It’s the end of the 1st quarter and Spring is in the air… Spring is a time of growth and rebirth. A fresh start, a clean slate. It’s a time to look forward to what is ahead. But how do you get to where it is you want to be getting to? The answer is simple – you need a plan. Not just any plan, a well-written blueprint that monitors your progress and maximizes your success rate.
The Power of Written Goals
A well-written plan is one of the fundamental principles of many successful people. Damian Pros discusses a now famous study of a graduating Harvard MBA class that examined this exact concept. 3% of the students had written goals and a plan on how to achieve them while 13% had goals in mind but didn’t write them down. 84% didn’t have any goals at all. “After 10 years, the same group of students were interviewed again and the conclusion of the study was totally astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals, but did not write them down, earned twice the amount of the 84 percent who had no goals. The 3 percent who had written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97 percent of the class combined.”
The Lesson here: Take what you want to achieve and write it down.
Start with the big picture. Keep something close that reminds you of it. Look at it often. Many successful people use this precise method. A perfect example of the power of written goals is Jim Carrey who tells us how he made the impossible happen. “I wrote myself a check for $10,000,000 for acting services rendered. I gave myself 3 years and I dated it Thanksgiving 1995. I put it in my wallet and I kept it there, and it deteriorated… But then, just before Thanksgiving 1995 I found out I was going to make $10,000,000 on Dumb and Dumber.”
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
– Tony Robbins
Once you have the basics transposed from mind to paper, it’s time to create mini goals that you need to accomplish along the way. These attainable stepping-stones will get you to your finish line. Set daily, weekly and monthly milestones that can reinforce your ultimate plan. A large goal is daunting, but if broken up into chunks, it seems much less intimidating. The old ‘how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’
It’s part of the reason that an estimated 92% of people fail to carry out their New Year’s Resolution. When you have an overwhelming mountain to climb, you are much more likely to not try to climb it at all. However, if you said to yourself, ‘I will climb just 10 steps each day’, you are excited each day that passes and you are 10 more steps closer to the top. Small achievements keep you moving forward.
1-Year Goal: Residual income stream of $5,000 per month via online programs.
Goal Deadline: December 1st
Now, let’s take a minute to break this down and ‘backward plan’ it to find out what we need to accomplish this month…
In order to have $5,000/month in residual income by December 1st, we want to have launched and profited from at least one online program prior to November 1st (i.e. you shouldn’t plan on meeting your income goal in the 1st month after launching). And in order to have created, launched, and promoted a course on or before November 1st, we would have started at least 90 days prior with the creation phase. And in order to successfully create a course that we know will be profitable, we should have started audience testing, surveying, building, etc… at least a few months prior to the creation process.
Are you seeing how ‘backward planning’ works?
Here’s what a simplified timeline for this goal might look like:
March – start creating content around main program themes to survey and test interest
April – choose delivery and promotion programs/technology, draft a plan
May – program content creation
June – program delivery creation
July – program promotion creation
August – Launch BETA test and start testing audiences
September – Launch Program Promotion
October – Make any edits necessary, assess pricing
November – Create add-ons, assess pricing, Re-Launch
December – Goal Complete!
Can you see how important it is to write all of this out and have a clear understanding of what it takes? Plus, at each point, it’s important to clearly outline what tasks are required to accomplish these actions. Otherwise you run the risk of taking two months to create your course content and then have to rush other steps or risk missing your deadline (can you tell we’ve run into this before?).
Monica Mehta reveals the psychology behind collecting those small victories. “The more times you succeed at something, the longer your brain stores the information that allowed you to do so well in the first place. That’s because with each success, our brain releases a chemical called dopamine… This is why the cultivation of small wins can propel you to bigger success, and you should focus on setting just a few small achievable goals. While your ambitions can remain grand, setting the bar too high with goals can actually be counterproductive.”
Why a 90 Days Plan?
People often reference their 1-year plan or their 5-year plan. But experts believe that is too far off. So many things can happen to derail you when the targeted achievement is too far off. Instead, section it out and set a 90-day plan. Spencer Wicks explains why this is such a “magic number”. “90 days is considered so effective largely because most of us falter on our goals when they’re too long-term. It becomes too easy to lose the sense of urgency and put things off when the ultimate goal is a long way off.” The bottom line is that the longer it appears to get your goal completed, the higher the chance that it won’t happen… been there?
This isn’t much different than the visibility of your business brand, the more it’s seen, the more it’s remembered. Once you have your plan developed, keep it close so that you will be constantly reminded of your path to attaining it. Michael Hyatt says you need to be looking at your 90-day plan daily. “I look at this list every morning and try to populate my Daily Task List with actions that will move me closer to attaining my objectives. Every day, I try to identify at least one “next action” and do it. If you have never done this before, you won’t believe the focus that this will bring to your life.”
Get it DONE!
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get started so we are offering our downloadable 90-Day Planning Guide for FREE. It has been designed and customized by a team of experts to be straightforward and easy to complete. Just opt in here and we will send it right to your inbox!
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
Need help filling it out? Trouble deciding which goals to prioritize? No problem! We will notify you of our upcoming planning lab (also FREE) where we help guide you and offer up some industry tips and tricks for successful 90-Day Planning. We are excited to see you there and help you start turning your wishes into actions and results!
So… what are you waiting for? Download your 90-Day Planning Guide now and let’s get this party started!!