Can someone tell me where September went?!
One minute, it was the end of August and I was super excited about the new season. And now it’s October and I feel like the last month passed me by and that I didn’t achieve anything.
I don’t want the rest of the year to fly by in a blur.
And, as of today, there are 90 days left in the year. 90 days to live, and create, and love, and connect, and contribute.
It’s tempting to think that the year is nearly done...that Christmas is on its way...and let the year just wind down. Let’s not do that. Let’s go out with a bang.
90 days is a great timeline for planning. It’s long enough to be bold and ambitious and with your goals, and yet it’s still short enough to see the end of it and for it to be a mangeable chunk of time.
How do you want to close out the year? What needs to happen for you to look back in 2018 as a year you got closer to your dreams?
The military has a great little tool called the Seven Question Estimate. It’s taught to private soldiers and generals to plan, well, everything. I’ve taken this tool, along with lots of other inspiration to put together a planning template for you to get the most out of the last 90 days of the year - or any 90 days of the year, for that matter.
I’ve summarised the questions here and you can download a free, printable worksheet as well.
Take stock —Where am I? This is where you’re going to reflect on the past 90 days and be really honest about what’s been working – or not
The Goals: Where do I want to be 12 weeks from now? If I am reading this 12 from today, what has to have happened for me to feel happy with my progress? Here you’re trying to figure out what the right level of ambition for a goal is. Because ninety days seems to be the sweet spot in terms of estimating ambition and capacity, this is usually something that feels challenging, yet achievable. Once you figure out what that is, define criteria around it that will hold you accountable.
The Why - Why do I want to be there? What's the importance? The goal isn’t important—it’s what it lets you do. The “why” is also what gets you to emotionally commit, so it has to be big, vibrant, and clear. I try to be completely honest with myself. If it’s a vanity-based thing that gets me excited, I’ll say that. Going through the “why” section will typically force me to go up and edit the goal if they don’t feel properly aligned.
The How - How do I get there? This is where you’re bridging the gap and starting to get into what the details that really need to get taken care of are.
Contingency Planning – How can I prepare? This is where you’re managing the risks of things not going as planned.
The Commitment – How will I stay on track? This is where you’re getting committed to your goal.
Once you’re clear on your goals for the next 90 days, you can break them down into action steps for each month and then each week.
It’s also important each week and month to take some time to reflect.
At the start of this I mentioned that I felt like I hadn’t achieved anything in September and I mentioned this to one of my mentors over coffee yesterday. As I was sharing with her, I realised how untrue this was. I might not have made as much money as I would have liked - although I did still send a couple of invoices out - but I had done lots of work behind the scenes on things like my new personalised plans (coming very soon!). Perhaps even more importantly, I have done a huge amount of work on my own personal and spiritual development this month.
Taking time to reflect helps you learn from where things haven’t been going well and also ensures you take stock of what you have achieved. Back in my RAF days, we called this Do - Review - Apply. I’m not sure there’s anything more to say about that, apart from reiterating the importance of making space for this kind of reflection, either on your own or with a coach or mentor.
So, there you go. A simple process to help you squeeze every last drop from 2018. Please let me know what your goals are - I’d love to help support you over the coming weeks.