What is an Action Plan template?
An action plan template is a resource designed to provide guidance to achieve a defined goal or objective. The template breaks down the goal into manageable steps, providing a roadmap for individuals and teams to keep track of responsibilities, tasks, resources, and timelines to enhance success in achieving goals (Weller, 2016/2023).
From creating New Year's resolutions to maintaining sobriety, goal setting is essential for motivating action for success. However, for most people, intentions alone are insufficient to encourage action (University of Kansas, n.d.). We are often subject to an intention-behavior gap, which proposes a challenge of translating intentions into action (Bailey, 2019). However, this can be resolved by developing a thorough action plan to keep on track.
Though planning can often be time-consuming, it is crucial to enact change. Forming an action plan sets realistic expectations and holds individuals accountable for completing tasks and using resources to reach an ultimate goal. An action plan typically includes the following:
- A realistic goal
- Tasks required to achieve the goal
- Resources required
- The individuals responsible for task completion (in team environments)
- Timelines for each task to be completed, as well as the overall goal
- Documentation of any reflections or experiences during and after task completion
Using Carepatron’s action plan template, individuals, communities, and health providers can break down the steps required to reach their goals.
How does it work?
Our action plan template breaks down the goal into simple steps, helping you succeed in meeting your aspirations. Here are some steps to show you how the template works:
Step 1: Access the template
Obtain our action plan template here, or download a printable copy using the link below:
Download the Printable Action Plan Template here.
Step 2: Goal setting
Here are some things to consider when setting a goal:
- Be specific in what you are trying to achieve.
- Include how progress and success will be measured. E.g., if the goal is weight loss, this may be waist circumference.
- Specify what success looks like.
- Include when you expect this goal to be achieved.
Step 3: Identify tasks
Break down the goal into manageable tasks. It may be helpful to work backward and identify the actions required to achieve the goal.
Step 4: Responsibility
If this goal is set for a team or involves multiple stakeholders, delegate responsibilities where appropriate. If this is an individual pursuit, assign the accountability to yourself or a client.
Step 5: Timeline
Assign due dates for each task to be completed. This can motivate action, ensuring you stay within your timeline.
Step 6: List resources
List the resources required to complete each task, for example, a journal to document progress.
Step 7: Ongoing monitoring
It can be challenging to adhere to a goal, especially when it may feel like you are not seeing immediate results. By monitoring progress, you can reflect on the beginning of this journey and see how far you have come.
Additionally, the nature of life is that certain circumstances may arise that slow down or halt the journey. Monitoring these changes may identify when due dates may need to be pushed back or brought forward.
Action Plan example (sample)
Structuring goals and intended actions can be challenging, as planning is often time-consuming. Using our action plan, individuals can translate intentions to actions that help achieve their goals.
We have constructed an example using a fictitious character to demonstrate how our action plan works. Using this as a reference for developing individual or client goals and action plans is recommended. This example uses fictitious information and should not substitute personal aspirations or action plans.
You may access the example here or download a PDF copy using the link below.
When would you use this template?
The template can be used for various situations involving intentions and actions. Individuals, clients, or teams can use the structure to break down their main goal into simpler, manageable steps to help monitor progress and stay on track towards success. Here are some scenarios where the plan may be useful:
- Behavior Change: Creating healthy lifestyle behaviors can be a rigorous process, requiring breaking previous habits. An action plan may help individuals adhere to lifestyle changes, where creating small habits and documenting progress may motivate continued action toward a goal.
- Emergency Plans: The plan can help identify key procedures involved in situations requiring quick action. Breaking down the steps can provide protocols to help individuals or teams manage crises.
- Patient Treatment Plans: Patients and health practitioners, such as general practitioners and physiotherapists, may collaborate to break down the steps to achieve a health goal. Whether for rehabilitation after injury or the time course for treatment, the plan can help achieve milestones for treatment.
- Monitoring Progress: By breaking down the goal into separate tasks, individuals and teams can track their progress in relation to the end output. Additionally, reflections following the completion of each task can be helpful to inform future protocols.
- Staying Motivated: It can be challenging to remain focused, particularly when results require long-term adherence. The plan can help individuals reflect on their progress, helping sustain motivation for the journey.
What do the results mean?
The results using our free action plan template can help individuals and teams achieve their desired outcomes. Though these may differ in accordance with the goal, here are some typical results and what they may hold:
- Empowerment and Agency: Using the action plan template instills accountability for actions. This may drive self-determination and empowerment to take charge of the journey, essential for promoting resilience in times of adversity.
- Enhanced Therapeutic Relationship: In therapeutic practices, the action plan may require therapists and patients to collaborate in the formation. This may create a transparent therapeutic relationship that is mutually beneficial for developing trust and motivation for achieving the best outcome.
- Long-Term Motivation: Individuals may feel more motivated and confident once they successfully achieve their goals. This can promote resilience to reach future goals and self-confidence to know they can achieve their aspirations.
- Ongoing Focus: The action plan can help keep focus on success and achieving milestones. This may be for individual feats or to direct teams towards common goals.
- Proactive Crisis Management: The template may define actions, resources, and tasks required, allowing individuals to be better prepared to manage the crisis. This may reduce the severity and duration of the event.
Why use Carepatron as your Action Plan app?
Transform your approach to meeting your goals with Carepatron’s action plan app and software. As an online platform, Carepatron provides ongoing access to thousands of resources and information that can help unlock your full potential.
By using Carepatron, you have an all-in-one app that seamlessly integrates resources like documentation, medical history, and sharing of team information to remove the complexities of task management. Here are a few of the reasons explaining why Carepatron is the ideal app and software for you:
Individuals and teams have ongoing access to the action plan, allowing for effective resource navigation and access to information. This is particularly beneficial for individuals on the go or teams working remotely, who may require task reminders and progress tracking.
The journey to reaching goals is often not linear and requires a thorough record of progress and experiences. Our template allows for ongoing timeline updates, which is essential for developing the flexibility and resilience needed to meet goals. Additionally, our software enables progress tracking, allowing individuals to reflect on their journey and see how far they have come.
For teams working towards a common goal, our technology allows resources and information to be shared easily on demand. This is imperative to ensuring everyone is on the same page and that responsibilities are delegated effectively.
Aligning with global security requirements, individuals and teams can be assured that information stored within the app is kept safe and secure.
Bailey, R. R., (2019). Goal Setting and Action Planning for Health Behaviour Change. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 13(6), 615-618). doi:10.1177/1559827617729634
Hartshorne, D. (2023). How to create an action plan (with free templates and examples). Mondayblog. https://monday.com/blog/project-management/action-plan-template/
Weller, J. (2016). Action Plan Templates: What, Why, How and Examples. Smartsheet. https://www.smartsheet.com/develop-plan-action-free-templates
The University of Kansas (n.d.). Developing and Using Strategic Action Plans. Community Tool Box. https://ctb.ku.edu/en/best-change-processes-developing-and-using-strategic-and-action-plans/overview