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 was introduced to Quarterly Planning
This is where you plan and set goals for only 90 days as opposed to an entire year. I’ve been applying this strategy for about a year at the time of writing this. So it still feels new. But so far, I have been able to achieve a lot more in the past year than I’ve ever done 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 do any time of year. You can start your 90 Day Plan at the beginning of any month of the year. There are no rules. If you’re reading this in May, you can have June to August as your first 90 days.
The point is, don’t wait until you buy your next diary or paper planner. Start where you are right now. Life is too short.
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. Just like 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.
An ant on the ground wouldn’t be able to see any of this. But on the ground is where we spend all our days working and progressing.
So, in order to make sure that our 90 Day Plans will take us to our desired destination, we need to hitch a ride with the eagle and get a top-down view of where we’re going.
So what do you want for your life in the next three or five years? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be?
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, they’re not big enough.
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 them into one quarter.
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.
Ask yourself, which goal will get me to my annual goals faster, or make my other annual goals easier? This will be your priority for the first month.
Repeat this questioning for the other two months of your first 90 days. You’re creating a pecking order of importance which will stand you in good stead as you progress through your first quarter.
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 keep me on track for the month?’
Scheduling your weekly actions into your calendar will ensure that you 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 Manual
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 manual.
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.
I go into much more detail than I have in this blog post. So you can be sure you are able to truly implement your own 90 Day Plan.
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?