Creating a 90 Day Plan will help you stay on course with your goals for the year far better than promising to keep your New Year’s resolutions. And using this method will ensure that you get more of the important things done.
If you ever wonder where the months go, trying to wrestle with the guilt you feel from not getting much done. I can relate.
I had that feeling almost every month for years. I’d begin each year full of hope and optimism at the possibilities that lay ahead of me. But by the end of that year, I’d wonder where the time went and struggle to remember all the things I’d hoped to achieve that year. In addition to the guilt of not really achieving much.
And each year I drifted into the same pattern. Hope – confusion – guilt – hope.
I’m a perpetual optimist. A natural daydreamer. And, if you hadn’t guessed, a terrible executor of my dreams!
But then I discovered Quarterly Planning
This is where you plan and set goals for only 90 days as opposed to an entire year. And since I began using this method of goal setting, I’ve been able to achieve a lot more than ever before!
I’ve written a book which is soon to be published. I’ve learnt so much through attending courses and training – something I wouldn’t have had the time for before. I’ve improved my daily habits and I’ve organised my house. On top of everything that I was already doing – gigging, homeschooling my kids and all my regular mummy duties.
And so, because of the success I’ve had with this strategy, I had to write about how it has changed my life and how you can start planning your goals in 90 Day Quarters too!
This is a process that you can start at any time in the year. Your 90 Day Plan can start at the beginning of any month of the year. There are no rules. All that matters is that you start implementing this.
Don’t wait until you buy your next diary or paper planner. Start where you are right now. Life is too short to hold off your dreams any longer.
How to create a 90 Day Plan
Get a bird’s eye view
Although the 90 Day Plan is all about focusing on a relatively short three month period, in order to create it, you need to have an idea of what you would like to do or accomplish longer term.
Your 90 Day Plan is only as productive as your overall vision is clear. So you need to have a vision for your life in the long term. Now this ‘long-term’ period can be anything from three years to twenty years. But it needs to be something that’s a bit of a way off.
The main goal of getting a bird’s eye view is to get an overall picture of your destination. What you want your life to look like in the distant future or at the very end of your life even! It’s incredibly powerful to think about what you’d like someone to say about you at your funeral! This kind of long distance dreaming is what’s needed here to get a clearer vision of which direction you want your life to be pointing.
Just as an eagle that flies high above the earth can see the distant mountain ranges, the plains and valleys all stretched out in the distance. So having a vision of your overall destination helps you to see with greater clarity the route that you’ll need to get there.
So what do you want for your life in the long term? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? What do you want to be remembered for?
Dream for the year
Once you’ve got your top view long-term vision, it’s time to descend a little to figure out where you’ll need to be one year from now.
Since you know where you’re headed in the long run, what needs to be your reality one year from now?
This is next step to creating your 90 Day Plan. The goals you set yourself for the next twelve months will directly impact your 90 Day Plan.
Ideally, your goals for the next twelve months should be challenging enough to stretch you and scare you somewhat. If they don’t scare you at least a little, they’re not big enough.
At this stage, it’s tempting to have a lot of goals. Especially if you want a lot of things to be different in your life one year from now. But experienced goal setters know that too many goals will dilute your efforts and you’ll actually end up achieving very little. Try to have no more than 10 goals for the next 12 months. More than that will split your focus in too many directions for you to have a considerable impact on your goals.
Your first 90 Day Plan
Now that you’ve got your goals for the next twelve months, we can really dig in with our 90 Day Plan.
Ask yourself, which goal will get me to my annual goals faster, or make my other annual goals easier?
Try to pace yourself.
I recommend trying to divide your twelve-month goals so that they are spread out throughout the year as opposed to cramming all their deadlines into one quarter. And try to have no more than 3 goals in a quarter. If you finish one of these goals before the end of the quarter, by all means, add another one. But just as we don’t want too many goals for our year, we also don’t want to have many goals in our quarters.
If none of your goals can be completed in the first 90 days, ask yourself what actions can you do in the next 90 days to get you closer to that larger goal?
These actions will now become mini goals. They will be like the steps on a pyramid. Completing each task will get you closer to the summit of your big goal.
Now that you’ve identified which goals and actions you’ll be working on in your first quarter, it’s time to get a closer view of them.
Here we look at the goals or actions that we will be accomplishing this month.
Do your goals have any milestones in them (e.g. pay off 1/3 of my card balance)? If so, these can be monthly goals. Or you could have your goals be an ongoing focus (e.g. jog 3 days each week). The main point here is to have something quite achievable to focus on for the month.
This is where we become like busy little ants with our building work. Because this is the heartbeat of our 90 Day Plan.
Transferring our monthly actions into weekly focus work helps to create a highly actionable plan that you can implement with a minimal amount of overwhelm.
For this step, we look at the plan for the month and ask ourselves ‘what needs to happen this week to get me closer to my goal or keep me on track for the month?’
Add your weekly tasks to your To-Do list for the week. And if you want to step up your goal-achieving power, schedule them into your calendar – this will ensure that you actually focus on getting them done at some point during the week.
At the end of each week, you repeat this process for the upcoming week, adjusting your plans as life happens and as you progress closer to your larger goals.
The 90 Day Planner
If you’d like me to walk you through the complete process with templates, then I’d recommend that you get my 90 Day Planner.
This easy to follow reference manual walks you through the exact process you need to create a highly actionable plan so that you can begin accomplishing your goals like never before.
This beautifully designed planner will help you make progress on the goals that will really make a difference in your life. And it’s yours to print off as many times as you need so that you can continue to create a new 90 Day Plan each quarter.
And because you’re an awesome reader for getting to the end of this post, I wanna give you 50% off the planner! Just sign up below and I’ll send you a coupon code for you to use when you purchase the 90 Day Planner! So what are you waiting for? Life is too short. Go get your planner and start transforming your life!
So there you have it. Creating a 90 Day Plan will help to stop you drifting like I did from year to year, feeling guilty about all the things you want to do, but never got around to doing.
It’s time to stop the drift and get things done. Are you in?