My 2015 Strategy Part 3: Specific, Measurable, Actions

goals personal growth planning

goalsAlright! It's the end of the second week in January and we're finally done with all the ways to plan out an epic 2015. Part 1 focused on the big picture strategy. Part 2 focused on the foundational habits that need to happen to provide the time, energy, and financial resources to make it happen. Part 3 will focus on the specific actions to take.

For the underlying theory, go here.

Also, sorry I didn't post yesterday. I lost my keys (again) which meant walking and busing all over Boulder to get a spare set from my fiancé and get home. Okay, I could have written something, but I figured you'd get a better quality post if I slept first.

Strategy Recap

Here are the big life goals from part 1:

A Year Long Lens

Focusing down on a year timeframe is the first step. That's pretty hard. We tend to underestimate what we can accomplish on a long time frame and overestimate what we can do in a short one. But here's a shot at where I'd like to be at the end of the 2015 in relation to the above goals (excepting flying and visiting Tibet, as I've decided to hold off on those):

Creating Specific Actions

My rule for a specific action is something that you can imagine actually doing. I cannot picture in my head doing "Become a Level 5 in Krav Maga." It's too vague and isn't something I can imagine actions around.

But I can imagine myself driving to the class and taking the class.

This is advice I give to my writing students as well: specific examples allow you to picture as vividly as possible the thing being described.

Another important element of good action are that they are things within your control. I can't fully determine whether my book is published or not, but I can sit down and write it, and I can research and call agents. I can find out what those agents want, and I can follow the advice of my agent in securing a publisher.

When creating your actions:

Breaking it Down - 3 months out

Now, I need to figure out exactly what I'm going to do to make all these things happen. Let's stick to a 3 month window for the first set of actions.

The Business Side

I'm working with a coach on this, and the emphasis has been on developing habits that expand my relationships and thus opportunities. Here are the actions I've taken as part of the coaching and on my own:

More concretely:

And that's about it. Some very specific things I can do to make progress in the direction of the overarching strategies of my life.

I think of actions as the How, and the strategy as the What. Or, put another way, the strategy is the direction, and the actions are the steps.

The reason I like the latter metaphor is that all the actions I mentioned above could serve a totally different goal in another context. It's only the direction I've given myself that make those particular actions relevant to my goals.

Anyway, that's my planning process. I hope it's been helpful to you in getting some clarity on your own process. Maybe you don't have a process, and you prefer to go via intention rather than the admittedly military concept of a strategy, with logistics and tactics.

What are some specific actions you can take in the next 3 months to move you in the direction of your big dreams?