How to break down a goal to actionable items – On Goals: Part 4

In this article, we will break down a goal into an actionable outline. I hope you have been following along or at least caught up with On Goals: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

By now you have changed your bulleted goals list from

  • 5000 subscribers to the podcast/email list

to a full commitment with purpose like

I will earn 5000 subscribers to the podcast/email list because I believe the content will help change lives

You now have a constant reminder that it is your responsibility to make that goal happen. And, you have a clear understanding of why you believe the goal is worth pursuing.

What now?

So how does it all happen?

What’s the plan?

The plan is simple. You need to know what it takes, who has what job, and who you owe results to. You need the Goal, Objectives, Responsibilities, and Accountability.

Break down a goal

First, let’s define how these parts work. Once we do that, I will apply them to the goal I listed earlier so we can see them in action. #gora


We have clearly defined the goal as something that you are actively willing to pursue. Your desires (the things you would like to see but aren’t pursuing) should have never made it this far.


Inside every goal are small steps that help you achieve the big results. In this section we can also take those expectations that came with our intentions and create a plan to address them. The Objectives area is full of HAPP goals that are going to push you faster to your overall goal.


For every Objective, there is an area of responsibility. While most of them will be yours, this is a great area to outline where your team members, vendors, or the folks that are helping you will take responsibility for their part. Having this section readily available gives you an immediate snapshot of where things are getting done and leads you to the next area.


Even where the responsibility is solely yours, you must outline your accountability to someone; audience or friend. This area also benefits your team if you are working with one. You now get to have clear accountability for each responsibility. Who is doing what? Who do they owe it to? And who is impacted by it?

The practical use

So let’s take the goal that I have used in all four parts of this series to explore these principles. Fair warning, this can take time to clearly define for you. It also may, and should, change over time as you move closer to achieving your goal.


– I will earn 5000 subscribers to the podcast/email list


– Ask 50 people personally to subscribe
– Share valuable content daily
– Manage my credibility around “learning out loud”


– The responsibility is purely mine
– A bonus may be if the folks that found this helpful would share the content


– I am accountable to the entire Selfiepreneur tribe
– I hold myself accountable to those who haven’t heard about this yet because it may help them
– I am accountable to those close to me that I have conversations with about the site and they have direct permission to hold me accountable

In an area where I was working with a team, responsibilities and accountability would look very different.


– I will make a brown box with paper to show decorative structural integrity with a less rigid material.


– Create a sustainable box design
– Select the right weight of paper for the design
– Review shades of brown for decorative element


– Sue is responsible for submitting a minimum of two box designs for review
– Rich is head of design and will conduct hourly team meetings for continuity
– Donald is ordering paper samples for the team to review
– Ann has final authority on color selection


– Sue is accountable to Rich for box designs because Rich is head of design
– Donald is accountable to Ann for paper samples because it may affect color representation.
– Ann is accountable to Rich for color selection but will work closely with both Sue and Donald
– Rich is accountable to the entire team to make sure this project is a success.

Your turn

This exercise will look completely different in every situation. At a minimum, defining the objectives in your goal will give you actionable steps to achieving the goal.

Share it with me too. I want to know what this looks like for you.

Let’s be better; together.




I am Rashad. I'm an entrepreneur with over 15 years of cultivating relationships, chasing ideas, and over delivering on promises. I want to share some of the things I've learned along the way with you. Hopefully, it will inspire you to define and achieve your personal definition of success.