So, The standard approach for any kind of goal planning is to start planning
from beginning and end with the final task. But there is a problem with
this type of planning when you are wanted to tackle any big goal.
Also, In recent years, a method known as backward goal setting or reverse
planning is tacking a lot of attention due to its goal-oriented planning
technique. As it named the planning also done the reverse, start from
your end goal and then planning to an action plan.
So, in the blog, I will explain to you that reverse planning is better to
archive big goals in life and steps to implement it.
WHAT’S IN IT
What is Reverse Planning?
Reverse planning or backward goal setting is a technique of planning
to archive your desired outcome. Also, The idea of this planning start with
your end goal or ultimate objective and work backward to develop an
Meanwhile, through this technique, you working backward from your big end goal to a
daily, weekly, or monthly task list which gets you closer to your goal.
For example, if you want to lose weight instead of directly start
working on diet and exercise, in the backward goal setting you will fix
an end goal like I will lose 15 kg weight in the next 3 months and then
so divided this work into a small task on weekly basis. Also, plan the
exercise and diet per week.
Research about reverse planning
Many studies show that planning of any goal enhances self-control
and improve performance. But it also matters how we plan?
So, As per the research conducted on the students of the many
universities by the University of Lowa and Peking University, it is
found that students who use reverse planning for their exam
preparation and job interview, were more motivated and felt less time
pressure rather than students who use planning.
Also, the students who use reverse planning had higher goal
expectancy and their actual outcome better than others in terms of
Why reverse planning is better?
So, Future Retrospection- Reverse planning allows imagining the future
event at present which becomes easier to take the step we will need
to tack. Also, It helps to increase our anticipation of pleasure from getting
Reverse planning is better than forwarding
planning is that it brings our focus on positive outcomes. Hence, This
so chronological planning might prevent us to think about obstacles
rather than reaching our goals.
So, Research shows that our motivation reaches the
highest point at the start or finishing of the project. But reverse
planning provides small-small tasks at the stage which keeps
motivating us to work towards the main goal.
This kind of planning also helps to stop spending time
on unnecessary and unproductive activities while archiving the goal. It
also shows where you need to more creative and tacks the next step.
Make your reverse plan?
After knowing so much about reverse planning and backward
planning so, let’s find out how you can complete your reverse planning to
get your goals.
first step -Define your goal
So, You may have a lot of long-term goals in your mind that you want to
archive but many of them not seem to be realistic. So, the first step in
backward planning is to decide the ultimate goal that you want to
archive and also seem realistic for you.
Meanwhile, The goal should not be like I want to start a business. But, That looks like
an incomplete, unrealistic, and unclear. Also, The instant of that you should
define like I want to start a business of that particular service or
product within one year.
Next, second step – Break it into the small goal
Also, After deciding your end goal comes to just one step back from it.
Write down what to need to do or resources required to complete the
For instance, If we continue to the above example find out what skills you required
so, to start the business of that particular service or product. Similarly
what kind of resources like money, people, and place need to be had
to start the business at what time? like
- write down your business plan
- define the product or services you want to sell
- choose a location for business
- also, create a marketing plan
So, Now you have a more clear idea about your goal and each or above
point is your new goal which you need to be archived.
Now, Third step – Divide the small goal into the task
So, The next step is taking each of the small goals and breaking them
into small tasks. For instance, you can break “write down your business plan”
into these targets-
- Research about your target market cap
- also, Find out the type of business plan you going to take
- Complete study about your competitors
- Know what will make you different from your competitors?
Similarly, you can break “create a marketing plan” into these targets-
- Find out your targeted audience
- Understand the need of your audience
- List all the likes and dislikes your audience
- also, Choose the marking strategy which you going to be used
All the above targets should be defined with the deadline-driven timeline.
In fourth step – Create a list of activities for each task
The final step of the reverse planning or backward planning is to create
a list of each action that you need to take to complete the small tasks
and that small will reach you to the main goal.
So, You can make a list of activities for the task “find out your target audience” like-
- Find out the age group of your target audience
- Their working profession
- Their living standard
- What is their source of income?
- Which product do they use currently instead of your product?
- How you can reach them?
Also, Identifying these single-action builds momentum and motivation for you
to work towards your goal every day. It may have a lot of parts but once
you list out all of them you will get a clear idea of what you need to do.
Hence, Throughout the process always remember that every small action is
better than inaction.
So, On the surface, we can say that backward planning or reverse planning
is not much different than the traditional goal setting. In reverse
planning, you just start with the end goal then ask yourself what you
required to archive that vision.
However backward planning is much more than reversing the direction
of traditional planning.
Also you can read our blog on How to get more done in less time: 10 simple productivity hacks