When we plan in our businesses the designated amount of time is usually 12 months. It feels achievable and exciting when we start brain dumping our dreams and pinning them to our vision boards. Then all of a sudden it is late March, and holy schmucks we have done nothing! Twenty-five percent of our year is gone (that is a quarter of the year ladies!) and we are on a slippery slope to another year of zero momentum.
What happened to the 12-month plan?
Ideas in our heads or on pretty cork boards/Pinterest boards do not constitute a plan. Having the vision is great, creating a visual to look at every day is better, breaking it all down into actionable chunks is where the gold lies. The final step is where most women stumble.
Even if you took the time to break your 12-month plan down into bit sized lady chunks and schedule in reminders we still often find we have made no progress. Frustrating right! The simple fact is 12 months is a loooong time.
So I should just ditch the 12-month plan right?
Oh gosh, golly no (or my blunter version… F*** no!!). That 12-month plan is your road map to taking your vision to reality. The key is to break the plan down into short blocks of focus, also known as the 90 Day Plan!
Why does 90 days work so well?
I thought 90 days was too short, it seemed weird to me when I first heard about it. Then I noticed quite a few of the online world cool kids prancing around all smug with their huge progress. Their not-so-secret-secret was the 90-day plan. So I drank the cool-aid and jumped on the 90-day wagon and it works!
90 Days fits nicely with school holidays
The school year can be challenging for women to navigate. If you have kids you want to be able to enjoy a little bit of flexibility during school holidays. If you sell to women with kids you need to consider those periods in your marketing. Having a 90-day plan fits quite nicely into terms, my friend Kylie Patchett pointed this out to me, it makes so much sense!
90 Days gives you room to move
A 12-month plan doesn’t account for movement in your business during the year. You might stumble across an awesome idea and want to roll it out asap. A new way of marketing might start really paying off for you so your plans may change. Maybe your business grows super fast and you need to change your entire model. A lot can happen in one year.
When you have a micro or small business you have the ability to change direction fast, something big competitors can’t do. We also tend to focus more on growth for the first few years, then on maintenance down the track. A growth focus needs room for flexibility. A 90 day plan has that flexibility.
90 Days ‘feels’ do-able
Focusing just on the next 12 weeks is so much easier than the next 52 weeks. It is a small bit sized piece that you can see yourself achieving. The end is in sight! Having a 90-day plan puts the finish line in clear view. If you have kids you can mark the end of your plan with some guilt-free time off during the holidays.
90 Days allows for up leveling
I am all for up leveling. Taking the stairs one step at a time, not trying to get from where you are today to where you want to be in one giant (destined to fall) leap. Focusing on the next 90 days works beautifully with uplevel planning. Focusing on just the next step ahead and then allowing that to become your new normal is another benefit.
Back on the wagon if you fall off
If you’re prone to falling of the planning and productivity wagon having your year broken into smaller blocks allows you more chances to jump back on quickly. There is nothing as demotivating as looking at your 12-month plan mid year and realising you have no chance of reaching your goal. That won’t happen when you break your 12 months into 90 day blocks. At the end of every block you can review and reassess, not wait until the end of the year.