How to Make the Most of 90-Day Goal Planning

How to Make the Most of 90-Day Goal Planning

For years, PowerSheets® have been built to harness the power of 90-day goal setting—to help you focus on the future, but also be present in each precious day of your life. With the introduction of 90-Day PowerSheets, living on purpose and achieving good goals is even easier!  

Because you want to spend your time well: to manage your must dos, yes, but also to have time for those things you've always wanted to do. You want to live out what matters with smarts, ease, and joy.

You're not the only one! We love goals because they're the simple, best way to build a life you love. With 90-Day PowerSheets, we've combined the proven goal-setting strategies we've honed over the last decade with meaningful weekly planning pages. With 90-Day PowerSheets in hand, you'll make a plan and then use it to live each day well.

Whether you've chosen 90-Day or One-Year PowerSheets as your goal-setting tool, here's how to make the most of 90-day goal planning!

Learn more about setting up your 90-Day PowerSheets here!

1. Set your big-picture vision.

This is what the Prep Work, the first section of your PowerSheets, is for! In a few pages, you'll answer simple, guided questions about where you are now—what's working, what's not working, and what matters to you—to create a compelling big-picture vision for your life as a whole and for the season ahead.

When the goal-setting days get long, having a compelling vision and a WHY behind your efforts will keep you motivated for the long haul.

2. Choose your goals and actions. 

How will you live out or move closer to your vision in the next 90 days? What Finish Line goals and Habits will help you get there?

If you don't know where you're going, you'll wander aimlessly, so use pages 20-43 of your 90-Day PowerSheets to name your goals and then break them down into action items: small, simple, and concrete steps that will move you from where you are to achieving your goal.

We've given you PLENTY of room to sketch, brainstorm, and write in this section, but these pages are for you: use whatever combination of prompts and exercises are most helpful! They're also intentionally flexible: we've heard from some Cultivators planning to focus on just one Big Dream goal, and others who plan to set smaller goals for each area of their lives. We can't wait to see how you make these pages your own!

3. Plan your weeks.

There are about 12 weeks in 90 days. Look ahead and intentionally distribute your brainstormed action steps over those 12 weeks. Look at your calendar as you do this to be as realistic as possible.

For example, will you be traveling one week? You may not be able to do any action steps thenand the next week might need to be lighter, too, as you transition back into work or life at home. 

The only way to feel confident that you’ll be able to get it all done is to look ahead and make a plan. Some questions that might help as you do this:

  • What rhythms or habits will help me spend my time well on a daily basis this season?
  • What can I do NOW that will make it easier for me to live on purpose later
  • Based on what matters to me, what can I schedule in my calendar NOW, before it fills up with other people's priorities?

At this stage, you might also find there’s simply too much to fit in! Then, you have the opportunity to go back and adjust your goals, or adjust your schedule to make more time. Either way, at the end of your planning session, you’ll have a doable and realistic plan for the season ahead.

4. Block your time.

What we plan time for becomes our priority, and what we spend time on grows! 

At the beginning or end of each week, look ahead and block your time for the week ahead, fitting in the action steps you planned for the week at the beginning of the quarter. It's up to you how detailed or simple you make your plan, and of course, plans should always be held loosely. But, if we don’t make any plan at all for how we'll fit in the action steps we committed to each week, they’re simply not going to happen most of the time.

This doesn’t mean you need to spend every free minute on your goalsit just gives you the opportunity to be realistic and purposeful about whatever time you do want to spend. You can get plenty done in a limited amount of time if you use it well!

Inviting yourself to be realistic about how much you can get done on the front end allows you to prioritize and make time for what’s most important. It also leads to greater satisfaction, because you're working with a plan that's possible to execute instead of feeling overwhelmed by all you don't get done each day. Game changer!

5. Review and reflect.

We like to say that reflection reaps rewards, and getting in the habit of reviewing your goal setting regularly will help you spend your time well and go further, faster. 

  • Review at the end of each day. Did you set out what you planned to do? Do you need to roll anything forward to the next day or week?

  • Review at the end of each week as you time block your next week. What didn’t work well, and needs to be tackled differently? What worked well and should be repeated?

  • Review at the end of each month as you make your next Tending List.

Traditional goal setting tells us we can’t mess up along the way or we won’t achieve our big dreams. That’s not true! Progress matters far more than perfection, but you’ll get more progress if you’re thoughtful about your planning and pivoting.

When you have a clear plan for the week, it’s easy to see when you followed it, and when you didn’t. What caused you to fall short? Notice what was beyond your control and give yourself grace. Notice what was within your control and course-correct for the future.

And don’t forget to celebrate as you review! Researchers have found that frequent, small achievements tend to start a cycle of success and happiness much more than infrequent, big ones. By breaking your goals into action steps, you can have a victory each day or week. Point your efforts toward where you want to be in the big picture, but enjoy the daily and weekly milestones.

And there you have it! Five steps to make the most of 90-day goal setting. Wash, rinse, and repeat every 90 days, and do more of those things you've always wanted to do! :) We're cheering you on!

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Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

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