The final days of the year are upon us. All the plans you made, goals you set, and promises you made will be examined, scrutinized, and assessed in the weeks ahead. Did you over promise and under deliver? Did you exceed everyone’s expectations, including your own?
Before you put yourself under the microscope and start counting the wins and losses, you need to remember there are still 90 days of life and leadership left in the year. You have three months to finish the year strong and make the most of every opportunity, relationship, and challenge that crosses your path.
The temptation will be great to start slowing down, prepare for the holidays, and think about how next year will be different or better. Before you close out the chapter on this year though, I want to encourage you to write the final pages of this year with passion and purpose. Don’t leave the pages of the next 90 days blank. Don’t leave the next 90 days to chance.
Creating A Simple 90-Day Plan
In order to achieve this you need a plan. Not a complicated 30 page plan with graphs, charts, long explanations of how you achieve your goals. Rather, a simple plan to guide you daily during what can be a stressful and very busy season of life. A simple plan that focus on three key elements:
- Your Goals – What you want to achieve, by when, and how you will measure it.
- Your Disciplines – The consistent behaviors, when done over time, that will help you achieve your goals and desired outcomes.
- Your Projects – The short term projects that, when completed, will help you realize your goals, execute on your disciplines, lead with purpose.
This simple approach to planning has proven time and time again to be a “game-changer” for our clients. It brings clarity, focus, and action to your weekly routine so that you can live and lead with greater purpose. And I think best of all it can be used for both personal and business planning.
Here is an example of one goal from the 90-Day Plan my wife and created this past weekend:
- Goal – No overspending during the holiday season, measured by no new credit card debt through January 1, 2015.
- Disciplines – Review adjusted holiday budget every Sunday night. Discuss any out of the ordinary expenses over $100 before purchasing. Purchase gifts from our “gift fund” only (no robbing other accounts of budget).
- Project – Create an adjusted holiday budget taking into account gifts, parties, family meals, etc. by October 15, 2014.
The example above is for one goal in the key area of finance. Whether you create a personal or business plan, I recommend that you set a 5-7 goals, identify 6-8 disciplines that will help you achieve those goals, and 3-5 projects to complete in the next 90 days.
Get Others Involved
If you lead a team, creating a 90-Day business plan is a great team exercise to complete together. Use the planning process to help create shared goals and purpose for the final 90 days of the year.
If you have a family, involve your children or other relatives in the process of creating a personal 90-Day plan. My wife and I brainstormed our personal goals with our kids over breakfast on Sunday morning. We discussed each goal, how they could help us achieve it, and what we saw as a reward for our family executing on our 90-Day Plan.
If you would like to send me your 90-Day plan (personal or business), I would be happy to review it and provide you with feedback via email. The next three months are going to fly by. Have the courage to set aside time in your normal routine to create a simple plan to help you finish the year strong while living and leading with purpose.
Make it a great day!