8 Steps to Develop an Action Plan for Your Goals (Plus, Free Printable!)

8 Steps to Develop an Action Plan for Your Goals (Plus, Free Printable!)


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We are all wishing for a quick and easy path to the life of our dreams. We know what we want and we want it now, right? However, between our full schedules and our mile-long to-do lists, it’s no wonder that we push off our biggest goals to tomorrow or the day after that – and sometimes our goals get forgotten altogether.

The reality is that none of us are going to suddenly stumble upon a few spare hours each day to dedicate solely to goal-crushing. So how do we find time for our goals?

The answer is actually quite simple. We need to create an action plan!

Since the beginning of Day Designer, over ten years ago, we’ve been researching how successful people tackle their goals and design their days. To sum up a few of our key takeaways, we’ve created a free worksheet outlining a goal action plan that you can implement today!

Download the Free Goal Action Plan Printable and join us below to learn our top tips and tricks as you fill it out.

How to Develop an Action Plan for Your Goals

We know that all good things take time, diligence, and – let’s be honest – a boatload of patience! By focusing on one goal at a time and allowing our free printable to be your guide, here’s how you can make it happen.

Focus on One Goal at a Time

A big list of broad goals can be overwhelming. It’s hard to identify where to start! Today, direct your focus to just one goal. A goal that you'll break down through the process of creating an action plan – ultimately making it more manageable than you think!

Pro-tip: If needed, break your large goal into a series of smaller goals and follow the steps for each smaller goal instead.

Set a Date for Reaching Your Goal

Identify a start date and a target completion date. Don’t get too worked up about the deadline! This is your best guess of when you realistically can complete your goal and desire to do so. This will serve as accountability. No, it’s not set in stone! Yes, it can be updated later!

Reflect on Why This Goal Matters to You

Knowing why your goal matters will motivate and inspire you to keep going.

Outline Routines and Habits to Support Your Goal

Which routines and habits will support your goal? To get your thoughts flowing, we’ll include a few examples:

  • Project at Work - Block one hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons to tackle next steps.
  • Improve Fitness Level - Dedicate 30 minutes each weekday morning to working out.
  • Four Family Dinners per Week - Create time for meal planning and grocery shopping every Sunday.

Set Yourself Up for Success

To set yourself up for success, consider what is needed. Research? A new planner or a dedicated notebook? A comprehensive list to record all of the tasks required to complete your goal?

Be Prepared for Distractions to Avoid

What could get in the way of achieving this goal? Being aware of distractions in advance will help you become more conscious of them when they swoop in and find you!

Uncover the Risks of Not Achieving This Goal

This is often forgotten yet it's a step we love here at Day Designer. You know you want to achieve your goal, but what does it look like if you don’t? For some, the thought of remaining stagnant or getting further behind is motivating in itself!

Envision How You’ll Feel When You Complete This Goal

We saved the best for last! Take a few minutes to envision how you’ll feel when you complete your goal. This is exactly what you’re aiming for, one baby step at a time!

It’s the small steps, accumulated over time, that turn into big leaps. You’ll find that your daily tasks become more effective when they support your goals in life. Design each day for success with the best-selling Flagship Daily Planner from Day Designer. 

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