Action Voyage – Massive Action Toward Your Dreams
Leaping into action is by far the hardest part of this plan; that’s because things are now real. You’ve sat down and taken stock of your abilities and made a full plan that covers at least the next twelve months. Now it’s time to go.
Unfortunately, this is where most people stop. With the inventory of your life and a plan in hand, it almost seems like you’ve done the work. But you haven’t: if you don’t take immediate, massive action toward your plan, everything you have done so far would be in vain because dreams with no action are a delusion.
Before starting your action voyage, I want you to take a day or two to clear your head. Over the past few days, you’ve done a lot of work, especially introspection and self-reflection. A cocktail of emotions is bubbling up inside of you.
There are things you are angry with (about yourself), and there are things you are ecstatic about. You have new levels of understanding of your character and your role in the world, but you still have many questions. Then there’s your vision nicely laid out in front of you, tempting and exciting. You want it; you want to get there in a heartbeat.
Take a breath. Let all of this information sink in. Maybe read your work papers a few times over, especially before bedtime. Let your subconscious capture it and mull over it. Allow yourself to be excited about it. Share it, if you want, with the people you trust.
When you feel you have reached a good mental and emotional space, get your ticket for the final destination. Hop on to the Action Voyage. Let’s look at a summary of the steps in this leg of your journey.
Annual Planning and Review
As we discussed in the planning phase, the next twelve months of your life represent the horizon for your actions. Yes, you have many plans that go well beyond the year, but the action you will focus on is the one planned for the next twelve months. When you think of a full year, there’s a cyclical element to it. It feels like it has a natural beginning and ending, doesn’t it?
Even if you don’t start your year on January 1st, which is perfectly fine, you still get a sense of a start and an endpoint to the year. Because the year can be split easily into its natural sub-parts, such as quarters, months, and weeks, it makes for a perfect big-picture view. There’s enough of a high-level outlook, but there’s also enough urgency to make the next twelve months actionable.
Since you have already set up several goals during the Creation Voyage, it’s now time to spread those throughout the next twelve months in a thoughtful manner. By setting up deadlines and time frames, you are now taking those visions from mere dreams and turning them into achievable goals. In the words of Napoleon Hill, “Goals are dreams with a deadline.”
The Annual Planning worksheets are straightforward. They resemble a calendar planner but with a twist. You will use the worksheets to map out those goals along the months of the year. Each of your primary goals will have a Goal Tracking sheet, which you will use to track the portion of the goal related to the next twelve months. That’s because some goals might go beyond the twelve months we’ve set out.
As I mentioned, the year is short from one perspective, but it’s quite long from another. It’s easy to get lost in the execution and lose sight of the big picture. You will have your monthly and weekly trackers, but it’s useful to take a step back now and then to assess whether you are still on the right track from a yearly perspective.
To do so, I have added the Quarterly Review into the mix. This process allows for a quick assessment of your progress and reveals whether you’ve strayed away from the path. Often you start the year strong because the excitement of new possibilities gives you mental fuel. Then, once you have stepped into the second and third quarters of the year, especially if you had an excellent first quarter, you start to slack.
That’s perfectly normal, as it’s hard to sustain the same levels of excitement and intensity through and through. The quarterly reviews will allow you to take a momentary break and reflect. Where are you? What is the trend? Are you up or down relative to the plan? Do you need to rest and recover more? Do you need some time off?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll get the opportunity to hit the reset button and get right back to work.
Monthly Planning and Review
As the year divides into twelve months, your month becomes the new horizon. Because there are only thirty days in a month, there’s enough space to do a lot, but also enough space to do nothing. So you must be very careful with your months, as they tend to slip between your fingers and fly away.
Your monthly planning will involve scheduling all the complicated, challenging, and uncomfortable issues at the beginning of the month. You must set your priorities first, and your execution must be massive. So there’s an element of obsessive prioritization and also of deliberate consistency. Discipline in the context of the month is critical.
Often, we fall into the trap of leaving our monthly goals for the last two weeks of the month. Sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes it’s necessary because of specific circumstances. But being disciplined enough to realize that you are getting behind in your monthly goals is a skill you have to develop quickly.
As you will see below, you have your weekly plan and tracking to observe your monthly progress, but much like in the yearly time frame, you need to keep a very close eye on your monthly goals and their progress. Remember that your annual trend builds up from your monthly trends, so you need to work on those relentlessly and do your best not to let them fall behind. When they do, you need to push yourself to get back on track.
Never abandon the month just because it seems like there is not enough time left. Don’t write it off just because you had a week where things didn’t go well. Instead, jump right back in. Salvage whatever is left, and keep going!
Weekly Planning and Review
Once you get down to the weekly plan, things will begin moving lightning-fast. I don’t know about you, but for me, it feels like Monday’s here; I blink three times, and it’s Sunday again. A week is a fast-moving machine, and that’s both good and bad.
It’s bad because even if you let two days go by with no action, you almost feel like the week is over and nothing you do matters anymore. You might say, “Okay, I’ll just wait for Monday and try this thing again.”
On the other hand, it’s good because there’s a sense of urgency that keeps you motivated; it keeps you on your toes.
You will need to take your monthly plans and divide them into actionable steps for that week during your weekly plan. Much like how within the month, we tried to push most of the important stuff to first place, during your weekly plan, you will assign the critical items to the first two or three days of the week.
You should plan to do anything hard, painful, annoying, or scary in the first two days of the week. By getting them out of the way fast, you accomplish two things: 1) You feel accomplished and motivated because you’ve completed them, and 2) You kill any anxiety caused by them not being done.
Proper weekly planning while keeping an eye on your monthly trends is a vital part of your action plan.
Daily Planning and Review
Last but not least is, of course, your daily plan. That is the most atomic part of your journey. It’s also the fastest part of your plan, time-wise. If you thought your weeks go by fast, your days would fly past like a supersonic jet.
On top of that, although you can picture your overall mood and emotional state for a whole month or a week, these feelings are most prevalent, evident, and persistent during an entire day. You start your day feeling a certain way, either physically, mentally, or emotionally, and those feelings could pull you in different directions throughout the day.
Sometimes, the pull might be toward and along with your plan. Other days, it might be away from your plan. This pattern of on and off is something we want to avoid. The daily plan and habitual routines you design and implement will shield you from those effects.
Don’t get me wrong; you’ll still feel all kinds of good and all kinds of bad every single day. Remember that life moves around you. People and things exist there. Sometimes, or even most of the time, they don’t care about your plans. Their influence on you will have unexpected causes and effects.
By creating your daily tracker, you keep yourself accountable and unwavering from your plan. Building empowering habits that support your big goals will ensure that you develop those rituals that keep you on track. With every day that goes by that, you check those items off your list; you are building toward your weekly goals, one step at a time.
Onward To Action!
With this in mind, I recommend you go once again through each of the action steps one by one in the order in which they are presented. Each of them builds upon the previous one and details it further.
There will be many pages to print out to track your activity, but that’s a small price to pay for the benefit you’ll get out of it.
Each step in this process will have an associated downloadable PDF worksheet with detailed step-by-step instructions. I recommend that you first read the theory and examples given in each sub-section and then go on and download the work files and do the work.
With no further delays, jump right into the first part of your Action Voyage, the Annual Plan.
If you want to check any of the other steps in the Action Voyage, use the navigation table below.
Self-Growth Journey Worksheets
Feedback, Comments, Suggestions, Testimonials
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