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Action made simple

Turning possibilities into plans

Some might say a goal without a plan is simply a dream or wishful thinking but where do you start in formulating a plan?

Whether you are working with a SMART, umbrella, visionary or qualitative goal you will need a plan to get you from A to B. It is important at this stage of thinking to be guided by possibility rather than impossibility.


“Can I do it?” should be reframed as
“How could I possibly do it?”


Goals should be ambitious, but not daunting. To enable progression and maintain momentum it is a good idea to split the larger goal into smaller sub-goals. Give yourself the opportunity to take small steps and celebrate little wins along the way. Your sub-goals should be detailed with possible actions. These are the activities that will lead you to achieving success.


10 questions to develop possible actions


  1. What possible tasks or things could help you achieve your goal?
  2. What possible resources might be useful?
  3. What possible reasons are there to involve others?
  4. Who could possibly help you?
  5. How could you possibly communicate what you want to achieve
    to others?
  6. How could you possibly obtain the help of others and get them
    committed to helping you?
  7. What assumptions might you possibly be making? What might
    you possibly be taking for granted?
  8. How could you possibly challenge these assumptions to
    stimulate further possible actions?
  9. Imagine that you had the world’s expert sitting next to you
    right now, what possible advice might he or she give?
  10. Finally, what else could you possibly add to your list that seems

With just three possible answers to each of these 10 questions, you will already have 30 possibilities to consider for just one sub-goal. Multiply this for your main goal and you should be brimming with excitement and possibilities!


It’s time to prioritise

You can now step forward with these possibilities to create your action plan. Look through your answers and prioritise them. Which should you dismiss, which need to be addressed first, and which are the most important?

As part of this process consider how you will measure these sub-goals.

You might consider the following questions:

  • What is the measurable difference I want?
  • How will I know I am working towards the goal or sub-goal?
  • How will I know when I’ve ‘got it’?
  • How will I measure the results?
  • How will I record the results achieved along the way?
  • What format will these results take?


Record your goals and action plan somewhere accessible. Refer to them regularly and diarise check-ins to monitor your progress. Remember, you are in the driving seat.

Most importantly, make sure you enjoy the journey towards making a difference, and not just wait until you have reached the final destination!


If you are embarking on a new goal, or simply want some more Go MAD Thinking inspiration take some time to read our free e-Book “How to Guarantee Success”.

You can request a copy here.


To really challenge your thinking attend one of our Thinking Bigger, Better and Bolder workshops. Developed to make you think about your plans for yourself, your team and your organisation the session will cover a number of practical tools to inspire new ways of working for the weeks, months and years ahead.

Do you want to overcome your biggest hurdles, get your projects and initiatives back on track and get your teams focused - all in just 30 days? Check out our new online 30-Day DASH Programme!
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