Overwhelmed by your Goals? Do This

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Now that we’re a few months into 2015 you’re likely at the point where all your BIG plans for the year have been tucked away, or have fallen by the wayside as the realities of running your coaching business happen around you.

What you’re experiencing is 100% normal. As business owners we tend to set crazy big goals for the long haul, which goes against human nature. When you’re working on the ground, in your biz, day in, day out, that big goal quickly becomes overwhelming and unrealistic. Next thing you know, you’re off track, chasing the next shiny object and your brain is ready to explode.

Breathe easy. Because we’ve got a fix to get you back on track. Setting goals for an entire year is a recipe for failure. Our brains can truly only function in about 90 to 100 day chunks of time. So when you set a goal that’s 12 months long, you’re not failing when you don’t accomplish it, you’ve simply gone against human nature.

We tend to confuse our vision with goals. The vision is the guiding principle, the long-term plan and absolutely necessary. But trying to run your vision day-by-day on the vision alone isn’t entirely functional. But you need something to keep you on track as your go from point A (today) to point B (the future when you’re living the dream).

Our vision is the why, our specific goals are what, when what we really need is the how. How are we going to actually make things happen?

Enter your savior and new business BFF, the 90 day plan.

Meet the 90 Day Plan

The idea behind the 90 day plan is that you take your vision and goals and break them down into actionable, realistic bite-sized chunks. This approach lets you take actions every day, every week that help you get to the big goals and vision over time.

Before you dismiss 90 plans as being too tactical, consider this. What’s the alternative? Eating the elephant and trying to get your book deal or meet your huge revenue goal? Finding yourself going off course as you’re not sure what do next?

With my clients, I see the magic of the 90 day plan happen over and over. It’s the very first thing that I implement with each and every client so they can start seeing successes immediately and are constantly moving ahead.

Having a 90 day plan makes the intangible suddenly tangible and helps them take action in a sustainable, logical way.

When my client Brittany Becher started her business a year ago, she was still working in a corporate job so time was at a premium. Using 90 day plans, she was able to get out of her own way and see the path out of her full-time gig and into entrepreneurship by taking small actions day in, day out. A year later, Brittany’s the CEO and founder at Foundation and Flow and growing an amazing business.

The lesson from Brittany and my clients just like her is that it’s way too easy to get stuck at the macro level and skip over all the steps you need to take to build your audience, connect with potential clients and bring in revenue today.

The 90 day plans means that small wins breed consistency, and that action results in long-term success because you’re not working towards something simply too big to put your arms around.

Creating Your 90 Day Plan

You can create a 90 day plan anytime. Don’t wait for the start of a month or a new quarter, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your goals, (or even if you aren’t)  there’s no time like the present.

So, what goes in your 90 day plan?

You’ll want to start with looking at the key functional areas of your business that you need to focus on. Some examples include: sales, marketing, operations, client service, community building or even self-care. You pick what you need to focus on most at that high level.

Once you’ve got those picked out, break down the specific actions and activities by month that you want to accomplish.   Here’s an example:

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You’ll notice that these are often tactical, very specific goals. There’s no plans to take over the world in any given month.  Tactical actions are what going to help you execute your strategy, so embrace that simplicity and uncomplicate your business.

Amber McCue is a systems and leadership expert and the CEO of NiceOps. She partners with the nicest, smartest CEOs around to help them step into leadership roles and build a strong CEO mindset.