It’s frustrating, right?
We’re in the last quarter of the year, and you’re nowhere close to achieving your yearly goals
Heck, you’ve even forgotten some of them and given up on others.
I used to be like this.
On New Year’s Eve, I’d spend three hours setting goals for the next year. However, by March, I was back to sleepwalking through life with no real idea of what I wanted.
I never accomplished any of my new year resolutions.
And it sucked.
By June, I was already feeling like a failure; and by November, I was frustrated and couldn’t wait for the year to end.
However, all this changed after discovering the quarterly planning system. By setting quarterly goals, I’ve been able to accomplish more during the year than in the last three years combined.
And you can achieve the same results.
Rather than planning your whole year on New Year’s Eve, plan your year in 90-day intervals.
In this post, I’ll dive into the benefits of quarterly planning. You’ll also learn the five-step process of setting 90-day goals as well and tips to help you CRUSH your quarterly goals.
But first, why is it essential to set goals?
Living a life with no goals is like searching for a book in a dark room. You’re going to spend hours tripping over everything before you find the book–if you’ll actually find it. However, if you had a flashlight, you’d be able to locate the book with ease and without breaking anything in the room.
The same goes for goals. Clear and well-defined goals allow you to know exactly what you want from life. They allow you to avoid distractions that prevent you from reaching your full potential.
- Want to lose weight? Set a goal to lose 20 pounds, commit to it and you’ll do it.
- Want to be a better parent? Set a goal to be spending at least two hours a day with your kids, and you’ll notice a shift in your relationship.
Other than pushing you to improve different facets of your life, setting goals also provides you with a useful lens through which you can evaluate your current performance in different areas of your life.
However, not all goal-setting strategies are created equal Some strategies increase your chances of success far above and beyond others. And the 90-day planning system is one of these strategies.
Why Quarterly Planning?
Tell me if you can relate to this.
You set ambitious goals, start working on them, but give up shortly after because they seem too complicated or impossible to accomplish.
I’ve been there…
I’ve given up on many of my goals because they seemed insurmountable.
However, with quarterly planning, your goals don’t seem impossible to accomplish. With the 12-week planning approach, you set appropriately sized goals that aren’t as intimidating.
It’s also possible to break down your 12-week goals into weekly and monthly milestones, making them even less daunting.
Quarterly planning also gives you the flexibility to change your goals. Setting goals once a year limits you on how to deal with changes that may occur during the year. A 90-day plan allows you to eliminate what doesn’t work from your ideas and replace it with a strategy that works better.
How to Set Quarterly Goals
Think about the last few times you’ve set goals.
What was your process?
If you’re like most, you probably imagined where you’d want to be in the next one year, wrote it down–or not, and that was it.
Or maybe, you went ahead and laid out an abstract plan of action.
However, this process seldom works.
Which is why you should try a new strategy. One similar to what businesses use when creating their quarterly plans.
Step 1: Define Your Vision
Before setting any goals, first, think about your long-term goals.
Where do you want to be in one year?
- Do you want to increase your revenue?
- Do you want to finally have that summer body?
- Are you looking to improve your work-life balance?
- How do you want your life to be different going forward?
Consider new skills you want to develop, big goals you want to accomplish, a problem you want to resolve, habits you want to change, or a project you want to start or complete.
When you think of your long-term goals, you’re more likely to align your quarterly plans to these goals. However, if you skip this step, you may end up working on goals that don’t align with your values.
And don’t just think of your goals, write them down in your first page of your journal and commit them to memory.
For this step, I recommend you ask yourself why it’s vital for you to achieve this long term goal.
Step 2: Take Inventory
- What is my current income?
- How many subscribers do I have so far?
- How much do I weigh?
These are some of the questions to ask yourself during this stage.
By carrying out a situational analysis you’ll learn what your weaknesses and strengths are, and better align your plan to your findings.
Step 3: Define Your Goals
Where do you want to be in 90 days?”
What do you most want to accomplish in the short term?
Pick one thing to focus on that you can accomplish in the next 90 days. Make this goal specific, realistic, measurable and relevant.
For this stage also remember to write WHY accomplishing this goal is vital. I’ve found that writing down the why gives me extra motivation to accomplish my goals.
Step 4: Create Milestones
Even quarterly goals can be overwhelming.
How will you accomplish all these in 90 days?
Short answer, by breaking down your goals in weekly and monthly milestones.
Creating milestones allows regular check-ins, and also makes it easier to track your progress and remain motivated through the 90-day period.
Step 5: Follow your Plan, but Be Prepared to Make Changes When Necessary
Now comes the hard part.
Following through with your 90-day plan won’t be a walk in the park. There are days you’ll ask yourself if it’s worth it.
However, look to complete every set milestone at the appropriate time. When you hit a milestone, take time to celebrate the small wins.
Execution of the plan may also involve making changes when necessary. However, only introduce new changes after a thoughtful review of how the changes will affect your progress.
How to Succeed in Quarterly Planning
You’ll need to develop a set of rituals to help you achieve your 90-day goals.
Show Up Every day
When creating a daily to do list, include an activity that moves you closer to your quarterly goals.
Before working on any other task, block 90 minutes to work on this task. Accomplishing this task will give you a constant feeling of accomplishment, which will continually motivate you towards achieving your 90-day goals.
Track, Track, and Track
You’ve probably heard the proverb, “What gets measured, gets done.”
And this is why you’ll need to develop a tracking habit for your quarterly goals.
Conduct weekly and monthly reviews of each milestone.
Some of the questions to ask yourself during both weekly and monthly review include:
- What activities did I do to move closer to my goals?
- How close am I to achieving my goals?
- What areas do I need to improve to increase my chances of success?
You can use a note-taking system like Evernote to keep track of your goals.
However, I find it more useful to use the old pen and paper system.
Have Rest Time
If you’re a goal-driven person, this will be hard to do.
After the end of the 90 days, take some time off to reflect and rest.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, taking time off gives you mental clarity and a chance to step back and think of your next steps.
Taking a break also allows you to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work; therefore, continuously improve your approach to quarterly planning.
Ready to Achieve Your Goals in 90 Days?
If you’ve read this entire post, you’ve probably realized that it’s a lot of work to create and follow up on your quarterly goals.
- Where do you start?
- Which are the best tools to use for setting your quarterly goals?
How about the Plan & Conquer: Bushido Code Journal. A journal specifically created for 90-day planning.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, student, creative, or simply want to improve your life, the Bushido Code: Plan & Conquer journal will help you move closer to achieving any goal you set.
If you’ve been trying to organize your life. Lose weight or improve your business but fail with every try, this is the journal for you.
The first page of your journal acts as the vision board that you’ll use to dream about what you’d like to achieve in 90 days. The journal also features an action plan layout where you split your goals into smaller achievable milestones
The weekly and monthly layouts also help to ensure you continually track your progress, and don’t fall back on any of your goals.
What are you waiting for? Check out the Plan & Conquer: Bushido Code Journal Kickstarter page to learn more about this amazing productivity tool.