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Now it’s time to take everything we’ve been working on in this goal setting blog series and set a foundation for your continued progress. Without putting something on paper, your goals will easily become just another good idea that never comes to pass.

There’s a saying that goes: “When humans make plans God laughs.”   There is an element of truth to this. Often we make plans and, well, plans change. We need to remain flexible so that our plan can adjust to the the twist and turns of life, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make one. If you route your GPS to take you somewhere and a road block comes up, you just re-route. You don’t just avoid looking at the map all together! 

The 30-60-365 action plan is the tool we use to map our route to where we want to go. We start with our “big picture” goals that we wish to accomplish in one year (365 days). Then we work our way backwards to determine where we would need to be at a given time to be “on track” to reaching our goal. Notice, we only include a 30 and 60 day plan. The reason for this is that, predictably, plans change after about 60 days. By re-assessing our plans every 60 days, we give ourselves the commitment and accountability of a solid plan, but leave room for flexibility should life have something else in mind for us. 

Success is about creating a balance between commitment and flexibility.   In the worksheets that accompany this article that you will receive if you sign up to receive this blog, start by summarizing your dream—your larger, lifelong vision. This helps you remember why you’re doing all of this! Next, write down measurable goals that you wish to accomplish in the next year. Then, ask yourself what goals you would need to accomplish by the end of 60 days in order to be on track toward your year goal. From there, consider what goals need to be accomplished in 30 days, and finally, what needs to be done this week. Then, pick one to three actions that you can take RIGHT NOW.

Now that you have your roadmap, you’ll need to add a little more detail to your plan. Take a look at the 30 and 60 day portion of your goals and brainstorm as many of the tasks that will need to be accomplished in that 60 day timeframe. Come up with as many things as you can. Then, reorganize them into meaningful groups. Next, highlight or circle the items that are PRIORITIES—these are items that need to be done prior to working on other items. 

After assessing everything that must be done you’ll be even clearer what needs to be done in 30 days and what can wait until 60 days. Anything that seems farther off in the future than 60 days, make a not if there is any part of it that must be done sooner, and then take it off your list. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

One of the greatest tools and habits you can have is to commit to a weekly planning session. At the beginning of every week, or even on Sunday night, take a few minutes to determine what tasks you need to accomplish during the upcoming week to stay on track toward your goals. 

You will either need a notebook, a calendar, an online list, or a white board. Make a list of all of the tasks you can think of that you intend to do in the coming week. If items need to be completed on a specific day, note this. If items are priorities that absolutely must be completed this week, star or highlight them and focus on these first. 

As the week moves forward, it feels great to be able to cross items off the list. Keep them on your list, do not erase them. This helps keep you motivated by showing you what you've accomplished. Remember that sometimes life happens and not everything on your list for the week will happen. That's okay, simply move it forward to the next week! 

One of the biggest challenges that people find when working towards a goal is following through.   Accountability is a tool to help you keep commitments. It is about having a reason to push yourself to continuously be motivated so that you can meet your goals. You can find ways to hold yourself accountable by doing some of the things already discussed, such as having a Ta-Da List and setting deadlines. However, going at it alone can prove to be challenging. Having others to be accountable to keeps you on track and also helps you create the success you want.

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together is reality!” --John Lennon 
This does not mean that you have to go into business with someone to be successful. It does mean that you may need a network, or a couple of individuals, that can share your journey. It’s helpful to have an outside perspective from time to time, and it’s really helpful to have someone who know what you’ve decided to do and is there to follow up with you to see how you’re doing.

For example, when I first started this business I met a couple of other people that were on a similar journey as me. During that process we would share our experience with each other, including our progress, challenges, and intentions. I have got so much out of the collaborative piece, the group has served as a great support system and at the same time as an accountability group that helped me stay focused in the right direction and with the right frame of mind. Because of the support of like-minded individuals, we continued to move forward and maintained the belief system that anything that we could accomplish anything we wanted. 

Finding Accountability Partners 
Your accountability partners should be folks that can be counted on for encouragement and reinforcement of what you are trying to accomplish. These can be individuals that are friends, relatives, colleagues, or business acquaintances. These individuals do not necessarily have to be on the same path as you or share similar goals, but it does help to have at least one person that shares your interests and can better understand your challenges. You should think of at least three people that would be a good source of accountability, and make a commitment to share your goals with at least one of them regularly. 

Create a system where you can share your goals with your accountability partner and they can share theirs. The key is to meet or talk regularly. The purpose is to share your intentions and goals, and then because you know that someone is going to be asking you about how things are going on a certain date, it keeps you motivated to have something good to report back to them. You can share what you will be working on today, your weekly plan, or even your bigger vision. This does not mean that you have to talk to them every day, but you should at least have a weekly time that you discuss what is going on and what you plan on doing for that week. This can be done in person, by phone, or through email. Doing this will help you stay heading in the right direction. Some of these individuals may even turn into collaborative partners. 

A good example of an effective accountability partner is a workout partner. If your goal is to get in shape or work out and you’ve decided to exercise regularly, it’s a great idea to have workout partner to join you when you exercise. Then, on the days you may not be feeling motivated and feel the itch to bail out, your partner will be calling you asking “see you there at 5?” You can also play this role with them. If a physical partner is not a possibility, having someone who shares similar fitness goals whom you talk to on a pre-determined schedule will keep you going, knowing that on Wednesday you’ll be checking in with your accountability partner and you don’t want to report that you skipped aerobics class. This process works well for any goal.

Take Massive Action 
Many times when we are reaching for a goal or something new we are tempted to take a small step to get our feet wet. It’s a form of indecision. It’s almost as if we are preparing for it not to work out and so don’t really go for it so that we have an excuse to not truly commit. The reasons that small steps do not work is because they do not truly show us what is possible, they do not create enough momentum, and even if we fail they do not teach us enough to be able to do it differently the next time. In other words, if you are truly committed to your goals the best thing you can do is to take massive action to get the ball rolling. Taking massive action demonstrates to yourself that you have made the decision to be successful and are truly committed to achieving your dreams and desires. 

Two of the biggest lessons I have learned from my journey and from studying truly successful people are: 
Never leave the scene of a decision without taking action. 

Indecision is a form of self abuse. 

Make decisions quickly and then immediately take massive action in that direction. Don’t worry whether it’s the “perfect” decision or whether it’s the “right” direction. Taking action in any action in any direction get things moving. For example, if you got in your car and turned on the GPS, it may not initially lead you to the right direction if it does not recognize which way you are facing or if has not updated your location. However, as soon as your car starts moving it will get oriented and then tell you to go in the direction you need to go, even if it means turning around. The same thing happens when you take action in life. Getting started is the hardest part, but once you make a move—any move—it becomes easier to assess if you’re going the right way and what steps to take to correct your path. Whatever you do don’t get stuck in indecision. 
Ask yourself, “what can I do RIGHT NOW?” 

The perfect time to start is now! What can you do that makes you feel “invested”? This can mean investing in yourself and your goal financially, physically or mentally. Once you take a massive action, you feel more committed. For example, you can: invest into a program, buy equipment you may need, buy a book, start writing ideas, make a phone call, share your idea, do research and write what you find, or join a program. Think about it: if someone wants to lose weight or get fit they can think about it all they want or they can take immediate action by joining a gym right away, going for a walk, finding a workout partner, writing a schedule on their calendar, or doing all of these things. It’s vitally important to take the first step now. The bigger the initial action step, the better the results you will get long term. 

One common mistake that many people make is that they rarely asses their results. They take massive action and make a solid plan, but then they continue to take the same actions and follow their plan even when it’s not working. At that point, their effort is pointless. They need to assess what aspects of their strategy are working and make changes to both their plans and actions. 

If we take the time to asses the results of our strategies, we will be better able to adjust our actions, often finding that small tweaks create major changes in results. 

Every day, ask yourself, “what did I learn? What went right? What could have gone better?” The same thing can be done every week. Take a day to reflect on your goal strategy and assess what is not working, what is working, and what changes you can make. Then reassess again the next week. 

When working toward your dreams and goals, it’s important to stay focused on the OUTCOME without being attached to the means (the “how”) by which you get there. You want to be committed to your goal, but you also want to remain flexible. By assessing your progress and your strategies’ effectiveness, you stay heading toward your goals while adjusting and trying new paths along the way. There are dozens of ways to get there. Never give up, just try something new. When something’s not working, it’s not a reflection of you. But your willingness to acknowledge and address what needs changing says you’re committed to reaching your goals and you’re willing to do whatever it takes. 

Other posts in this Goal Setting Series include:


06/29/2016 3:15pm

Thanks for sharing these motivational ideas for the people dealing with the farms and want to improve it. It is good to see that you focus on trying and implementing the things comes into your mind and this is exactly what we need to do. It helps a lot to learn.

06/22/2017 12:00am

Thank you very much for sharing these very helpful tips with us! Goal-setting is inclined to planning, these two things are really important since it helps us to see and know what route we should follow in the next years to come. Creating an action plan for the next years are also important, when we have plans we can actually see and determine whether we are reaching our goals or not. Aside from businesses, students can also create route maps and action plans, it may be a plan for 1 year or 2 years, it depends on us, this will help us, students, to know whether we are improving or we actually finishes something.

07/07/2017 8:15pm

Goals are ambitions in life. It is up to you whether you want to fulfill it or not. A goal will remain an imagination or a wish if you will not try to work to achieve it. The process for success is hard, but it is all worth it. If you are determined, patient and hard working I am positive that you will reach your goals in no time.

I tell this to my students all the time. They need to make a really detailed plan. In any project, there should be 95% planning so they will only use 5% of their energy and resources on execution. It saves a lot of time and money. If only students will not be too lazy to make plans. I notice that millenials are always on the fast track. I miss the discipline we have back in our days.

07/17/2016 8:28pm

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    Author Jennifer Archibald

    Reflections of life and lessons learned in the fields of marketing and agriculture.  A place to shout from the roof tops our clients success and keep you up to date on industry trends.


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