It was a chilly Sunday afternoon in early March. The sun was out, but that didn’t stop our noses from turning beet red as we walked along familiar passageways. Hand in hand, we were having a lovely time enjoying our stroll.
We weren’t thinking of making an action plan template or about anything related to life goals. And then suddenly, we were…
“I think we need to move.” Miranda said tentatively, as if not really wanting to say it.
“Yeah, I was thinking the exact same thing.” I replied with a smile. “Let’s do this.”
The year was 2015, and my wife and I were almost four years into marriage when we started to get an other worldly desire for more. Quite suddenly, we wanted to see other places, live in a warmer climate, and take the next step to freedom.
Luckily, it hit us both at the same time, and neither of us were forced to defend or fight for the change.
But it didn’t make it easy. Far from it.
The why was there, but leaving friends, finding new jobs, and making it all happen seemed impossible. It certainly starts with knowing your why and having a direction, but if you aren’t careful, you can be quickly overwhelmed from the energy required to put your plan in place.
Before this walk, I don’t remember talking about our future together and what we really wanted. Maybe the magic of the moment erased all other plans, but this day signified our desire to go beyond and live differently.
It was the moment that catalyzed our destinies.
I’m here to help you create a 90 day action plan. And better yet, I have an action plan template in four different versions to give you the organization necessary to make it happen.
I personally use this template to get things done, and it has served me well. More on this in just a bit…
As for my wife and I, we were extremely fortunate that we were on the same page. We consider it divine intervention in helping us to move forward and seek growth.
From that day forward we started writing down our plans and checking with each other. It felt invigorating to have a life goal we could work on together!
You need people around you to help you grow, but you can build your action plan on your own if needed.
Miranda and I had our why, now we just needed a plan. Our plan several years ago is not as robust as the action plan template shared in this post, but the important thing is that we wrote it down, worked at it, and stayed relentless.
The 90 day plan action plan template here contains lessons learned from countless failures, tips for what actually works, and how to keep the plan front and center by referring to it often.
A written 90 day action plan template is the best way to get things done and invest in yourself.
Nothing beats planning and focusing on your number one goal. It gives you the power of a singular focus, helps you track progress, directs your desire, and shows you where you’re going.
In this post, I’ll share an easy-to-create action plan template in four different formats. Read further for the important features of a 90 day plan, and see below for links to each of the four versions:
- Trello Board: Sign into your free account and select “copy board” from the menu.
- Action Plan Template PDF
- Action Plan Template Excel file
- Action Plan Template Word Doc
90 Day Action Plan Template Must Haves
An effective 90 day plan has five major features, each of which we’ll discuss in depth in this post:
- One major goal
- Purpose statement
- Lead measures and habits to continue
- Required resources
- Weekly Review of goal and progress
1) One Major Goal/Focus
Having one singular goal doesn’t mean you won’t have other tasks and things to do. We all have multiple goals, responsibilities, and things we have to do and want to do.
Focusing on one goal shouldn’t come at the exclusion of all else. Historically I’m bad at this, as my number one goal often crowds out the rest of life. So this can come at a cost, but it’s one I’m willing to pay.
Yes, someone might have to wait several days for a reply from me, but I’m also someone who gets things done. I choose relentless action over having everything in my life neat and tidy.
You’re probably better at organization than I am, and won’t have a problem working your plan into everyday life, but keep in mind that your primary life goal needn’t drown out everything else.
You’ve no doubt heard of the SMART goal system? I’ll run through it quickly here so you can have it as a reference.
It’s a handy way to check that your goal will work for you and not against you. I’ve seen far too many people set goals that are impossible to reach and track progress.
You have to have a way to track progress. If not, how do you determine when you’ve met your goal?
The SMART goal system works as follows:
S: Specific: it needs to match your current purpose OR be a goal related to finding your purpose and determining great goals moving forward.
M: Measurable: At the end of the 90 days will it be crystal clear whether or not you complete the goal?
A: Attainable: Is it possible to do this in the next 90 days? Don’t sell yourself short and dream small, but don’t reach for the stars if you haven’t built the toilet for the rocket ship yet.
R: Relevant: Does the goal relate to your purpose?
T: Time bound: You got this one covered, it’s a 90 day goal.
If you don’t like the SMART goal system, that’s fine. Just make sure your goal passes two basic tests:
- Will it move you forward on your purpose?
- Are you excited to begin working on it?
A few final notes on picking a number one goal to add to your 90 day action plan template:
- The goal can be selfish in nature. For example, losing weight so that you can live longer, instill positive values in others, and be able to work at your highest capacity, is a great goal.
- Your goal can be to determine your purpose OR to accomplish something in order to better understand purpose. If your goal happens to be read X amount of personal growth books by the end of the 90 days this is great. Make sure it’s measurable in terms of goal completion, but even if by the end you still don’t know what your ultimate purpose is that’s okay, we’re all still learning.
- What do you think of your goal? Is it what you want to do for the next 90 days? Even though feedback is usually helpful, you get the final say in what you want to reach for. Go with your gut for what feels right.
- Don’t let fear block progress. Your goal won’t be perfect and it won’t be exactly right. The true power of living out your purpose is in the many iterations you’ll make during the journey. You know it’s the journey that counts, so buckle up and get started.
- Don’t forget about Destiny Goals too.
2) Purpose Statement
Write a short statement in your plan that explains why the goal is important. This short sentence or two will serve as a reminder to you about why your goal is an important one to strive for over the next 90 days.
If your goal is to lose weight, your purpose statement could be:
“I want to lose weight so that I can do the things I want to do and live a long and healthy life. Losing weight will help me determine what it is I am meant to do by giving me the time and the clarity I need to do the work.”
If your goal is to quit your job your purpose statement might be:
“I want to quit my job because it makes me unhappy and doesn’t give me the ability to fulfill my purpose on a daily basis.”
This is unique to you and no one else needs to see it, so write whatever will motivate and remind you to keep moving forward even when it gets hard.
3) Tasks and Habits to Continue
A great 90 day plan will list out the major action steps and tasks that need to be done in order to complete the goal.
While the main goal is something you want to measure like losing a specific amount of weight, selling a certain amount of items in your online store, or having a better idea of what your purpose is by reading X amount of books, the tasks associated should be actionable items in nature.
Tasks include anything that will move the goal forward. These tasks can be taken right off the top of your head. Even better, think about your goal constantly, and add good ideas when you get them.
The question of what to do for tasks is one that most books miss. They share that you should have tasks related to your goals, but how do I know if the tasks are the right ones for the job? I got you covered here. For goals, use the acronym SMART to make sure they meet the standard.
For tasks, use the acronym FADOS:
- Fit your skillset and you can’t delegate to others.
- Apply and connect to the SMART Goal. Make sure your tasks apply to your goals (it’s easier than you might think to create a task list filled with items that have nothing to do with your main goal. I do it all the time!).
- Doable. Each task should be completable by you without having to wait on others.
- One-time tasks. This isn’t a habit list as you’ll create down below.
- Short tasks that can be completed in under two hours. Anything more than this and it should be broken up into separate tasks.
Your task list should be filled with items that fit your skill set, apply to your goal, and be doable one-time short tasks.
At the start, you won’t know everything you need to do to complete your goal. To avoid overwhelm, start with a list of 10 tasks you know you can complete that fit the above criteria.
You eventually won’t need to use the above acronyms as creating goals and tasks will become second nature, but do the hard work now so you can internalize it the right way. As you get ideas add these to a notebook or Trello board.
You’ll start to notice that some ideas are more repeatable in nature and are harder to track. If you have an important task that you need to do everyday, make note of it.
On my 90 day plan template I have a section called “Good things to keep doing.” It’s not eloquent, but it’s where I put the list of positive habits I want to continue that will help me to complete my main goal. Prayer, fasting, reading, and repeatable marketing items make the list here.
Keep a list of one time tasks which you can check off and complete, and take note of any items you tend to repeat and add those to your daily reminders. This section of your plan will be fluid and will change constantly over the next 90 days. Keep coming back to it and adjusting as needed.
4) Resources Needed
You don’t know what you don’t know.
This section is for planning out the information you’ll be taking in. It will give new energy to your reading and learning times, as the time you spend here will be in service to your larger goal.
You won’t have to wonder if the YouTube video marathon, online course, book, or phone call is worth your time because it’s been planned in advance. Plus, as soon as you finish you can come back to your plan and update progress.
My current plan includes a list of books I’m reading in preparation for writing my next book. It’s important the book be well researched, and I know I don’t have it all figured out. I want my final product to be great and for that to happen, I need to read books by people much wiser than me.
Always be reading., See my list of must read books here.
I don’t tend to watch as many videos as you might like, so my list is all books. Some I listen to and others I read on my Kindle. If you like videos and learn best with active instruction, make a list of video content you want to check out.
Don’t blast off into the YouTube black hole just yet, but make a note of which videos fit into your overall goal. Start with Google and then branch out from there.
Since networking and building community is important, who do you need to talk to? For me, it’s what authors and content creators do I need to jump on the phone with and pick their brain? If I can’t talk directly to them, what resources of theirs can I pick up as the next best thing?
We won’t succeed in a bubble. We need other people to help us along. Make a list of the people you want to talk to about your number one goal over the next 90 days. Record notes from those conversations right within your 90 day plan.
It should go without saying, but if your spouse or significant other isn’t already informed of your 90 day plan, this should be action item number one. Share it with them. You never know how they might be able to help.
The backing of your life partner can mean the difference of success or failure. Bring them onboard. Make sure they know what you’re up to.
5) Weekly Review and Action Plan for the Coming Week
The weekly review is the fresh baked bread and creamy butter of goal completion. It’s how you get stuff done. It’s unskippable and ridiculously important.
Working your tasks in weekly bursts allows you to put your head down and swim it out even when the seas are rough. For the week ahead, you make a plan and then do those things.
There’s no deliberation during the week on what tasks are most important. You just do what you said you were going to do and get it done.
When it comes time for the weekly review do two things:
- Review how the week before went. Did you get everything done? What needs to change? What updates do you need to make to your overall plan?
- Plan the next week. Pick 1-3 items from your task list and plan to do these in the next week.
These two big picture weekly tasks will help your plan to stay pliable, but also hold you accountable to finishing important items. It’s absolutely necessary for completing your goal to the best of your ability.
As you go, feel free to update your plan, and even add any big change notes to the top updated with the date.
If you hit day 45 and things aren’t looking good for goal completion, don’t feel as if you need to stick your head in the sand and push forward no matter what. It might be exactly what you need to do, but if not, pivot and adjust your goal as needed.
Start right away, make a to-do list for the week based on the plan and go for it. Give yourself grace, it’s a process. You don’t have to do it all right away and shouldn’t.
Prioritize anything that will depend on other people so that they have the time to complete it. When waiting on others, do your time consuming tasks first.
Create your plan, begin to take small action steps, and use the 90 day action plan template links. Here they are again for you:
- Trello Board: Sign into your free account and select “copy board” from the menu.
- 90 Day Plan PDF
- Action Plan Template Excel file
- Updated 90 Day Plan Word Doc
Enjoy and good luck!