Set goals that can be achieved in the next 90 days
With your vision in hand, you can now focus on your purpose and your mission.
Your purpose is your reason for wanting to achieve the vision you set for yourself and your business in the last chapter.
Your mission is how you are going to achieve it.
In this chapter, you will combine your purpose and your mission into quarterly goals that will be your focus for the next 90 days.
The internet is littered with different variations of a quote about over/underestimating what can be done in a day, or a year, or a decade.
Here's what I believe - we overestimate what we can do in a year, and we underestimate the power of having a very clear plan to achieve it, so we end up underachieving compared to the goals we set for the year.
Read that again.
Have you ever set a new year's resolution, only to forget about it after a month or two, and then feel a sense of regret or disappointment when you revisit that same goal the next year?
I have. That feeling sucks.
It leads to a terrible mindset which is the wrong mindset to be setting goals with.
So, you're going to flip the script and stop setting goals every year. The annual goal-setting ritual will now be reserved to update your vision for yourself and your business.
Goals, from now on, are not just "nice to haves". They aren't dreams, they aren't unrealistic.
You need to see them as the desired outcome with a clear plan of action supported by a driving purpose.
In December of 2019, I attended a week-long seminar in Florida where I deeply ingrained these beliefs and this process.
Since then I've practiced this and have done more in two years than the previous 10.
Here are a few of the goals that I set for myself over different 90 day periods:
- buy a new car to provide adventure and excitement for my family
- create a new business (twice)
- grow my email list to over 1,000 subscribers
- grow my Twitter following to over 1,000 followers
- grow my personal income to six figures a year
- produce a movie
- produce seasons of television
- produce a television pilot
- learn to play jazz piano
- film over a dozen online courses
- buy back my time
Accomplishing any one of those goals in a given year would be amazing, but to have all of them accomplished in the last two years, including dozens of smaller projects like building marketing or lead gen system for my business, launching an app on Product Hunt, and more, feels superhuman.
(I'm not saying I'm superhuman...but I'm not not saying that...)
If you're reading this, I want you to become superhuman as well and get more done in the next 90 days than you have in the last year.
That comes from setting goals in the right way.
What do you want to accomplish in the next 90 days?
The process starts with a question. What do you want to accomplish this year that will ultimately help you get closer to realizing your vision from the last chapter?
(If you didn't write out your vision, please do that first, as your vision is the guiding star that will help you navigate to that ultimate destination using your goals.)
Get out your notebook or open a new doc on your laptop/phone/tablet, and write IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS I WILL... at the top.
Then, turn off distractions, turn on some music to get your creative juices flowing, get into an empowering mindset full of belief and potential and faith, and write down all of the things you could possibly want to do in the next 90 days.
Don't edit, don't overthink it, don't second guess yourself. Just write!
Take as long as you need, but be thorough. Think outside of just your business - what goals do you have for your family, for your relationships, for your personal life?
Now, once you've done that, take a nice deep breath and ask, "is there anything else?"
You'll be surprised that there usually is.
Write that down as well!
Now that you have an exhaustive list full of potential and opportunity, you may look at it and feel overwhelmed.
Don't worry! This is not meant to be a to-do list.
The next step is to look over everything you wrote down and circle the top three that get you the most excited, that are most aligned with your vision, and that you feel will bring you the most joy and fulfillment.
Notice that I didn't say the goals that will bring you the most money. That may be what you ultimately choose, but remember that we are combining mission and purpose with these goals.
We need to bring that in at this point to ensure that what we're working on day-to-day is in alignment with our bigger vision. Often that comes down to purpose.
Do that now - circle the top three that you want to accomplish.
With big enough reasons you can accomplish anything
With those three goals, you need to now write down the reasons why you must achieve these goals.
Not because I said so. Not because your boss wants you to. Not because "it would be nice if..."
Big, strong, driving reasons that will give you the energy and the motivation to achieve these goals no matter what.
Ever hear about hysterical strength? Its the technical term for what happens when a mom sees her child trapped under a car and then somehow musters enough strength to lift the car to free the child.
Hysterical strength comes from having a big enough reason so that nothing can stand in your way.
That's the kind of purpose and reasons you need to support achieving each of your goals.
Next to your three circled goals, or on another paper, write down your reasons for achieving them. Some helpful prompts:
- who will you become when you achieve this goal?
- what will it mean?
- who will it serve?
- what will you be able to do once you achieve it?
- how will it feel?
Do that now, and please, for the love, do not skip this step. It can be the difference between you achieving everything on your list and looking back 90 days from now wondering why nothing got done.
Now, you have one more step.
Because a goal without a plan is just a dream.
Create A Plan For Each Of Your Top Three Goals
The last step is to systematically work backward from the goals that you want to achieve in the next 90 days and create a plan that informs the work you will do two months from now, one month from now, each week this month, and each day this week.
That's a lot. Here's what that looks like:
Start from the end and work backward.
In order to achieve your goal in the next 90 days, what needs to happen just before that?
And just before that?
And just before that?
Keep asking that question of yourself and write down the answers.
For example, to finish writing this book, I need to:
- implement the feedback from early readers into all chapters
- finish writing all of the chapters
- outline all of the chapters
- finish the Table of Contents
This is vague but the next steps become very clear. The first thing I need to do is to finish the table of contents. That could be done in an hour, and I can schedule that into my calendar for this week.
Outline all of the chapters is a larger task. That will take much longer than a one-hour chunk of time, so I'll schedule in a few blocks this week as well to work on that.
Then writing all of the chapters. Since each one takes 1-2 hours to write, and I am writing about three chapters a week, then I know to write another 24 chapters will take about 8 more weeks.
I can now schedule those 1-2 hours chunks into my weeks, but not on specific days, because I don't know what my schedule will look like two months from now.
Implementing the feedback I'll reserve for the last part of the third month.
Now, I have a ton of clarity on what I'll be doing this week, and a somewhat clear idea of what needs to happen in the next few weeks to stay on track.
Here's the secret:
You need to revisit your plan every week.
This is not a one-and-done deal. Plans need to be adjusted and revisited every week in order to achieve your goals.
Fill out a plan for each of your three goals.
Then review the plan every week.
I like to do that either on Sunday evening or first thing Monday morning depending on what my schedule allows for.
Reread your goals, your reasons, and review your plan.
What do you need to do this week to stay on track? Schedule those action items into your calendar for the week and make sure to show up!
Little bits of progress every day, adjusting along the way, is how you take achieve a goal through action.
Start this habit this week and review your goals every week, every month, and every three months. When you achieve your goals you can either add another and keep a rolling list of 90-day goals, or wait until the end of the 90 day period to start again.
This may be a new approach to setting and achieving goals for you, but know that the highest achievers I know and look up to use a detailed process like this, which is optimized for achievment and progress.
Use everything you have at your disposal, all of your faith, all of your emotion, your mindset, and a clear plan of action, and you, too, will become an unstoppable force that creates more than you ever have before.