Every 90 days I take at least one or two days to do a quarterly review. It’s an opportunity for me to get a higher perspective on what’s working and what’s not in my online business.
Whether you are a full-time blogger or it’s your side hustle, I want to introduce you to the power of setting 90-day goals. I’ve been working this process for the past four years now and it’s been nothing short of amazing for me. Here are a few reasons why 90-day goals are so powerful:
- You gain incredible clarity as to what needs to be accomplished right now
- You are more motivated to work on your goals since you only have 90 days
- You get the opportunity to hit the restart button every 90 days
If you are not accomplishing everything you’d hope to, it comes down to two reasons: lack of clarity and daily broken focus.
Clarity for me comes through setting out in a very clear direction for the next 90 days. It’s hard for us to get clear on two and five year goals. In fact, it’s even harder to get clarity on our life’s purpose and calling. Setting 90 day goals gives me clarity on the path that’s already been illuminated before me.
Focus is what allows you to be productive in the moment. It’s easy for me to know how I should spend my time today if I’ve already established a few 90 day goals. The #1 enemy to you not accomplishing your dreams is broken focus.
Before I share with you my step-by-step process for setting 90 day goals, let me clarify how I structure my 90 day goals throughout the year. I divide them up into 4 quarters per year:
- Quarter #1: January-March (April 1st deadline)
- Quarter #2: April – June (July 1st deadline)
- Quarter #3: July-September (October 1st deadline)
- Quarter #4: October-December (January 1st deadline)
How I Set 90 Day Blogging Goals
Sometimes we make this process more complicated then it needs to be. My process is pretty simple, but super effective. It provides me with the clarity, focus and motivation that I need to get my projects done.
1. Select no more than 2-5 goals
I know you have a million ideas you want to get done in the next 90 days, but reality tells us that won’t happen. You are better off to select only a handful of goals. If you are not sure what your goals should be, then go back to your original blog business plan. Don’t have a plan? Check out our one-page blog business plan PDF.
Keep in mind that these 90 day goals could be sub-goals of a bigger project. For example, if you want to write and publish a book this year, then a solid 90 day goal might be to create a book proposal.
2. Write your goals in a visible location
We all know that what’s out of sight is out of mind. To overcome this, I place my goals on a whiteboard that hangs right above my desk in my home office. It hovers over me like a boss and draws me back in when I get distracted. Make your goals visible.
3. Turn your goals into 1-2 week performance goals
Most of us fall short by just writing “outcome” goals. The problem is we often have ZERO control over outcome goals. However (and I learned this from Todd Herman), most high-performing athletes break their goals down into performance goals.
Your outcome goals now become something you can measure and improve. Here’s how I do this weekly. I use a Weekly Blog Planner Template that I created and one of the sections is called “weekly goals.”
I’ll look up at my whiteboard to glance at my current 90 day goals and establish a performance goal. This will be something I can measure and improve week to week.
4. Crush procrastination with the who, when, where, and what principle.
Have you heard “what gets scheduled, gets done”? Why is that? Because you accomplish things when you set some intentionality to the whole process. You’ll never make progress on your goals until you answer the following questions:
- Who? (Who needs to do this? Who do I need to call?)
- When? (When can I do this?)
- Where? (Where do I need to go to work on this?)
- What? (What do I need to work on this?)
When you take that outcome goal and filter it through the who, when, where and what, you’ll be amazed at the progress you’ll make.
5. Start each day with a focus session to crush your goals
If you want to super-charge this whole process, start each work day with a focus session. It will become your built in who, when, where, and what like I mentioned earlier.
Back when I had a day job, I established my focus session between the hours of 5:00-7:00 AM each morning. I would tell myself “Work for yourself first.”
Once I started blogging full-time, I shifted this philosophy of an early morning focus session to the first part of my day.
When I sit down to work each morning, I first spend 60-90 minutes working on one of my 90 day goals. I do this before I check email or social media. This one habit alone has propelled me to finish more projects than you can imagine.
Check out this great visual of my process created by Jill Rapley.