I spent so many years flying by the seat of my pants. Then, there were those years where I had a plan, a revised plan, lists, and an up to date calendar. Can you guess which set of years were the best for me? You may be thinking you just do not have the time to stop and figure out an action plan, but time on the front end brings more sanity along the way.

Another school year has begun, and whether you are a freshman, who is just beginning, or a senior, with a job hunt around the corner, it’s a good idea to make or review your action plan. I am also sure that you have been considering what to do to improve your academic performance or life choices – to keep what’s working and toss out what’s not working.

It has been said that writing down the plan is a strong first step to actually reaching goals. It’s true. Mapping things out helps you make a plan and keep that plan going. So, while you prepare for your next assignment or test take some time to make a plan for the school year. With these 5 steps, you are on the V.E.R.G.E. of great new horizons.

5 Steps for an action plan:

Vision: What you visualize or imagine will propel you into the direction of your dreams. Write a vision statement that is written in positive, present tense, and concise language. Remember to write a vision statement that causes you to stretch to your highest possibilities.

Energy: Establish where you will place your energy each day. Determine the steps needed to achieve the goals. Things work out better when you know the steps you are going to take before you begin. Map out these steps daily. Be exact in how you devote your energy.

Resources: Figure out what resources or people you need to accomplish this goal. Determine who or what is readily available to you and which resources you will need to find.

Goals: Determine the categories involved in making this vision a reality. First, group the actions and resources into categories. Then, describe what needs to be done in each of the categories, with a definitive goal. Decide the time period this goal must be accomplished. Voila you will then have your goals along with the action steps to accomplish those goals.

Evidence: Decide how you will measure your progress. Consider what you can collect or point to that will prove that you are approaching or accomplishing the goal. Remember to celebrate along the way.

Each day you are on the verge of something significant, something great. At the end of each day, pause to review your day and measure the day’s significance – the day’s greatness. One of those day’s you will measure and find that your vision has become a reality, and then it’s time to plan the next dream.

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