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Develop a Plan and Get Support

Roadmap to Success: The Action Plan

Every goal is going to need a different plan for action. Consider how you’ll prepare to achieve your goals within the time you set for yourself.

1 - break down the goal into smaller tasks

How can you make the goal more manageable? One way to do this is to add specific tasks for your goal to a To Do list. The smaller you make each task, the easier it is to complete it! It’s also more gratifying to check off multiple smaller to dos than just one larger one. A simple example is completing your homework for a class. If you know you need to read a book for a class, you can either add the to do of “Read the book” or you can break it down into smaller chunks: “Read chapter 1,” “Read chapter 2,” and “Read chapter 3.” If you break it down, this makes it easier to plan out and more satisfying to cross off each completed task.

This can be hard to learn how to do at first. Your mentor is a great resource to help you break your goals into smaller and more manageable tasks.

2 - prioritize tasks and set deadlines

Consider what’s most important to finish first to accomplish your goal. And, think about how the smaller tasks need to be planned in order to reach your goal by your established deadline.

3 - identify resources needed

Is there anything you need in order to accomplish the tasks for your goal? This might be information, tools, finances, or anything else that will help you along the way.

Consider how you can use your mentor as a resource, too!

4 - anticipate challenges

No path is linear! There will likely be challenges, and that’s OK. Think about what’s worked for you in the past and what has gotten in your way in the past. What barriers have you faced? Common challenges might be motivation, energy, drive, lack of time, etc. Try to figure out what’s stopped you in the past and plan for how those might sneak up on you again.

When working with your mentor, they can help you anticipate and overcome challenges. There’s no shame in facing obstacles – your mentor is there to help you reach your goals!

5 - monitor progress

If you have a To Do list or planner, keep track of when you make progress. Cross things off when they’re accomplished.

Don’t forget to tell your mentor when you’re successful.

6 - stay flexible

It’s OK when our goals or plans change. Sometimes we can’t help what life throws our way. Major life events may push you to prioritize goals differently or consider revising your goals altogether.

7 - communicate with your mentor

Remember, your mentor is your cheerleader. They’re there to help you along every step of the way. They can help challenge you to be your best and push past challenges and obstacles. They can also help you learn how to prioritize goals, balance competing demands, and set reasonable expectations for yourself.

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After you’ve written down your SMART goals and your plan for success, meet with your mentor to discuss how they can best support you.