Lifestyle Action Plan – part 1

slide2An action plan is a list of steps designed to take you from where you are to where you want to be.

The most important part of any action plan comes after you compile it. It will be no more than a piece of paper with words on it unless you actually take action on the things you list in the plan.

Use a piece of paper, a journal or the template available in the Everyday Productivity Workbook to draw up your Lifestyle Action Plan, using the findings from your Lifestyle Self-Audit.


Subscribe to Everyday Business Skills to download a FREE copy of the Lifestyle Self-Audit and Lifestyle Action Plan worksheets from the Everyday Productivity Workbook, and be the first to know when Everyday Productivity is available for purchase.

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Health and fitness

Write down the steps you intend to take to either maintain or improve your current level of health and fitness.

  • Exercise 

Be as realistic as possible. If you need to lose some weight, by all means set yourself a weight goal but don’t kid yourself you can do it in a few weeks. Go back and read some of those sites you found searching online for ‘body weight’ to help you work out a realistic time frame. If it’s a long time since you exercised regularly, start with walking for ten minutes a day instead of rushing off and joining the gym. We’re talking about establishing new habits. They take time.

  • Eating

If you don’t do the cooking in your household, discuss your plans with the cook. If you eat out or buy take away all the time, consider learning to cook or reverting to home cooked meals. Do some research online to get an understanding of what healthy eating looks like. Hint: fresh food figures in it a lot. If you have no idea when it comes to cooking, let me suggest a little book I wrote for guys living alone: Cooking 4 One. It’s about the basic processes. Cooking is not that difficult but, again, it’s a choice.

Looking after your brain chemistry

  • Alcohol
  • Recreational drugs
  • Narcotics
  • Medicines

If you want to be productive and to lead a healthy life, you’re not going to make it while you’re abusing your brain.

If you need to take action to address substance abuse, it will not be easy, and you will need to be honest enough with yourself to seek help.

  • Cigarettes 

If you want to give up smoking, type ‘smoking consciously’ into your search engine of choice for information on how you can quit.


This is a draft of material that will eventually appear in Everyday Productivity, the next title in my Everyday Business Skills books.  Please feel free to offer feedback in the comments.


Peter Mulraney has forty years experience working in schools, banking, and government. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.

Dreaming or building the dream?

It takes no effort to dream.

Maybe that’s why we do so much dreaming.

If you want your dream to become reality, you need to do more than just think about what you want to become or achieve. You need to develop an action plan – and execute that plan to birth your dream.

I remember dreaming about writing a book and telling all my friends that I was going to write a novel. I did that for years. I’m sure some of them stopped believing me.

It wasn’t until I made the decision to write every day that I actually wrote my first book.

What are you dreaming about?

When are you going to move to executing your action plan?

Thanks for dropping by, Peter

The rule of three

The idea for this week’s post comes from Bob Baker, who is the guru of guerrilla marketing for authors and book publishers, so you can probably guess why I know about him.

Bob suggests we limit ourselves to three big goals for the year, instead of overwhelming ourselves with a long list of resolutions as we embark on the new year. He suggests that once we have our three goals, we can draw up a plan of action, using the rule of three, to break down what needs to be done to achieve those goals into manageable steps. What the project management people call ‘chunking’. Yes, I do project management in other parts of my life – and it comes in handy when you’re writing and publishing your own books.

Here’s the big three for my writing life, and an action plan to give you an example of how it works.

The big three for my writing life for 2014

  1. increase the volume of my published body of work
  2. engage with my readers
  3. improve the level of my physical wellbeing

Three actions that will increase the volume of my published body of work

  1. complete writing The Holiday, the second book in the Inspector West series
  2. write According to Luke, a novel for young adult readers
  3. continue writing Sharing the journey

Three actions that will allow me to engage with my readers

  1. blog on my author’s page on goodreads.com
  2. post regular updates to my Facebook and Google+ author pages
  3. encourage readers of Sharing the journey to leave comments and ask questions

Three actions that will improve my physical wellbeing

  1. regular meditation
  2. regular exercise
  3. regular sleeping pattern

So how does this translate to a daily action plan?

  1. daily writing target of 700 to 1000 words to cover all the words required for increasing my body of work and engaging with my readers – this gets an 80/20 breakdown, with 80% of the writing effort going into writing the books
  2. daily meditation and exercise, and
  3. sleeping.

Looks pretty easy when you break it all down to three daily activities, doesn’t it? And, who would have thought sleeping would end up the action plan? 

By year’s end we’ll know how successful I’ve been.

You might not want to announce your big three but I invite you share your goals for 2014 by leaving a comment to this post. If you’re not that game, maybe you’d like to suggest a topic for a future blog.

The new year’s already started, so don’t leave it too long to set your big three for 2014.

Thanks for dropping by.

Peter