Why 3 Month Goals Are Better, and How to Create Them

Goals used to frustrate me. Nothing is worse than starting a fresh year with so much optimism, and then just running out of gas halfway through. Year after year, I experimented with different systems to figure this goal thing out. But then I finally discovered what I was doing wrong. I kept confusing my mission and vision with my goals. Focusing only on your vision which is long term, will leave you stressed out and confused about next steps in the short term. Enter 3-month goals.

I read The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran, studied Lisa Nichols, and researched many of the 90-day sprint methods by performance coach Todd Herman. It just made so much sense to me. Why focus on the next 12 months, just focus on the next 12 weeks. This action will help you develop a laser-like trajectory for achievable goals. The best part is you don’t ever lose sight of your overall mission and vision.

I want to break down how to use 3-month goals in a simple way. It’s pretty easy for this to come off way too basic, or complicated depending on how you look at it. This isn’t about achieving what you can normally do in a year, in 3 months. This is about getting things done, so every day you get closer to where you want to be in a year. So I’ll save you the time and confusion by creating a Hustle & Luck breakdown below.

Outcome Goals

Outcome goals are where we want to be at the end of the 3 months. Outcome goals look familiar because most goals we set look like these. Except this time, we will only set them for 90 days instead of 12 months. We also want to make sure we set realistic outcome goals. So let’s use my site as an example.

In 90 days I want to have 12 high quality blog posts on my website.

Writing 12 blogs is an achievable number. It’s not something crazy like I want to do 100 posts, which is impossible for me. If I reset this goal every 3 months I would have 48 high-quality blog posts by the end of the year. Now imagine doing the same for weight loss.

In 90 days I want to lose 20 pounds.

If we reset the goal every 3 months like we did earlier, then we’d probably be near 80 pounds lost by the end of the year. Of course with hard work and persistence, that’s not an impossible achievement. My suggestion is to have 3 outcome goals spread out across business and personal. But we have to break these outcome goals down because even they are easy to lose sight of. So to make sure we reach our 3-month victory we have to set…

Performance Goals

For every outcome goal, we need to have performance goals. Performance goals are important because they outline how we are improving weekly. Performance goals are only set up for what we are doing in the next two weeks. So if we go back to our blog post example, here is what a performance goal would look like for that outcome goal.

In the next 2 weeks I will write 1 blog every Tuesday.

Simple right? You can see we are clearly reverse engineering. I’ll kick in another one…

I will improve my traffic from 500 visits to 1,000 visits by 10/30 (2 weeks from now)

This goal will make sure my actions are purely working on traffic increasing activities. Maybe I’ll pay for ads or maybe I’ll get some people to help tweet it. The point is we are working to improve our performance. You can be more specific as well. Let’s go back to the weight loss example…

In the next 2 weeks, I’m going to walk 5 miles 1 time.

2 weeks after that I will up my game…

In the next 2 weeks I’m going to walk 10 miles 1 time.

In the performance goal example, there is no question about what activity is going down. The goal is to improve as much as we can week by week.  So if I’m blogging 1 time each week, I’ll have 4 blogs in the month. If I’m increasing my traffic by 500 visits every 2 weeks, my traffic will increase by 1,000 visits each month. If I’m increasing my walking by adding 5 miles every 2 weeks, then I’ll be at 15 miles by the end of the first month.

Process Goals

Process goals are the very last piece of the puzzle. Process goals are the small actions you need to take to get the performance done. Sometimes you won’t need process goals if the performance goals cover a very simple process. But sometimes you need to clearly state what needs to happen, in order for this thing to get done. Todd Herman actually has a formula he created for this:

Who is going to do What, When, and Where? This will equal Clarity and Momentum.

For every performance goal, what is going to be done? When is it going to get done? Where is it going to be done? This makes things clear for you, potential employees, and partners. I need a clear process because I’m EASILY sidetracked. So let’s use my weight loss example a put a process to it.

Walk 5 miles Friday morning at 5AM down Grove St.

Compare that with the performance and you can see how clear it makes it.

In the next 2 weeks I’m going to walk 5 miles 1 time

Now it’s easy for me to put this in my Google Calendar as a task. If it’s a business goal it’s easier to list now in your task management tool.

To summarize 3-month goals:

  • Creating the outcome we want to see in 3 months
  • Listing the performance or task we want to improve weekly to reach that point in 3 months
  • Nailing down the process of the performance or task we will be doing weekly to reach that point in 3 months.

It doesn’t matter if you follow this 3-month goals system or not, if you don’t commit. I know it’s harder than it sounds, but it’s essential. You have to work through the pain and keep focused. One way I keep focused is making sure I think about my vision during my morning meditation (will help you with that too, soon). I’m currently using this system to write my book and open up some new revenue streams for myself. If you have something better, let me know. I’m always experimenting. Good Luck.

  • Great post, Anthony!

  • Love this. I get stuck on the process goals and having something super specific helps me continue to move forward. Thank you for pointing this super important last step! 🙂

  • This is an excellent post. You have done a wonderful job of explaining goals. I will be very happy to share this post with my clients.