Action Plan Workshop: The Arrow

2-40 people

The objective of this workshop is to assist individuals in identifying, determining, and attaining their objectives. By encouraging participants to visualize their desired future state in a comprehensive manner and outlining the necessary actions to reach it, they will have a better understanding of the necessary steps to take.

Workshop steps


Form pairs among the participants. Provide each pair with a flip-chart featuring the arrow model or ask them to draw it themselves. Begin the session by explaining its purpose: to assist participants in envisioning their future and establishing concrete steps to achieve it. Instruct the pairs to interview one another, with person A interviewing person B through all the steps, and then switching roles.


Instruct all participants to close their eyes and imagine their life in 1 year (or another time frame, as mentioned in the facilitator notes below). Encourage them to explore this future vision by asking guiding questions such as: - Who are you with? Who is around you? - What have you achieved that you are proud of? - What are you working on? - How do you spend your day? - How do you spend your free time? - etc. Customize these questions to suit the group you are working with and their specific context. Once the visualization is complete, ask all participants to draw their vision at point 1 on their flip-chart. This allows them to make their vision tangible without focusing too much on the details. After drawing, have person A start interviewing person B.


Person A conducts an interview with person B. To begin, the interviewer prompts their partner to envision the crucial elements that contributed to the successful achievement of their vision. Encourage participants to speak as if they are reflecting on the past, detailing what aided them in accomplishing their vision. They should work their way back from the vision to the present day. Examples could include, "My mentor provided excellent guidance," "I began exercising regularly," "I employed an accountant," or "I confronted my fear of failure." Mention any factors that positively impacted the attainment of the vision. During this phase, the interviewer should note down each essential element on a sticky note and place it at point 2 on their partner's flip-chart.


Next, the interviewer requests their partner to pinpoint three obstacles that nearly caused failure. These obstacles are the reasons that almost made them quit and not achieve their goal. Examples could be, "I frequently overslept and arrived late," "Initially, I was afraid to leave my job and start something new," or "I almost didn't confess my feelings to the person I liked." The interviewer notes these down on post-its and places them at point 3 on the model. The interviewer proceeds to inquire about the three obstacles, shifting focus to the actions taken to overcome them. For example, "I asked a friend to call and wake me up every morning," "I learned a new skill that led to my dream job." The interviewer writes these solutions on post-its and connects them to the corresponding obstacles on the model.


In conclusion, the interviewer prompts their partner to think about actions they've already taken towards their goal. For example, they could mention, "I enrolled in this course," or "I began learning this new skill." The dotted line symbolizes the present, and the interviewer places these post-its at point 4 on the diagram. Once the initial interview is finished, the partners swap roles and go through the process again.


Now, every participant's arrow is filled with post-its that signify tasks in an action plan to accomplish their vision. Regardless of whether the time frame is 3 months or 3 years, the arrow symbolizes a practical route to reach the goal. Motivate participants to retain their arrow and even display it in a place where they can view it and gain motivation from it. Conclude the session by having each participant express the subsequent action they will undertake to move closer to their vision.

Need help with this workshop?

Anna Lundqvist portrait
Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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