreshing and inspiring. If your business isn’t quite where you want it to be financially you can hit the next temp gig and repeat the process until you are making money from your business.

Making this work financially comes back to setting clear dreamlines and being crystal clear in your conscious spending plan. Also having a target end date will assist you in sticking to your dreamlines.

So how does this fit in with your current life plan? Leave some comments below to share your thoughts with our community.

104 Days of Holidays Each Year?

I once was reminded that most of us have 104 days of holidays every year that we don’t really do anything special with.

104? What had I missed???? Weekends that is what. So here is a question for you. What exactly do you do with your weekends that inspire your life and fulfill your dreamlines? This is an expansion of one of the concepts I brought up in my article 7 Warning Signs That Your Life Is Off Track. So, since it is the dawning of a new week, let’s look at what you can do next weekend that will tick off one of your dreamlines.

Rally Car Driving

Is Rally Car Driving Your Next Awesome Weekend Adventure? Start Your Engines.

Step 1: Look through your Dreamline List that you created back in Dreamline Planning Details and Writing it Down. Also check out your bucket list.

Step 2: OK, you know that some of the things on your list are either too expensive to do immediately or isn’t something you can do in a weekend. But what is on your list that can be done in a weekend?

Step 3: Get a nice piece of paper and stick a big fat heading on it saying “Weekend Dreamlines”

Step 4: Write on that list, all the things you can on a weekend. Think outside the square. From my personal Bucket List I could:

a) Do the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

b) Take a solo trip overseas (I could fly to New Zealand or a nearby island for a long weekend)

c) See an active volcano

d) Hike to the top of a big mountain

Step 5: Decide which items on your list are a real possibility ie Bridge Climb and Hike up a Big Mountain in my case

Step 6: Take action and book/do one in the next few weekends.

Step 7: Plan to do another Weekend Dreamline a few weeks after the first one and keep the momentum going. Doing this will make work worthwhile and it will help maintain your inspiration in everyday life.

So, straight off the top of your head, leave the answer to this question in a comment below. What can you do this weekend from your Dreamline List?

May 20, 2012 - Cash Flow Generation    3 Comments

My Conscious Spending Plan in Action

Welcome into my financial world. I am going to share my conscious spending plan with you. Firstly, you need to understand a little about my priorities. Outside paying my bills, I want to pay off my mortgage and travel.

My Conscious Spending Plan

5 Star Vietnam Luxury Birthday in Na Trang

 

This is why most things on my bucket list are travel related. I have a few things that I want, but they are well behind these two priorities.

My Conscious Spending Plan in Action

Pre-tax

9% Investing for your Future (this is retirement savings)

From post tax income

41% Bills and Fixed Costs

48% Extra Mortgage Payment

3% Weekly Dinner Out/Entertainment

8% Conscious Spending (Travel)

On top of that, any extra income on top of that such as overtime gets split the following ways

30% Bills Account for an emergency buffer

30% Savings for a specific want

40% Conscious Spending (Travel)

This means that any extra work we do gets us much closer to our personal goals much faster, with a little bit of common sense thrown in to give us a bit of a financial buffer.

So what are your financial priorities and how do you fit your Dreamlines in with your day to day finances?

May 17, 2012 - Cash Flow Generation    1 Comment

What is a Conscious Spending Plan?

I am sure I am a nerd. I don’t read fiction, I read business books. I find business and personal finance interesting…told you I am a nerd. Many books have changed my life perspective, but one book has changed my personal financial outlook. In fact turned it upside down.

It was a book by Ramit Sethi called “I Will Teach You to be Rich”. A lot of the book wasn’t relevant to me as I am just a wee bit older than his target 20 something audience, but the Conscious Spending Plan has rocked my world. It is all about priorities.

Conscious Spending Plan

 

It has been a rocky relationship really. I implemented my conscious spending plan and loved it, then stopped it for a month or two and was miserable, and in the last few months, it is back on. My relationship with money will never be the same again and I will NOT go back to a regular budget.

So what is it? Well dreamlining is all about deciding what inspires you in life and the Conscious Spending Plan is about funding it.

The best way to explain it comes from Ramit on his blog: “I think people should spend extravagantly on the things they love…but you have to cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.”

Here is a quick guide to how it works. As a percentage of your income, this is where your money goes:

10% Investing for your Future

50-60% Bills and Fixed Costs

5-10% Short and Long term savings

20-35% Conscious Spending (the things you love)

Basically you set up your plan and check in every month to ensure it is all working right. Automation is the key. Check out Ramit’s book or blog for more information. In the next post, I will show you a little piece of my world – my very own conscious spending plan based on my priorities.

So do you have a conscious spending plan or something similar? What are you doing NOW to achieve your Dreamlines?

May 5, 2012 - 4 Hour Work Week    6 Comments

7 Warning Signs that Your Life is Off Track

You have had a huge week and you have nothing left in the tank. You are exhausted. The sky doesn’t look blue anymore and the grass just isn’t green. Your life just doesn’t feel quite right. So what do you do and where do you start? Check out the 7 warning signs that your life is off track below, and get cracking on the solutions. You will be much happier and far more productive.

Train off the tracks

“Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIGN #1

You are at the end of the week and you have nothing exciting to look forward. Solution: Look to what drives you to get through the working week. More to the point think of all the things that you dream about while you are at work and start adding them into the weekend. Make a deliberate plan for fun and enjoyment and stick to it.

SIGN #2

You haven’t learnt anything new in the past year. Solution: Take a course. Learn to cook something or make something you have never made before. Learn a new computer skill or language. Just pick something that sparks your interest when you see it and book yourself in.

SIGN #3

You are starting to feel just a little flat. Solution: Book yourself a mini break. A two day weekend to rejuvenate yourself. It can be five stars or no star. From uber cool hotels to beachside or mountain camping. Pick something that will make you feel awesome again.

SIGN #4

You are really unhappy with everything. Work sucks, home sucks, your weekends are boring, you don’t even enjoy nice food anymore – heaven forbid! Solution: Take a long hard look at whether you are living the life you want. Do you need a major change? A relocation? A new job? Write down what your version of an inspired life would be. We can’t all be hammock testers, in fact after a day or so, you would be bored. So what would excite you in life? Find a nice quiet spot and write it down, then start making changes so you are living the life you truly want.

SIGN #5

You are making everyone else’s dreams come true and forgetting about your own. Solution: This is especially common with parents, and understandable. But like any good relationship, the more your value yourself and ensure that you are happy and recharged, the better you will be within your relationships and the more energy you can give to them. Be kind and do something just for you. A little time out to look after you is a good thing.

SIGN #6

You feel stuck. Solution: Feeling trapped or stuck can be one of the hardest things to overcome. Identify exactly what is making you feel stuck and decide what you need to do to move forward. What will take you past this point? This warning sign takes balls to get beyond because it is the sign that can mean the biggest changes in your life are coming up. Look for the future you want, and make the decisions you need to and get yourself unstuck.

SIGN #7

You haven’t ticked anything off your bucket list for ages. Solution: Find your bucket list, or if you don’t have one, start writing one NOW. Then find something on there that you can do this weekend. Not in a month. But this weekend. Nike baby, JUST DO IT. Get the details sorted and make it happen.

Take a long hard look at every aspect of your life. You might need a mini overhaul, or a major reconstruction could be on the cards. Whatever it is, you deserve to design the life you want. You all have responsibilities, but your biggest responsibility is to make sure that if you died tomorrow, you could safely say that you made your life your own.

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