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One quality of successful people is the ability to develop an effective personal action plan and follow it faithfully until the desired outcome has been achieved. Even a simple daily to-do list can work wonders to increase your productivity.

To-do lists help you focus on the tasks at hand, serving as a visual reminder of the important things you need to get done. If you know your primary purpose (either in life or in a specific business project) and you have clear goals, then you can benefit greatly from a defined action plan and daily tasks to help guide you.

To develop and define your personal action plan, you must clarify your values, create a mission statement, and identify the skills and talents you have that can be applied to achieving your purpose and your goals. …

The values that you believe in and support will typically guide your actions in life and business and the more you understand these values and are in tune with them, the more effective you will be in achieving your purpose and goals.

There are many types of values. Some of the most common ones are integrity, commitment to quality, excellence, service, respect for others, responsible leadership and more.

Next, consider your personal mission statement. Not many people do this, but successful people do. There may be different types or styles of mission statements, but generally it is a clearly written statement or document that describes the kind of person you want to become as it relates to your primary purpose or major goal. To get some ideas, do an Internet search for personal mission statement examples or templates.

Personal Action PlanOnce you know the kind of person you want to become or must become to achieve the purpose and goals of your desire, then you can work on developing or improving the skills and habits necessary to make it happen.

If you already have some of the necessary skills and talents, you will be able to make faster progress. If you have some particular strengths that dovetail with your goals, all the better. If there are skills that need to be developed, this process will help you identify them sooner and will allow you to prioritize their development.

Of highest value are any marketable skills that you have. These are skills that people are willing to pay you for. If you have particular areas of excellence and can tie these in with your purpose and goals, or better yet, can design your goals around them, you will be ahead of the game.

A clear understanding of your personal values, a defined mission statement and an inventory of your skills and abilities will all serve to inform and guide the development of your personal action plan. Combine this information with a clear purpose and goals, and you will be able to create a highly effective, step-by-step action plan that will take you from where you are today to exactly where you want to be tomorrow.

An effective action plan makes you more efficient and productive and can save you a lot of time, money, trial and error. It gives you focus and personal confidence. It is the smart way to go!

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* You might also enjoy these Personal Development posts:

~ Focus is Pivotal for Maximum Personal Achievement

~ Breaking Down Barriers to Success

~ How to Be a Better Salesperson

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The Maximum Achievement Training KitThe Maximum Achievement Training Kit

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