How to achieve your goals in 90 days

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Achieve your goals in 90 days

“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” Jim Rohn

Any successful business mentor or person will tell you that their ultimate secret to success is not only planning but achieving goals.

But first, let’s start with the very basics.  Every day contains 24 hours – some of which we’ll typically spend at work, or at home, with family and friends or (obviously!) asleep.  So ultimately, the first step is to maximise the potential of those 24 hours and then times them by 90.

But How?

Before we go any further, let’s stop for a moment.  Pick up a pen and let’s talk a walk off your busy diary.  When all your time has been and gone (quite often, in what feels like the
blink of an eye), what do you want to have accomplished?

Firstly, write down whatever comes to mind on a sheet of paper and then circle an item that you’re committed to achieving in just 90 days.

Next, beside that goal, write down a number of hours you currently spend working towards it every week.

Zero or less than 10%, at a guess, if I am not mistaken? …

Of course, it’s one thing knowing what you want to and completely another actually achieving your goals in reality.  Well, listen up.  It’s time to get SMART.

Specific – it’s time to target a specific area for improvement.  Make sure that your goal is clear and well defined.  Vague goals are really unhelpful as they don’t provide sufficient direction so make it as easy as you possibly can to get where you want to be in 90 days.

Measurable – progress will be monitored every step of the way.  If it helps, include precise dates of how you want your goal to look like on that date.  For example, if you’re looking to increase your sales each month by 15%, how will you know when you’ve been successful?  10 days, 20 days, 30 days? … Think carefully about where you want to be in 90 days from now then plan ahead and continually monitor your progress along the way.

Achievable – the end result is already in sight!  Focus firmly on what you need to do to achieve this.  Raise the bar!

Results – this is the ultimate outcome.  This is what you’re going to achieve.

Time – and we’re going to do it in just 90 days!  You MUST keep to this deadline so that you can celebrate your success at the end of it.  When you’re working towards a deadline your sense of urgency tends to increase and achievement will come to you all that much quicker!

So, no more excuses.  No more putting it off.  Here’s how to achieve your goals in just 90 days!

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
— Maya Angelou

You’re 90 Days Challenge

  1. First of all, I as a business mentor would like to congratulate you because you have now fallen into the 20% of the people who are committed to their success and the fact that you’re reading this means that you’ve already started on your journey to reaching that ultimate goal of yours so well done! Day one has now begun and you’ve already identified what you want to achieve in the next 90 days challenge.
  1. Remember that a goal doesn’t have to be huge – it can be something really simple. Everyone’s definition of what a “goal” is will be entirely different so don’t be put off if you think it’s easy to achieve.  Equally so, don’t be put off if you feel as though you’ve got a mountain to climb.  Never quit.  You can do this.
  1. Get yourself motivated! If you’ve set yourself a goal then it’s obvious that it’s important to you – for whatever reason.  You’ll never achieve your goal without motivation so remind yourself why you want to achieve this and how you’ll feel on day 90.  Achieving goals isn’t easy.  Remember, if it was, everyone would do it (the other 805).  But you’re not just anyone.  You’ve set yourself an achievable goal and you’re already well on the way to achieving it.  If it helps, why not write down why this particular goal is important to you?  It’ll serve as a constant reminder that you need to stay motivated and will serve as a useful reference if you ever start to doubt yourself.
  1. Have a think about what time of day you’re at your peak. Whilst some people are most productive in the morning, others are more of night owls, so you need to think about the best time of day to start working on your goal.  Of course, much of this might depend on what your goal is.  If it’s a physical activity, such as running, there are obviously limits as to what time of day it’s best to do this.  You might also have other practicalities to consider, such as childcare, employment and so on.  The key thing is to set a realistic plan – and then stick to it.
  1. Stop waiting around for the “perfect time” to make a start. Put simply, it doesn’t exist.  In fact, RIGHT NOW, reverse engineer the whole process.  That’s right, go straight to Day 90 and look back on the journey that you’re about to take.  What does it look like? Are there any challenges?  If there are, how are you going to overcome them?  You’ve already thought about the obvious ones but spare a thought for the ones that might take you by surprise and recognise how you’re going to jump the hurdles if they pop up.  Get any key dates in your diary and start planning ahead because right NOW is the perfect time to make a start.
  1. Next up, you need to restrict how much unnecessary time you spend on your mobile, or your tablet, or just the internet in general. Simply browsing through internet sites can consume an enormous amount of time – as can social media platforms – so be sure to put any spare time towards your ultimate goal and NOT spent looking at your screen, uploading irrelevant photographs or sending meaningless texts.  In a recent survey undertaken by Mobile Statistics, we spend, on average, a staggering 90 MINUTES a day on our phones.  That’s the equivalent of 23 days a year or 3.9 years of the average person’s life!  Switch it off – and do it NOW.
  1. Keep it visible! A great way of staying motivated is to constantly remind yourself of what you’re looking to achieve.  You can do this in numerous ways.  Write notes to yourself and put them everywhere you’re most likely to need that kick of motivation.  For example, if you’re looking to lose weight, then make sure there’s a note on the fridge door reminding you of your 90 day  Look for motivational quotes online or in magazines and make sure you take heed of them!
  1. Decide whether you’re better off going it alone or whether you need to embrace the support of others. This is really important since people operate in entirely different ways.  If you consider your goal to be private then you might not want to enlist anyone’s support but if you think you might need motivation (e.g. in relation to weight loss), then being part of a group can definitely help you succeed.  This is very much a personal thing and the weight loss target is perhaps one of the best examples.  Some people would rather achieve this as part of a slimming group where they’re encouraged by others and compare results whilst others might prefer to do this more privately, online or in the privacy of their own home.  It’s simply a case of finding the best solution for YOU so be sure to think about your options to make sure you achieve your ultimate goal.
  1. Always keep a note of what you’ve achieved – no matter how trivial it might seem. This, in fact, is a proven theory for people suffering from  Whether they simply manage to get out of bed, have a shower or make a meal – it’s all about achievement.  Keep thinking positive and if you don’t quite achieve what you’d planned to, don’t feel too bad about it – just make a mental note to keep trying and you’re almost guaranteed to get there.  Remember, goals don’t have to be huge they just need to be enough to stretch you and make a positive difference.
  1. Make appointments with yourself! That’s right!  In order to keep yourself on track (whether you’re working towards your goal on your own or with others), be sure to check in on yourself every now and then.  These are appointments you’re simply not allowed to break.  No excuses.  The best time to schedule these might be at the end of the day when you can reflect on what you’ve achieved and make plans for the following day.  For example, if your goal is to exercise more and you’ve promised yourself to go swimming at 7am every morning before you go to work, then that “appointment” has to be your highest priority.  It doesn’t get rescheduled or moved down your list of priorities in favour of anything else.  It’s YOUR time to do exactly what you’ve set out to achieve.
  1. Get brainstorming! There’s no better way to clear your mind set than to put pen to paper and brainstorm ideas about how you can reach your target.  For example, what are you looking to gain or improve?  How do you think you’ll be able to achieve it?  Will you need to enlist anyone’s support (for example, your GP if you intend to stop smoking or a personal trainer if you intend to lose weight etc.) By simply writing your ideas and thoughts down on paper you’ll be surprised at how achievable the overall journey will start to look.
  1. Rank your goals to help you stay focused. Through the brainstorming activity, you might find that you end up with more than just one goal (otherwise known as ‘sub-goals’).  If this is the case, then it’s advisable to rank them in terms of importance.  For example, if you want to run a marathon your first goal will be to run a mile.  That HAS to be achieved before you can proceed any further – so make sure you have a plan in place that covers all angles of where you want to be.
  1. Start to envisage what the overall impact of reaching your goal will look like. How will it affect your life?  Will it affect others?  If you start thinking in terms of how you want things to look before you get there, you’re more likely to be better equipped along the way.
  1. Get into a good routine and make it work for you. To achieve your goal you’ll need to set aside whatever time you need to get it done.  Let’s say, for example, that you want to learn an instrument.  Once you’ve decided on how you’re going to fit this into your existing lifestyle you then need to build up a routine – perhaps by practising so many minutes a day, or by attending music lessons etc.  Once you’ve established routine things will fall into place much quicker and make that ultimate goal all the more achievable.
  1. Be sure to keep tracking your progress once you’ve completed day one. This is really important since it will give you the opportunity to reflect on how well you’ve done against your set targets and will give you some idea of what else you might need to do in order to stay on track.  If you’re enlisting the support of someone else on your journey (for example, a tutor), then why not ask them to help you keep a diary?  This could contain both positive and negative remarks; the latter of which should give you the inspiration you need to make improvements and stay very much on track.
  1. Understand the importance of motivation. One of the main reasons that people don’t achieve their goals is through lack of motivation.  Making achievable sub-goals and continually tracking your progress can both help but you might need to consider additional reinforcement for when the going gets tough!

Generally speaking, there are two types of reinforcement – positive and negative.  Positive reinforcement entails adding something to your life – for example, treating yourself to a chocolate treat after reaching a sub-goal.  Negative reinforcement, on the other hand, is when something is taken away but becomes a reward.  An example of this might be skipping a household chore one week as a reward for reaching a sub-goal.  This chore is, therefore “removed” from your life, just for that week.

  1. Minimise distractions to ensure you remain fully focused. If your goal requires your undivided attention (for example, you want to learn a new language) then make sure you’ve got the right working environment, have no distractions and aren’t likely to be disturbed by anyone for the time that you need to yourself.
  1. Aim to get up an hour earlier than you would normally – you’ll be surprised at how much this can make a difference. Not only can it create a calmer sense of well-being by not having to rush around (particularly if you need to get children to school), but you’ll (obviously) add a further hour to your day – that’s 7 hours a week – the equivalent of the average working day!
  1. Believe in yourself. It might sound cheesy but without believing in yourself, you’ll never reach your goals.  The fact you’ve even considered working towards a goal shows that you’re already a determined person so don’t let go of that vision.  It’s important and will ultimately help you get where you need to be within 90 days.
  1. Decide on how much (or little) support you might need from friends or family. If you think it’ll help, be sure to enlist their support and ask for help when you need it.  Depending on what your goal is they could perhaps help in a number of different ways, for example, helping with your childcare or simply providing moral support.
  1. Finally, having an accountability partner.As a business mentor to leaders, one of the most powerful tools you can have is having an accountability partner to hold you responsible for your goals. Having worked with clients who have accountability partners V’S those who don’t, I have seen over 70% dip in results for the ones without accountability partners. I made it a rule to work with leaders who have accountability partners to make sure they achieve the results they need.

So now that you know how to achieve your goals in just 90 days you can start to look forward to all the benefits this achievement of yours will bring with it.

Studies show that that the happiest individuals tend to be those with clear-cut life goals, those who take risks and simply don’t give up.

Side Effects Of Achieving Your Goals

What’s more, focusing on a goal is also proven to benefit our physical health and in fact, going to the gym more often can even make us happier in our relationships.  Not a bad side effect really!

Goals are also extremely powerful since they help make us feel both helpful and confident in ourselves.  They can add a certain sense of structure and meaning to life and we can very happily imagine the ultimate achievement of them.  Plus – and this might well be the reason for the spill-over effects – we also learn important life skills like planning, time management, and persistence.

In one particular study, undertaken by the University of Rochester, researchers asked the graduating class what their goals were and labeled some as extrinsic (such as wealth, success, and fame) and others as intrinsic (such as helping others, learning and growing).  Two years later they followed up with the students to see how they were doing.  Interestingly enough, the students who had set intrinsic goals felt they were easily achieving them, were happier and generally more satisfied with life than they had been in college.  They were less anxious and depressed.  On the other hand, the students working towards extrinsic goals complained that they felt no increase in satisfaction, positive effect or self-esteem.  Unlike the other students, they actually felt that their anxiety and depression had increased.

What’s more, the benefits of the growth mind-set is intimately tied up with goal-setting.  It’s absolutely the best way to think if you want to achieve your goals and certainly brings with it a plethora of benefits.


For example, research has shown that people with a strong growth mind-set tend to have much lower rates of depression – and take more action to recover from it than their fixed mind-set peers.  This group of people are also less likely to be shy and tend to perform better in a variety of domains; not just in the realm of conversation or socialising.  Growth mind-set students generally see their grades increase whilst others decline.  They also perform better in respect of managerial and negotiation tasks, partly because they tend to learn quicker from their mistakes.

But what is it about the growth mind-set that enables us to perform better?  Well, certainly it propels us to take a very honest look at our skills before seeking out feedback on how to improve them.  In one study, researchers measured the brainwave activity of people answering questions and getting feedback.  This showed that the brains of people with a growth mind-set lit up when they found out if their answers were right or wrong and when the program explained a wrong answer to them.  But based on brainwave activity, people with a fixed mind-set were uninterested in constructive feedback.  They merely paid attention to whether they were right or wrong and then switched off.

In a similar vein, growth mind-set people who have taken a test choose to look at the tests of people who did better, whilst fixed mind-set people (perhaps in an attempt to cheer themselves up!) look at the tests of people who did worse – and ultimately learn nothing.

Consequently, it seems reasonable to suggest that the growth mind-set also helps us stay interested in the face of challenge, rather than simply shutting off.  Studies confirm that it’s the growth mind-set students who get more engaged when the going gets tough and that’s exactly how you need to approach your 90 day journey.

Setting your goal – for whatever the reason – will not only bring about a real sense of achievement but will also improve your relationships, health, and day-to-day life.  Well, right up until you set another goal!

And that’s exactly why the benefits of simply working towards a goal are so powerful.  Each of our lives is a process of improvement and discovery and goals can only serve to help us enjoy the journey.

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”

Author: Moe Nawaz

Mentor & Strategic Advisor to FTSE 100 Leaders


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