Writing Goals: Why 90-Days is The Magic Number

Everyone, including very successful people, set goals. Yet, one task separates goal-setters from goal-achievers: writing goals down.

I know it seems simple (and it is!), but the easy process of writing goals can have major – almost magical – benefits, including psychological boost, emotional support and a different approach to working towards and accomplishing goals.

For example, a recent Harvard Business study found that only 3% of MBA graduates wrote down their goals, yet this 3% went on to make ten times more than the 97%.

Ten times more!

Talk about major benefits.

And the thing is, writing goals can be easy.

The process of writing goals is very straightforward: you record what you want to accomplish, reflect how might go about accomplishing it, and then work towards making sure those results manifest themselves in your life.

If you’re tired of failing to achieve your goals and looking for a proven method to achieve your dreams, then keep reading!

Below, we’ll dig into why writing goals is so important, what a statement of goals is, examples, as well as why 90 days is all that you need to achieve your goals and build the life you’ve always dreamed.   


Writing Down Goals With Purpose

Writing goals and objectives is more than a self-improvement technique.

Of course, you can look at it that way if you want, but to really reap the benefits of writing goals you have to see it for what the process truly is.

Writing down your goals is a personal statement—a declaration of what you want, and a promise to do everything that you can to get it.

In short, writing goals is a commitment to yourself to do the very best you can at whatever it is you are trying to achieve.

Goal Statement and Purpose Statement

Making a statement of goals to your friends and family is using peer pressure in the best possible way. The short of it is this—they want to succeed, and you don’t want to fail in front of them.

Sharing your goals and the progress you make with those goals offers you both a network of support and a strong motivation to keep working that should help you achieve what you want.

If you are reading all of this about making a statement of goals and accountability, but still feel a little bit skeptical about it, here is a list of a few people that used this process to find unbelievable success.

  • Tiger Woods
  • Albert Einstein
  • Richard Branson
  • Michael Jordan

And these are only a few successful individuals that have reaped major benefits from writing goals.

There are thousands, if not millions of others.

And you should be next!


Goal Setting Process

Be sure that you write your goals out in a place that you regularly check. This will keep you both organized and on track. One of the best methods for this is writing your goals out in a planner, Not only does this help you stay focused, but you can also plan your day and life around the goals that you’d like to achieve.

There is no doubt that having some accountability to yourself can make a big difference when it comes to whether or not you are able to achieve your goals, but if you really want to you can even take goal writing a step further.


Goal Setting Tips

One of the best approaches to taking that next step is making your goals public. This not only forces you to be more accountable, but it also can provide motivation to overcome challenges.

It sounds terrifying, doesn’t it? Because if you cast your desires out into the world and then you don’t end up achieving them it is going to be embarrassing to say the least.

That’s much of the point. As great as it is to feel accountable to yourself, if you leave it at that then you may not be as motivated as you possibly could be to succeed.


Benefits of Writing Goals

We’ve already touched on the benefits of goal writing a little bit, but let’s really dive into it now, shall we?

Goal writing represents an intersection of dreaming and achieving. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “vision without execution is hallucination.”

If you haven’t, be sure to write that down. That phrase has enough power behind it to motivate even the most stubborn of individuals.

How can writing downturn your visions into reality?

Well, goal writing is where you take your vision and start executing it. It’s not enough to write down what you want on a piece of paper and then stow that paper away.

You’re going to need to look over your goals on a regular basis. And when you do, be sure to visualize what achieving your goals will look and feel like.


Writing Down Goal Statistics

Each time that you write and look over your goals, you improve your chances of achieving your goals by 42%.

The idea behind goal writing is to identify what you truly want and to figure out how you can get it. There is a process to it that is simple enough for anyone to take advantage of.

It starts by getting honest with yourself.

Give yourself a few minutes to spill your guts on the page—write down everything you would like to improve in your life. Include fitness goals, relationship goals, travel, career, and financial goals. Include everything, without worrying about how plausible they are.

This first step is important because it gets you thinking about things you may very well have never considered before.

Chances are, there are more things you would like to improve about your life than you would have first assumed.


Focus On Your Goal

After you have filled out all of your goals, the next step is to identify which among them is the most important. Which would change your life completely if it came to fruition, and indeed help you accomplish everything else on your list.

For example, if you want to travel more, get a promotion, and make more money, you might realize that focusing on getting a promotion is a good way to achieve all of the other goals on your list.

The benefit of this part of the process of goal writing is that it helps to narrow your focus on what needs to be improved.

This next step is probably the most important. Once you establish which goal is the most important, you need to identify the steps you will take to achieve it. And not just a few steps either.

Somewhere between 20-50 is probably going to be the most effective.

The reason that this part of the process can make a huge difference is probably obvious: a concrete outline for how to achieve your dreams is going to help you take the steps you need to find success.

Be sure that some of these steps are easy to achieve, while others might be more challenging.

This is key, as renown psychology scholars Edwin Locke & Gary Latham found that setting challenging, yet achievable goals leads to improved performance 90% of the time.

Introducing the 90 Day Goal Process

So now that you know about what makes goal writing so important and have an idea of how to start doing it, let’s take a look at a process that can help you to start finding results in the very near future.

Introducing: The 90-Day Goal Process.

The 90-day process takes all the steps that we went over in the last section and applies them within a time period that assures relatively quick results.

The idea is fairly simple: you take everything that we went over in the last section and break it down into bite-sized chunks that are achievable in 90-days.


Examples of Goals

As examples of goals, let’s again say that you wanted to make more money, earn a promotion, and travel more.

Now, you can’t necessarily count on landing a promotion in 90 days. Given your circumstance, that just might not be realistic.

However, you can establish a roadmap of smaller goals that will bring you much closer to getting that promotion at the end of ninety days.

Once you identify what you want to accomplish in that time period simply continue with process of goal writing by identifying how to achieve that goal. Once you achieve it, you can begin a new ninety-day cycle of goal setting that builds on your progress from the last round.


Why 90 Days?

The reason behind the 90 day plan is pretty simple. Ninety days gives you enough time to see progress on your goal without getting discouraged or bored.

With a time frame that is this tight, you don’t really have time to procrastinate or slack off. It’s do or die, and if you actually commit to the steps that you need to do, you really will see results in that time frame.

Perhaps the best part is that once you accomplish your ninety-day goal, the rest of the process suddenly starts to feel a lot more achievable.


Goal Worksheet and Other Tips for Achieving Your Dreams

While you can accomplish goal writing with any pen and pad, it can help to have some tools that will make the process a little bit simpler.

We will now go over a few tools that might simplify the process of goal writing and achievement.


Goals Worksheet

For anyone with particularly clear memories of grade school the term “worksheet” probably leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

In this case, however, it can be really helpful. The goals worksheet is pretty simple: basically, it just serves as a structured template to help you identify and flush out your goals.

The benefit of this method is pretty straightforward: the structure will make the process of goal writing a little bit simpler—especially for people who have never done it before.


Self Journaling

Journaling is another great way to just get your thoughts out on the page. It doesn’t have to be as methodic and concrete as your list of goals and your plan to complete them.

It can simply serve as an honest meditation on how you feel about your progress, and what you think you could be doing to improve upon it.



Planners are a really excellent way to list step by step how you want to accomplish your goals. They even make planners that are designed to help you with the 90 day goal setting process.

Kanban Boards

Last but not least, the Kanban Board. The Kanban Board is a simple but very useful tool that helps you visualize what you need to do.

Generally, the Kanban board will be broken up into three columns: need to do, doing, done.

This organization technique should make the steps you need to accomplish a task or goal seem a little bit more simple and attainable.


Achieve Your Goals!

Now that you know the benefits of writing goals and have some tools to help, it is time to get started setting your goals and achieving your dreams.

But first, don’t forget the first step. Take a few minutes to write your goals down! (And maybe make them public J.)  

Although it doesn’t take a lot of time, if you stick to them, writing out your goals will have major benefits.

Just commit 90 days and see for yourself.

You won’t regret it.

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