When I started my coaching practice in 2008, some of my first clients were the early victims of the economic implosion; c-suite executives and high-ranking leaders receiving pink slips for the first time in their careers.
Some of them viewed the lay-off as the opportunity to pursue their vision of being their own boss and started long-held ideas for small businesses. Others panicked and wisely invested a portion of their severance in career coaching to polish outdated resumes and brush up on current job search and interview skills.
For the clients who were seeking jobs, eventually they all landed somewhere, but along with the dusty, outdated resumes and creaky job searching acumen, they also felt a bit lost regarding starting a new job. Many of these folks had been in the same job, at the same company, for over a decade, so starting out somewhere else amounted to a monumental paradigm shift. They needed guidance, and I provided it in the form of a 100-day on-boarding plan.
Fast forward nearly a decade [2018 is my 10-year anniversary of starting my business!], and I’ve modified the 100-day on-boarding plan for the transitioning executives into a 100-day sprint for business owners to stay focused, efficient, and effective in achieving their business goals.
Just like the President of the United States has a scorecard to evaluate the first 100 days in office, if you want to achieve some big goals this year, you too can benefit by following a 100-day plan
I wrote about what I call the 100-Day Sprint in February 2017, where I detail how to achieve your annual goals by breaking up your year into three 100-day blocks, or sprints. The concept is simple: it’s easy math – take your three big goals for the year and determine the steps [sub-goals] necessary to achieve them. Then prioritize the sub-goals and start with the first, most important three sub-goals for your first 100 day sprint. When you implement this plan, each day you take action in alignment with your goals is 1% closer to goal.
Achieving your goals is much easier if you can break them down into small, attainable steps on a daily basis. That way, you can track your daily progress and see it add up to 100% on day 100.
How to achieve your annual goals in 100-day sprints
April started her marketing business mid-2017. By the end of 2018 here’s what she wants to achieve:
- Stop doing freelance work and have a stable of 5 long-term clients
- Produce thought-leadership level marketing content weekly and be a featured contributor at a name-brand publication
- Record an online workshop of evergreen content that can be monetized
Her goals are lofty, but certainly achievable. During each of the subsequent 100-day sprints, she will focus on three sub-goals; the things she must achieve in order to lead her to her final outcome of achieving all three goals.
For her first 100 days of 2018, January 2nd through April 11th, here’s what she needs to accomplish to move the needle on all three goals:
- With regard to landing 5 long-term clients; April will utilize LinkedIn up to one hour/day to identify and contact 5 targeted leads per week to establish relationships and begin conversations with.
- With regard to producing thought-leadership content; April will block one hour/day to research, draft, edit, and publish one article per week on her website, LinkedIn, Medium, and BeBee.
- With regard to recording an online workshop; April will block one hour/day to brainstorm workshop topics, research and select the most marketable and in-demand topic, outline the initial course, and draft the content.
With this 100-day sprint plan, April can now track her actions every day and see real progress. By the end of her first 100-day sprint, if she stays focused, here’s what she’ll have achieved:
- Conversations with 70 prospects [5 targeted leads per week x 14 weeks = 70 prospects]
- 14 articles published on four different platforms
- Her first online workshop outlined and content drafted
As April moves into the next 100 days of 2018, she’s significantly moved the needle forward on all three of her goals. Come mid-April, she can easily establish the next round of sub-goals to continue her progress.
Now it’s your turn! To make it easy to to track your progress on your first 100-day sprint, you can download a copy of the spreadsheet I created here. Achieving your 2018 goals is as simple as defining your desired outcome, breaking it gown into sub-goals, and tracking your daily progress on the specific actions one day at a time.
By the end of your first 100-day sprint, you’ll have a record of achievement AND be able to see where you you got derailed on the way. This will set you up for establishing your new goals during the next 100-day sprint.
Cheers to your First 100 Days of 2018!