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Planning a better future
Planning a better future

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3 Forming a plan of action

The next stage is to bring everything together into a detailed plan of action. This means you will need to:

  • set out your goals (in the long, medium and short term)
  • decide which actions you need to take
  • identify your restrictions and resources
  • work out a realistic timescale to achieve each step.

If you monitor your progress by checking your plan from time to time, you can identify what you have achieved and then revise your targets if necessary. And of course if you change your mind about your end goal, then you can go back to your original plan to make necessary adjustments.

When drawing up your action plan you should consider:

  • what you need to do
  • how you are going to take action
  • which resources could help you (e.g. finance, information, friends)
  • when you will achieve your targets
  • how you will know when you have achieved your goal.

One way to deal with this is to break each activity down into small steps and keep it manageable. Action plans need to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based). Using a structure like this helps you to break big tasks down into smaller, more manageable ones so that you stay in control and have the confidence that you can manage them.

Having a back-up plan

You should always try to have a back-up plan, so keep an eye on progress and adapt your plan if necessary. If you don’t manage to meet your goals, it may be that your first plan wasn’t good enough. You may need to improve it or change it completely. If, after doing that, you still find that you’re unable to reach your goal, you might have to reconsider it. Ask yourself, ‘Is it realistic?’ If it isn’t, you’ll have to revise it.

Activity 6

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

To achieve what you want, it might be necessary to go through several stages. You might need to gain experience or qualifications, gather information, or get access to a particular resource.

You may have to cope with setbacks and frustrations, but you’re setting out on a potentially exciting journey, taking the first steps towards a new life. Set aside time at regular intervals to review your goals and see how you are progressing.

Look at the example in Table 4 and then fill in the template for this activity in the resource pack [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Table 4
My long-term goalShort and medium-term goalsActions requiredConstraintsResources – who or what can help meTarget date
Retail management

Secure intermediate-level apprenticeship in retail environment


Secure full-time job with further training and/or prospects at the (successful!) end of the intermediate apprenticeship

May need to improve my GCSE Maths grade for an intermediate apprenticeship


Need to explore opportunities in the local area


Will need to get practice at my application and interview techniques

Have to wait for an opportunity to resit the Maths GCSE


Reliant on public transport, which limits employment opportunities

Teachers and familyNext August

You've now completed Section 3 - well done! We hope that you have found your study useful and are motivated to carry on with the course. Remember, if you pass the quiz at the end of each block you will be able to download a badge as evidence of your learning and a statement of participation that recognises your completion of the whole course.