“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Do you often get frustrated that you’re not making enough progress on your goals? Firstly, if you have written goals then you are already way ahead of most people. But even having written goals, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll actually achieve those goals.
I’ve been setting annual goals for most of my life. Every year, I spend time reflecting on the previous year, thinking about what’s most important in my life and then writing down my goals for the coming year. It’s a process that I really enjoy.
Despite having developed the discipline of goal setting, I still found that year after year, I struggled making progress on many of my goals. I’d write down a goal at the start of the year and then before I knew it, the year was over and I was wondering how I couldn’t even have made a little progress on that goal in the last 12 months. Life just caught up with me and I kind of forgot about the goal until it was time to set my annual goals again.
What I lacked was a plan.
A 90 day plan is simply a way to breakdown your major goals into smaller sub-goals. It’s a way for you to create smaller milestones for yourself and to identify the key tasks that you need to complete in the next 90 days to keep you focused and moving towards your major goals.
How do I create a 90 day plan?
It’s quite simple to create a 90 day plan and should take you less than 1 hour. We’re all busy, so I know that even an hour can sound like a long time. But I’d suggest that you try it out at least once and see for yourself how much more progress you’re able to make on your goals in the next 90 days.
And once you see results, you’ll be hooked just like me! So grab a blank sheet of paper and let’s get started.
1. What did I achieve in the last 90 days?
Make a list of all your accomplishments in the last 90 days towards your major goals e.g. if your major goal is to lose 20 lb. this year, then what did you do in the last 90 days to make progress on that goal e.g. started jogging, stopped drinking soda, started counting calories etc.? Write down any accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Allow yourself to have some ‘mini victories’ so that you feel good about making progress towards your goal – even if it’s small progress, it’s still progress.
2. What are my top 5 goals for the next 90 days?
Then for each of your top 5 major goals, write down a sub-goal that you will focus on achieving in the next 90 days e.g. if one of your major goals is to grow your business, then a 90 day sub-goal could be to create a marketing plan to attract new customers. Try to make your sub-goals as SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time bound) as possible.
3. What are 3 key activities for each of my goals?
Finally, write down 3 key activities that you will complete for each of the 5 sub-goals i.e. 15 key activities in the next 90 days. These will be specific actions that you will take in order to accomplish your sub-goals e.g. if your goal is to be a better husband, your sub-goal could be to create more romance in your marriage in the next 90 days. And your 3 key activities could include:
- Give your wife a hug every day.
- Surprise your wife once every week e.g. buy flowers.
- Organize a romantic dinner once a week.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. But you do have to be willing to identify and follow through on these activities. I would often avoid doing the things that pushed me out of my comfort zone, even though I knew that I needed to do those things.
So be honest with yourself. Are you really willing to do what it takes to accomplish your goals or not? If you want to create the body of your dreams, but are unwilling to do any regular exercise and change your diet, then it just isn’t going to happen.
Are you willing to do what it takes? If you are, then create that 90 day plan today and start turning your dreams into reality.
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