Well, hi there. How YOU doin'? I'm alright.

So, let's pick up where we left off with Goal Setting 101. Last week we talked about setting goals for the year. This week were going to talk about the dreaded Action Plan!

I've been writing Monthly Action Plans for myself for over five years. Let me tell you, there is nothing more grounding than to have it all written down, staring at you, every day. It's like that volleyball Wilson in Tom Hanks's movie "Castaway". It makes you a little crazy, but if you didn't have it, you'd go completely crazy.

My Action Plan has evolved over the years. For a long time I broke it down by category: Finances, Tools, Technique, Marketing, and Health. Now I break it down into the following categories: Daily Stuff, Weekly Stuff, Monthly Stuff, and Special Stuff. Why do I do it this way? Because it needs to be fluid. Anything can happen on any given day, especially considering that I'm self-employed and the phone could ring any second and I may have to go to New York, Princeton, etc.

So here are the things I do every month:

  • Daily Stuff: exercise, look for work online
  • Weekly Stuff: post my blog, audition for a minimum amount of gigs, lose weight, do online networking
  • Monthly Stuff: a lot of this is "maintenance", like backing up my hard drive, defragging my PC, syncing my Blackberry, updating my website/resumes, etc.
  • Special Stuff: these are where all my projects are and they change every month. I also leave some lines blank in this section for when new things pop up in my travels. For example, if a friend recommends a website, I write it down in this section and check it off after I check it out.
At the end of the month, I look it over to see how I did. I take some notes about what worked and what didn't. Then I carry over any unfinished stuff for the next month. It's rare that I get every single thing done. I'm only human, you know!

TIP OF THE WEEK: If I didn't have a Monthly Action Plan, I don't know where I would be right now. You need to remember that this is not supposed to be easy. If it was, it wouldn't be worth doing. Start small, start simple, and you'll build some momentum. Before you know it, you'll be accomplishing far more than you ever dreamed!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Treating others with love does not necessarily mean allowing others to do what they wish. from the book "Conversations with God"

STUFF!: Okay, kids it's time to get cracking! I want all of you to write down one Daily Goal, one Weekly Goal, and one Monthly Goal. Take that piece of paper and put it somewhere in your home or office where you will be forced to look at it every day. Keep the goals short, simple, and achievable in one month. For those of you who are really brave, post your three goals here so we can root for you!

From Tom Dheere's apartment, this is Tom Dheere, GKN News...

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