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Action commitments

Writing Action Commitments

SMART goals are action-oriented, and Action Commitments are attached to every goal. These commitments make it clear what activity goal-setters commit to in pursuit of their goal.

Goal-setters must periodically post updates of their activity and progress into their goal threads. They should mention the items in their action schedule in their updates.

Well-considered action commitments will improve your chances of the community classifying your goal as "doable". It will also strengthen your goal and increase your chances of success.

Consider these things when writing your action schedule:

  • Brainstorm the necessary actions

    Think of all the different activities that will be needed to achieve your goal. Go into detail. E.g. if your goal is weight loss, split the actions up into 'diet' and 'exercise', and then fill in details for each.

  • Keep the actions realistic

    It is good to get pumped up and make grand plans, but consider your previous attempts. If you were previously jogging once a month, setting an action item of 'jog for 1 hour every day' may be very hard to stick to. So start with something more manageable. You can always make the next goal tougher!

  • Consider both actions and inactions

    Sometimes a goal requires you to stop doing something. Include these 'inactions' in your action schedule. For example, if your goal involves making new relationships, an inaction could be 'don't watch TV on weekend'.

  • Ramp up

    Consider the difference between your ideal action schedule, and your current weekly actions. This could be quite large. Starting off slow and then steadily increasing your action-taking can boost your chances of success.

    Example: you are currently jogging once a week for 30 minutes. Your action schedule might look like:

    Week 1: Jog for 1 hour on weekend
    Week 2: Jog for 1 hour on weekend, and 30 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday after work
    Week 3 & onwards: Jog for 1 hour on Saturday and Sunday, and 30 minutes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after work
  • Have a set-up week

    Sometimes changes have to be made to accommodate your new action schedule. For instance, if your goal requires saving money, you could put 'cancel cable subscription' in your first 'set-up' week. Include these changes in the action schedule itself, and prove follow-through in your first progress update, to make a strong affirmation of your commitment to the goal.

  • Consider knock-on effects

    Some actions can lead to other actions having to be taken. For instance, if your goal is to compete in a marathon next year, and your action schedule is to run 20km every weekend, this will take up time that was previously used for chores and errands. Those may now have to be done on weekday evenings, which means reducing other evening activities like watching TV. Include those new knock-on actions in your action schedule.