Image: Gabi Lardies
Image: Gabi Lardies

PoliticsApril 2, 2024

Luxon has released another action plan – here’s how to make one for yourself

Image: Gabi Lardies
Image: Gabi Lardies

Laying out a to-do list for the next quarter takes a little work, but will get you back on track. Here’s a to-do list to help you make your to-do list.

This morning Christopher Luxon showed us that action plans are not restricted to the first 100 days by releasing another one for his next 90 days in office. “Having a clear plan with specific actions and timeframes for delivery creates momentum and drives focus,” he said in a written statement. “New Zealanders expect and deserve delivery from their government.” As I looked around my messy house littered with half-sewn curtains, a little voice inside my head wondered if we also should expect and deserve delivery from ourselves. Surely anything that drives accountability and ensures success must be helpful in the age of doom scrolling. Perhaps with an action plan, you too can be a person of action who delivers real change for New Zealand, who can sleep through dawn without sunlight waking you up.

Making and publicising a 100 (or 90) day plan has many benefits. You can feel good about your achievements as you tick them off, you can objectively show the country you’re on track by using your own measuring stick, and you can bend democratic rules to pass things under urgency. The plan frees you from some red tape tangles, and things other people think you should be doing. Here are some steps for putting your very own personal 100-day plan together.

Consider who it is that you’re trying to please, and what they care about. For politicians, it’s easy, they can refer to polls that rank the issues their future possible voters care about. For us individuals, it gets tricky. Much feel-good advice says to only try to please yourself, but one can’t help but think this might be selfish and unsustainable. Having only eat, love, play on your 100-day plan is not a good look. It’s important to remember the plan is not just for action, but also for optics.

Consider re-branding the terms. Eat could become “keeping healthy”, love could become “raise the energy I bring to key relationships” and play could become “launch an Action Plan and introduce the first phase of initiatives” (a plan within a plan is double the fun and double the delivery).

List what you’re going to do anyway

What you are going to do anyway should be the cornerstone of your plan, because the most important aspect of the plan is that in 100 days you can say all the items have been completed. If your job involves legislating, get that on there. Split out different laws to get a few more lines in the list. If your life involves being woken up by an alarm in the morning, lay down in writing when that alarm will go off. It will be very impressive when that alarm goes off just as you promised.

List what you’re already doing

Have you got a half-dug hole in the garden? Well, completing it should be top of mind when writing your list. Same goes for policy to keep agriculture out of the ETS, it needs to be “finalised” and this is a point of the action plan. You can also “progress” things you’re already doing. I am going to progress eating yogurt each morning.

Nicola Willis and Christopher Luxon on the campaign trail promising to get us back on track.(Image: Getty Images)

List what you have to do

The government has to deliver a budget. It is an important thing with much anticipation and extremely formative for the next year of governance, and it simply has to be done. And so the first action of Luxon’s new plan is to do just that. I too have to budget, for the power bill must be paid. It is an important thing with much anticipation since we’ve only been setting the dishwasher in the free hour of power. And so my first action point will be to look in the coffers and determine that it is possible for me to invest in lighting my house and refrigerating my food.

Don’t over-promise

Anything new should be couched in careful language, because remember the most important thing is to have a perfect scorecard at the end of the 100 (or 90) days, so that everyone likes you. The plan is a playing field and the rules to ensure your own success. Plans should be drafts, things should be commenced but not completed, targets should be set but not reached, action should be taken.

Finally, here is an example to use for guidance:

Launch an Action Plan and introduce the first phase of initiatives

  • Deliver a budget that allows payment to my power provider which reduces wasteful spending while investing in keeping the lights on
  • Write for
  • Progress eating yogurt
  • Take action to reply to emails
  • Take decisions on each item of clothing to be worn each day
  • Respond to a 7.00am alarm each weekday morning
  • Set targets to finalise sewing curtains for my bedroom
  • Commence an independent review on which saucepans to deliver to the op shop
  • Take decisions on which saucepans to deliver to the op shop
  • Commence delivery on saucepans to deliver to the op shop
  • Establish an international travel fund

Raise the energy I bring to key relationships

  • Finalise statement on which establishment to meet friendship stakeholders
  • Launch lunch action plans for days where leftovers are unavailable
  • Introduce a written article on
  • Take decisions on repealing the weekend 8am alarm
  • Finalise the herb array being grown in the planter box
  • Take decisions on whether I can be bothered painting the lounge or if it’s fine
  • Release draft plan to raise the energy I bring to key relationships focusing on traditional partners
  • Take decisions to restore visits to the library

Keeping healthy

  • Set targets for arriving to work at the expected time
  • Make draft plans to take action to improve physical health outcomes
  • Take decisions to streamline dirty laundry to clean laundry workflow
  • Invest in frontline services like vegetables, bread and coffee
  • Finalise policy to vacuum when dusty
  • Take decisions on measures to go camping before summer is well and truly gone
  • Set targets on improving running route to consider hitting 5km

See you next quarter.

Keep going!