100-Day Plan

Summer in North America technically is the period from the summer solstice to the autumn equinox.  The autumn equinox started on Wednesday this week.  So, the last day of summer just passed and nobody I spoke to or my social network even acknowledged it.  I always hate to see summer go. It is definitely my favorite time of the year and this past summer seemed exceptional for a lot of reasons. Plus, our weather in the northeast has been remarkable all summer and so far this fall.

100 DayPlan

So with summer over and football just starting, we look toward the 4th quarter of our business cycle and right now there are 98 days left to the end of the year.  Let’s round up two days and say 100 days.

In 100 days, all your 2015 new year’s resolutions and goals you optimistically set last year are going to be measured.  In 100 days, you will be setting new goals and targets for 2016.  In 100 days, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be over.

I don’t know about you, but I have a ways to go on some of my goals.  And, 100 days is a enough time to get important things done–but you need to start pushing now!  I’m a great procrastinator, believe me, but to accomplish big things you cannot wait until the last minute.

So, this is a great time to develop a 100-day plan and close this year out strong.  Spend an hour or two this weekend, and do it right.  I love the 100-day idea. It invigorates, it pushes, it helps create momentum into the following year. The 90-100 day time frame is perfect. Most plans and initiatives can get done in this time frame.

I use a self-developed strategy execution process in my CFO Services practice that keeps leadership teams and organizations focused on the important things. The process is straightforward, focusing on strategic goals with initiatives, deliverables, activities and measures.

The 100-day plan follows the same general format.  List what you want or need to get done by the end of the year with the necessary activities to do with a due date.  I use Nozbe to keep things visible.  (Nozbe is an awesome task management app that I’ve discussed before).  You can use Excel or a piece of paper, whatever.  I list the main goals and the tasks and activities needed to get done below it with target completion dates, and I list the ‘next action step’ that needs to get done.  That is a key point.  List a next action step for each goal.

I’m currently finishing my own 100-day plan and a couple for some of my clients.  I list the one big thing and 5-8 big other items that I’d like to get done by December 31st.  I put reminders on my calendar for follow up items and review the list every Friday.  I keep the ‘next action steps’ up to date.

The 100-day plan creates a sense of urgency to get important things done in a short period of time.  Period.

You know what?  Most of the items I list get done.  You know what else? Most of the items wouldn’t have gotten done if I didn’t put together my 100-day plan.  It works.  Try it.

The important thing to do is sit down and think was you want to get done.  Write them out.  It’s a fact that just writing a goal on piece of paper–not even looking at it at all–significantly increases the chance of accomplishing it.  In the book Write it Down Make it Happen, Henriette Klauser fascinatingly discusses that just writing something down affects the subconscious and people are significantly more likely to achieve things– big things.

For me, focus and execution is the key.  Cut out the baloney and use self-discipline. Focus on locking down what you want to get done.  I use a weekly review process (twice per week) to maintain focus on the important things vs. my task list so I can move the ball down the field.

Document progress and set next action steps for each goal.  Hold yourself accountable and keep things moving forward.

It’s amazing what you get done in 100 days.

Another benefit of developing the 100-day plan now, is it gets you prepared for 2016. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Take some shots on goal to finish this year strong.