How 90-Day-Plans Help You Actually Crush The Goals You Write Down

In January I wrote a post called, “Why I’m Moving To Utah This Year.

Well, do I have an update for YOU.

Shortly after writing that post, I had the pleasure of spending seven whole days in one of my favorite places on earth: the Rocky Mountains.

(I promise this relates to crushing your goals with a 90-day-plan!)

I got to snowboard at Aspen, Beaver Creek, Vail, Copper Mountain and Keystone. It was EPIC.

It made me realize that I shouldn’t move to Utah.

Why go so far if I wasn’t going to be EXACTLY where I want to be?

Instead of Salt Lake City, I decided I’m moving to Frisco, CO.

And instead of November, I’m actually going to move in October.

When I tell people “Frisco, CO,” they look at me like I have spaghetti coming out of my ears. Here’s why I picked Frisco:

  • It’s within 30 minutes of like, five different mountains including Vail.
  • But, it’s not at the base of a ski resort, so it’s not like a touristy resort town. (see: Breckenridge and Vail)
  • It has a coworking space!
  • It’s not too far from Denver, which isn’t bad for catching flights home for the holidays and such.
  • I just love it there.

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Moving to Frisco is what motivates me every day to work as hard as I possibly can.

Saving up the money to move has become my big hairy audacious goal of 2017.

Turns out, I can work much harder than I expected, which is one of the things that surprised me about freelancing.

But the move alone wasn’t the only thing motivating me.

I’ll say upfront: I did not make my revenue goal for 2017 (more on that later). BUT I wouldn’t have come nearly as close without a 90-day plan.

How you know you need a 90-day plan

I like to write down my goals all the time.

I write them on notepads, in notes on my phone, on random Google docs, on my chalkboard in my apartment… but that’s messy. It doesn’t work. I forget half the stuff I write down.

Even worse, I write it down and never make a plan to put into action.

A goal without a plan is just a wish, right?

Think about what you want to accomplish in the next year. Do you want to land a promotion? Switch career paths? Start fresh in a new place or a new industry? Write a book? Learn Spanish?

Whatever it is, a 90-day plan WILL help you get there without overwhelming yourself.

You have more to lose if you DON’T make a plan.

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Why 90-day-plans work

I first heard about 90-day-plans during an Entrepreneur Organization Accelerator learning day. My mom is in charge of putting together learning day events for EONY, so she lets me attend them as a guest. (bless her)

One of the speakers talked about 90-day-plans in the context of leading a team in a company, but I thought, why not take the same strategy and just apply it to myself?

Making a 90-day plan is the same as eating a pizza.

Even though you WANT to shove the entire pizza pie into your face, you know it wouldn’t be fun.

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So you slice it and eat the entire pie one slice at a time.

A common problem that people have when it comes to goal setting is not digging deep by splitting them into little slices that aren’t intimidating.

Big goals are overwhelming.

Making a 90-day plan forces you to reverse engineer your goals. Working backward helps you wrap your head around what needs to happen to get from point A to point B.

How to make and use a 90-day plan in three steps

Step 1: Creating your goals and a template for the plan

In a Word doc or Google doc, write down your #1 personal or career goal for the year. You know, the one that has the most impact on your life. The one that you care about the most.

Thinking backward and reverse engineering that goal, break it down into four chunks or steps. Those are your quarterly goals.

For example, if you want to generate $12,000 in revenue from freelancing on the side, your quarterly goals would be to make $3,000.

Take the first quarterly chunk, and break that down into three goals (monthly goals) and break THOSE down into weekly goals.

List the dates of each week within the first 90 days.

This step should take you an hour to an hour and a half.

Step 2: The first week

So, thinking about your quarterly/monthly goal, write down 3-5 tasks for the first week of the 90-day period. These tasks should directly push you closer to your goal in some way.

For example, if your quarterly goal is to generate $3,000 in revenue from freelancing on the side from scratch, one of your first steps would be figuring out what services you can offer people.

Add those tasks to your to-do list AND carve out time for them on your calendar. This is the MOST important thing to do!

This step should take you a half hour to complete.

Step 3: The second week (repeat over and over until the 90 days are up)

At the end of the first week, go back and look at the original 3-5 tasks you wrote down for the week.

Answer these questions:

  • What got done?
  • What didn’t? Why?
  • What cool opportunities came up during the week?
  • What obstacles got in your way?

Then, write down 3-5 tasks for the next week based on what happened in the last week. Repeat step 2.

This step should take up to 45 minutes to complete.

I like to do my planning on Sundays, but you can pick whatever day works best for you. 

It also helps me plan my entire week, including my weekly meal prep.

One of my goals for the year is to read 24 books, so I even carve out time to read (while I commute) every day.

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This was my first time ever using a 90-day plan. Here are the results.

 

I was about $1,000 away from my revenue goal for this quarter. I don’t consider this a failure, but I want to catch up next quarter.

My goal for the move is to save $11,400 by this October.

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What that money is for:

  • $2,400 = my mom’s Subaru. I’m not officially buying the car, but it needed a new engine (yeah, my bad) and I split the cost with my mom so I can drive it out to CO and use it while I’m out there.
  • $6,000 = Rent/security/deposit money. I’m going to aim for a $1k/month rent if possible (hopefully lower, but we’ll see) and I want to have a nice rent stash before I move out there so I don’t stress about it. Keep in mind I’m only planning to live out there for six months.
  • $3,000 = December money. I want to take the entire month of December off work! Because why not?

It’s the end of March and I’m pretty much on track. I’ve managed to stash over $3,300 so far. This includes my tax return and a bonus I got from Elite Daily.

So I need to save $8,100 between now and October 1st.

I’m not sure if I’ll make it, and if I don’t that’s okay.

Here are the most important ways a 90-day plan helped me:

  • It forced me to make a plan every week and carve out time for important tasks on my calendar, instead of writing something down and forgetting it.
  • By writing down what I accomplished every week, I could visually see the progress I was making instead of feeling like I was working hard and getting nowhere.
  • It got me fired up about my work every week.
  • I learned to focus on the process more than the goal.

I think the biggest difference between working for myself and for a company is that the goals feel more tangible. I’m 100 percent in control of whether or not I reach them. I don’t have a team to rely on, it’s just me. That makes my goals A LOT more meaningful. I’m proud of my progress for this quarter, and I’m fired up to crush again this spring.

Again, if you’ve read this far, I’d love to hear from you. How did the first quarter of 2017 go for you? Do you want to make a 90-day plan for Q2? I can help!

Reach out directly: taliasarakoren [at] gmail [dot] com

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