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Ep #126 A plan for your next 90 days

March 26, 202410 min read



The first quarter of 2024 is coming to an end and it’s time to map out your next three months! I am going to share a simple four step framework you can use to plan the next 90 days in your business so you can create serious momentum and progress.

I love planning in 90 day intervals because it helps me break down my 12 month goal in doable chunks. It also helps me to stay on track because I know exactly what I am focusing on day to day, it becomes a filter for my decisions since I know what the plan is, if something new pops up and it doesn’t fit in the plan, I know it’s not the priority. I park it to the side and will revisit it again in 90 days. Having a 90 day goal vs a 12 month goal also gives me an opportunity to course correct faster if needed.  

If you haven’t planned in this way before, I would recommend starting with your 12 month revenue goal first and then breaking that up into four quarters. 

I use a very simple yet powerful 4D Framework when planning out anything inside my business. You can use this framework to plan out your next 90 days, to create a marketing plan, to plan a specific project inside your business. Anything really.

Before I share the 4D framework with you and dive into our exciting plans for the next Q, we need to take a moment to acknowledge how far we’ve come and also where we are NOW. 

If we want to make progress faster, we need to actually learn from our past. When we reflect on the last three months, it gives us a chance to see our patterns. If we just ignore them, we will simply bring them with us into the new quarter and repeat them.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on where you’ve been and let's acknowledge where you are at this moment. It’s only when we are honest with ourselves that we can truly move forward. It’s important that you don’t use this time as a way to bully yourself or shame yourself for not being further ahead. If you didn’t make the kind of progress you wanted to…it is an invitation to question why. To dig a little deeper.

Here are a few of the questions I usually ask myself:

In which areas of my life did I succeed? Where did things go well? Where did I make progress? Where did I push myself out of my comfort zone? It’s important to look at all the areas in your life that matter to you. Business may have been slow, but connecting with your teenage daughter after months of feeling disconnected is a win worth celebrating. 

I start with the wins because my brain WANTS to focus on all the losses. It wants to show me everything that didn’t go according to plan.

So I intentionally choose to focus on WHAT DID work first because I know that there is always something that did go well. There is always something to celebrate and when I start with this, by the time I get to the stuff that didn’t work as well, I can look at it with a lighter heart. I can see it for what it is. It doesn’t feel as heavy, and I can often also look at it objectively, whereas if I focus on the losses first, I tend to spiral down a dark rabbit hole that I find it hard to get out of.

Start with the good. What worked?

Write it all down. You will notice, the more you focus on what worked, the more things you will find and you will stack proof that life is actually amazing. You HAVE made progress. You ARE moving forward, things DO sometimes work out as planned and it’s fun and important to acknowledge that!

Once you’ve made your list of what worked, it’s time to look where things didn’t go as planned. Which areas did I fall short?

Which areas do I still feel stuck in? Where did I stay in the comfort zone? Where did I fall off track? 

Again. This is not a game of blame and shame. It’s an exercise in seeing how we got HERE. In noticing the patterns. Because when we see things as they are, not worse than they are, we empower ourselves to move forward with more intention.

I often hear clients say things like: “I tried everything”. And when we do this exercise, they discover that they tried a few things, those things didn’t create the outcome they wanted, and they haven’t tried everything. There is still lots of opportunity. Lots of things they haven’t tried. When we tell ourselves we’ve tried everything, all hope is lost. When we acknowledge that we have tried a few things but not all the things, there is room to improve. 

Once I’ve reflected on what worked, what didn’t work so well, I ask myself one last question:

What would I like to do differently going forward? It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate. It can be as simple as setting an intention for myself. Looking at what I learned from my reflection, I might set an intention that I want to have more fun in the next 90 days. And even though I might be doing lots of hard things, I am setting an intention to enjoy myself in the process.

Write down what you would like to do differently. What is the intention you would like to set for your next 90 days? What would you like to bring with you? What would you like to leave behind?

You don’t need to spend a ton of time here. 5 to 10 minutes is more than enough time.

We’ve taken some time to reflect. We know where we’ve been. We’ve acknowledged our progress, we’ve celebrated the wins. We know where we are starting from. Now it’s time to dig into the 4D Framework. The first phase is DESIGN. This is where we spend some time in possibility, in connecting with our desires and asking ourselves what we WANT to create. 

What would you like to achieve in your business in the next 90 days?

The outcome or result you want to achieve doesn’t need to be monetary. It can be anything as long as it is measurable, specific, and it matters to YOU. 

Write down what you want to achieve.

I like spending some time with my goal before moving on. To sit with the goal. Imagine it is done. I imagine what it would feel like to have completed this goal. I see myself celebrating the accomplishment. We often create goals but we’re so disconnected from them. And a week or two down the line we forget we even had a goal. The more time you spend living inside the goal, the more it will become part of you. The harder it will be to shake it and get distracted by new shiny objects.

Now that you know what you want to create in the next 90 days, It’s time to make some DECISIONS. The second phase of the 4D framework is DECIDE.

This is where you are going to make a few important decisions that will help you create the goal.

Don’t allow your brain to tell you that it doesn't Now. Don’t allow yourself to be confused in this process. There is now right or wrong way. There is no ONE way to achieve your goal. When we set goals that expand us, we often set goals that we haven’t done before. So we don’t know HOW to do it. We won’t have all the answers. AND we are going to DECIDE anyway.

We are going to get into the driver’s seat and DECIDE which way we are going. Knowing that we can change course if needed.

The first decision we want to make is HOW we want to create the goal. What path are we going to follow? How are we going to do it? What specific steps are we going to follow? Write those steps down. And remember that as soon as you have written them down your brain is going to doubt whether this will work. 

Gently remind yourself that we don’t know if it’s going to work. We are going to trust that we know enough to get started. That we are resourceful and we can get the information we need if we really don’t have the information. 

You can waste a lot of time continuously changing the plan. Or you can create your best guess plan and take lots of action on it so that you can get feedback and LEARN from it. 

Once you’ve decided HOW you will create the goal and you have 5-10 action steps. We’ll move onto the third phase in the framework, DELEGATE.

Now we are going to look at our action plan and determine whether we have all the resources and skills. Sometimes we can do it all, but that doesn’t mean we should. So look at your plan and ask yourself what you can delegate or outsource.

I get that for many of you listening this will be a very hard thing to do! But remember that things take longer if we do everything ourselves. Outsourcing or delegating will help you move faster and build on your skills of being a leader and an owner. So look for the things that feel the easiest to do, and delegate or outsource that so that you can apply your attention and energy where it matters most.

The last phase in the framework is DO! It’s time to go and take action on the plan you created. The first three D’s of the framework are easy. Doing is a bit more of a challenge because this is where you will come up against yourself. Your limiting beliefs, your old patterns. This is where you will stop yourself. Nothing has gone wrong. Resistance is not a sign that you’re on the wrong oath or that you don’t have what it takes.

A practice that has helped me stay on track and move forward regardless of how hard and impossible it feels is to start my day in appreciation. What do I appreciate? When we focus on gratitude and appreciation, we are in open and receiving energy.  So I start my day by making a quick list of 3-5 things I appreciate or feel grateful for . And then I remind myself of my 90 day goal.

This grounds me and focuses my attention where it matters. 

It keeps me aligned to where I want to go.

Let’s quickly recap:

Step 1: Reflect on where you’ve been and acknowledge where you are.

Step 2: the first phase of the 4 D framework: DESIGN. What do you want to achieve in the next 90 days?

Step 3: DECIDE: How are you going to create the outcome?

Step 4: DELEGATE: What will you delegate and outsource so you can move faster and have less on your plate.

Step 5: DO: Go and take action on your plan!

If you enjoyed this episode, share it with a small business friend who could benefit from it!

You can watch the video recording HERE


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Ilonka Ras

Ilonka is a certified Strategic Intervention Coach and has a passion for helping overworked women entrepreneurs free up space and energy in their day so they have more time for the things that matter to them.

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