The 90-Day Year: Rethinking Your Long Term Goals.

I recently listened to an episode of Freedom Fast Lane, a podcast where author and entrepreneur Ryan Moran interviews performance coach and advisor, Todd Herman. Todd works with high-level athletes and entrepreneurs on their ‘inner game,’ and had eighteen clients compete at the last Olympics. In this podcast, Ryan and Todd discuss making goals and the concept of the 90-Day Year. Todd believes that setting long term goals can be counterproductive and the psychological reason behind setting 90-day schedules is that they provide a more tangible ‘horizon’ line.  This can apply to physical fitness, your business, art or anything else you want to achieve.

Following this method, it only takes a few tweaks to your mindset to get a huge lift in performance. The enemy to confidence and momentum is confusion and uncertainty. Confidence can be built and isn’t something that is instilled upon you at birth. Confidence is the byproduct of incremental, constant, and consistent improvement. He advises you  ask yourself, “What is the highest impact skill that, if I improved right now, would give the highest impact on my performance?” That is what you should be developing.

Todd explained there are three types of goals you need to be cognizant of during your 90-day year:

             1) Outcome Goals:

Outcome goals are ones that are measurable, such as “in ninety days, I want to have lost twenty pounds.” It’s fine to have such goals, but they can be problematic. Focusing only on the outcome creates high levels of stress and anxiety. We don’t have complete control over these and not meeting them leads to a sense of failure and make you more prone to stop even when making progress.

              2) Performance Goals:

What are you going to improve in order to get to the outcome goal? Break your outcome goal into performance goals over two week periods that you can measure throughout the process, e.g. n the next two weeks, I am going to the gym five times.

               3) Process Goals:

Who is going to do What, When, and Where? Knowing this will provide clarity and momentum. You have 100% control over process goals. One of the ways out of the state of anxiety and overwhelm is to measure progress incrementally. Actions of the past provide concrete data on what you have done. This will give you a high level of awareness and you will feel rewarded when you can measure small steps forward.

Last, pay attention to the concept of “character crafting.” This is the conscious process of developing into the type of person you want to become. Developing skills and making right choices need to be practiced and built over time though conscious effort. It’s possible to choose the evolutionary process of who you want to be, and one useful tool for this is to create an alter ego. Choose a spirit animal or a super hero you immolate. This substitute “ego”  provides an opportunity to strip away fears and doubts.  Start by asking, “How would I be performing if I was ‘that’ person?” It helps to have what Todd calls “totems” or “artifacts” that triggers that character, such as a sweatband or watch. Remember to give your alter ego a name and provide yourself with scenarios you can visualize. You can do this by asking questions like “What is ‘Max’ going to be doing today? How would he respond in this situation?”

This summary just skims the surface. If you’d like to hear the full podcast interview, you can follow the link below.

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