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The need for planning and action in achieving goals January 13, 2007

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Planning.
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One of the key factors in setting a goal or a number of goals or goal set for ourselves is that we need to have a plan of action for achieving them. The plan needn’t be elaborate; in fact, if the planning is too intricate we may find that we spend more time planning than in doing what is required to reach our goals.

Basically, just writing out a goal is an important first step in achieving it. Writing out our goal(s) also represents the first solid component in an action plan. And the key to achieving any goal is to take action in some sort of organized approach.

It’s also import that we visualize our goals as being realized. Having a mental picture of where we want to get to in any area of our lives can be likened to traveling and seeing our destination in the distance. It makes the objective seem more achievable, particularly if the goal is a difficult or substantial one.

Visualizing is also an important part of using the law of attraction effectively. If you want something to come into your life, whether it is an improved job, a better home, or an extra source of income, visualizing it with mental pictures of what it would be like right now to have achieved your goal can help put you in a stronger frame of mind for achieving it.

The past few days I have been reading a new book discussing the law of attraction and it occurs to me that people new to the concept might think that simply focusing on what we want instead of what we don’t want is all that is required to achieve our intended results.

However, whereas it is more work than many of us realize to constantly focus on the positives instead of the negatives, additional work must also be done in doing real work towards achieving our goal sets. An action plan, plus strong visualization, plus specific actions equals effective goal management.

It doesn’t matter if the plan has to be altered along the route to success in achieving the goal. In fact, the intended route will probably change as you work toward your objectives. . Generally the “how” aspect of achieving a particular goal is often difficult to pin down precisely in an initial action plan, but the methods will emerge and become clearer as you take the actions outlined in your list of things to do to work towards your goals. Making up a plan is also one of the ways to bring your goal more into the focus of your present life rather than on the future.

Planning makes you think about your goal in tangible terms “in the now” and can help you feel the benefits in the present moment as if the goal as actually achieved. Planning also helps to bring a more positive focus into the goal management process because it presents the goal as much more doable, than if the goal is simply something “out there” on a vague life horizon.

This is a short introductory article, and there’s a lot more to write about goal setting and achievement. But right now I’ll leave you with a comment from a book that I recommend for detailed reading and study. Stephen R. Covey makes an interesting comment in relation to goal achievement as a function of time management in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In the section on Habit Three, or Putting First Things First, Covey comments, “I am personally persuaded that the best thinking in the area of time management can be captured in a single phrase: Organize and execute around priorities.”

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