Learn why one-year goal setting doesn’t work and how breaking your annual goals into 90-day ones can make them realistic and achievable.
Have you already fallen off the wagon on your New Year’s Resolutions? Or did you not even bother making them this year because you know you can never pull them off? Well here’s the truth. it’s not you that’s the problem. One-year goals straight up don’t work. Yep, here you were thinking you’re a failure and you’ll never stick to your goals. But it turns out the goal you set is what’s actually holding you back. So before you go getting discouraged and thinking you’ll stop making goals altogether, hear me out. Because there is a better way. And I’m going to teach you how to do it.
One Year Goal Setting Doesn’t Work
Yeah, I said it. It doesn’t work. Think of yourself exactly one year ago. What were you doing, what were you wearing, what were you eating, and what goals did you have? Now take a look at yourself right now. I bet you’ve changed a little bit, huh? You may not even find that goal to even be important anymore!
And even more to that point, think of all the things that have happened in the last year that you didn’t expect. I know you didn’t see the broken arm your kiddo got on the playground coming. And you didn’t expect to have to replace the roof on your house after that big windstorm. And you didn’t have any clue that your in-law would get sick and have to move in with you for six months.
The honest truth is that 12 months is almost impossible to project. There are too many things that can occur during that time frame and too many unexpected events that you just can’t plan for. You may have had a one-year goal to sell your house and move to a new city. But then your spouse gets a promotion they can’t turn down, and those plans go out the window. Or you may be saving up to finish your basement, but your savings gets wiped out when your child needs surgery.
Even if nothing happens within that twelve months that throws you off track, you can simply just run out of steam. Let’s say your goal is to lose 60 pounds. But you see-saw back and forth, gaining and losing, until you feel so discouraged that you stop trying. Or maybe your goal is to get that full-time position at work, but six months in, your side-hustle takes off and you decide you may want to jump into the role of entrepreneurship.
One year out is so hard to see. And your big giant goal can almost seem unobtainable when you’re only on month one. But what if there was a way to actually pull off that yearly goal, while giving yourself the flexibility to pivot as things change?
Set 90 Day Goals Instead
I’d like to introduce you to the 90 Day Goal. Yep, three months. It’s enough time to get some headway, but not so much time that you’ll lose momentum. 90 Day Goals are easy to project because you can definitely see yourself three months from now. That’s just about the time you’re starting your Spring Cleaning. Or your kids are almost out of school for summer. Not that big of a deal, huh? A whole lot better than trying to imagine yourself out shopping for groceries for Thanksgiving.
They’re More Realistic
Sure, that huge goal of yours is realistic to a point, it’s just a lot to take in. There’s so much that has to fall into place to make it happen. Let’s go back to the 60 pound weight loss goal. 60 pounds sounds hard. 60 pounds sounds like a lot! But what if you were to break that down into 90 day goals. That’s just 15 pounds every three months. Which is five pounds a month! 5 pounds is totally doable!
By breaking down your One Year Goal into 90 Day Goals, you have smaller chunks to work with, and you’re so much more likely to actually achieve them.
They’re Easier To Plan
Have you ever sat down on January 1st and filled out your entire calendar for the year? With all the appointments, to-do lists, events, and meetings? Of course you haven’t! There’s no way you could do that because things change. I’ve literally rescheduled my dentist appointment three times over the last month and a half.
By working in 90 day chunks, you can plan around what you’ve already got going on, and you can project any possible roadblocks that may come up. If you were thinking you had a full year to lose 60 pounds, you wouldn’t even think twice about skipping the gym for two weeks straight. “I’ll just get back on track later.” You’ll think. But you may not. You may lose your momentum. You may lose your drive. You may get so far behind that you feel like it’s impossible to get back on track so you just give up.
Nope, I’m not letting that happen to you, because we’re BFFs and that’s what friends do. We keep each other motivated and accountable. And that’s why I made something just for you to turn that seemingly impossible goal of yours into reality.
How To Plan Your 90 Day Goals
All you have to do is break your big goal into smaller bite-sized chunks. Just decided what four steps you need to take to pull off your big goal, then turn those four steps into an actionable checklist. It’s what I call “working backwards” and it’s how I break down every single one of my big goals. If I need to save up $10,000 to finish out our bonus room above the garage, I first break that into four chunks, which is $2500. Then I decide what I have to do within three months to put aside $2500. I break that down even smaller to $833 a month.
Then I look at my budget to see where I can cut, where I can save, and how much I’m already saving. Then I decide what else I can do to reach that $833 a month goal. I realize I can hold a garage sale in the spring during the first 90 day period. I can take a smaller summer vacation and move some of the budgeted money to the renovation savings. I can sell some old furniture in the fall when I clean out the garage. And I can make and sell handmade ornaments in the fourth block of the year to bring in some extra cash. By January 1st of 2020, I’d be calling contractors and making measurements of the new bonus room. Easy as that.
But if I had just looked at it as “I need an extra $10,000 by the end of the year,” I’d be overwhelmed, discouraged, and stressed. See how breaking it down made it seem so much more realistic? And during this time, I may even find out that I don’t even have to have that much money after all. Maybe I help a friend organize her kitchen and her Electrician husband offers to wire up the lighting for us, saving $600.
Want A 90-Day Goal Planner?
There’s a printable planner tailor-made for this method, and you can get it from my Binder Kit Library. It takes you through every step, and you can print as many copies as needed to finish tasks or change habits each quarter. Best of all, your ultimate goals will always be listed at the top of each page. If you need a template for this better way of goal setting, now’s your chance. Download your planner here.
What’s Your 90 Day Goal?
Leave a comment below and tell me what your big goal is! Just putting it out into the world, even anonymously, will make you feel more accountable and so much more likely to stick with it.