This past weekend I was in NYC with a small group of entrepreneurs from all over the world. We meet quarterly to help each other on a number of levels (business, personal) and to share our problems and find ways to improve.
This meet up started with a talk and Q & A by Todd Herman; the author of The Alter Ego Effect. I originally found Todd due to his previous work, The 90 Day Year.
If you’re like me, and the thoughts of planning too far in the future is difficult to do realistically and causes too much anxiety, this can be a valuable tool.
I first learned about this at a meet up with this same group in San Francisco in 2018 and have been using it ever since.
It’s also the same reason why, in our gym we run “goal review” sessions quarterly. It’s for us to check in with members, but more importantly it’s an effective way to break down larger, long term goals into manageable chunks.
Think about a goal of running a marathon, creating a profitable business, or losing 40 pounds. All of these will likely take a year or more to accomplish. And during that time, you’re going to experience joy when things are going well. It’s easy to keep going when that happens. But when you experience periods of slow progress or a few steps backwards; as resistance to your goal builds, so does the likelihood that you’re going to quit.
In addition, we’re told often to never look to the past since you can’t change it. I’ll disagree for 2 reasons. First, we need to celebrate our successes. I don’t mean to give a trophy to every kid’s, “successes”. However, I encourage you to look at this path your on and look back and appreciate where you’ve come from, and the progress you’ve made. Celebrate the small wins. Also, there are lessons in our failures in the past. Don’t ignore them, learn from them.
Herein lies the power of breaking your year, or an individual goal into smaller chunks.
There is no shortage of ideas in this world. But there is a massive shortage of action takers.
Breaking down your year or goal into smaller, more manageable chunks will allow you to become more focused and take action on the biggest tasks needed to move the needle for that quarter. It’s less likely that you’ll feel overwhelmed by the enormity of your plan; which the # 1 reason why people don’t take action to start.
Now, instead of telling yourself you want to lose 40 pounds next year. Break it down into action steps for each quarter. Want to start a business? How about the first 90 days action steps is to find your audience, create content to show them you can help and create a system to follow up with your leads. Remember that marathon you want to train for? You’re not going to go from 0 to 26.2 miles in just a few weeks.
One of the greatest benefits of the 90 Day Year exercise, is that it shortens your horizon for changes you expect. If you’re getting frustrated by your lack of progress in a particular area, you don’t need to look 270 days away and quit the process because it seems distant. Just get on track with your next 90 days and trust the process.
Try it and let me know how it works for you.