As we wind down the current year, there are all sorts of expectations for the new year. Expectations we put on ourselves, expectations others put on us and expectations that swirl around on social media that seem to be a good idea. All of these expectations can get stuffed into what we call our goals for the next year. 

New Year goals seem like such a good idea when we set them. Then over time, those same seemingly great goals get overwhelming. There are so many books and online articles that walk us through how to set goals. 

As our office begins the New Year, we take a break at the end of the current year. A little time to decompress, spend time with our families and let the creativity come back naturally. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t start the New Year totally void of any ideas or goals. Our goals are set, but the plan to get there has some holes. 

I am a huge fan of Todd Herman and the 90 Day Year. (We put our own twist on it, but it’s a great course!) Our office plans our year in 90 day increments. Every 90 days a new set of deadlines are set, a new outline of personnel responsibilities to reach our mini goal is laid out and how many new clients we can take on based on our 90 push is established. We don’t pull our hair out and it makes goals totally obtainable. 

At the end of each 90 day push, we are able to measure if our goals were met and,  just as importantly, where we are at in the larger yearly goal. Smaller goals are easier to plan, much easier to stay on track and we can push hard for 90 days towards one smaller goal. 

There are times in our business when a new goal seems like a great idea. After 90 days when we stop to evaluate it’s very clear whether it actually was a good idea and financially worth it, or if we need to adjust (or even cut bait and move on).

The really cool part is that at the end of the year, we can clearly look back and see if we accomplished our goals we had set. It’s clear to see the financial, personnel and growth areas of the business.

As a small business owner, I work alone on planning quite a bit. Although I have a very small part-time staff, it’s still up to me to set the course and guide the ship. Where do I want this business to go? How do I want it to grow? Who can help me get there? A 90 day push helps keep me energized and on track. It helps me to know what to ask of my staff and how on-track they are. They are fully aware of what is happening for the year, but more importantly what’s happening in the next 90 days and we are all working towards the same goal.

As the New Year draws closer we begin to fill out our 90 day plan. We have financial goals in place, the number of new clients we can take on in each division of the business, what each staff members responsibilities are, the projects we are working on and the client deadlines we need to meet in the next 90 days. And because we are only concentrating on 90 days – there is no feeling of overwhelm. Grab your calendar and give it a try!