My life's greatest secret: I don't work hard, I work focused.

(But don't tell anyone.)

By introducing the simple power of a 90-day goal I am doing double duty with two current series. First, we are continuing to review the7 Essential Life Design Skills that I launched for the New Year. Second, I am encouraging folks to join me in a 90-day adventure of sorts by writing down 100 Life Dreams by this Easter. So I am inviting you to think about it and act on it in the same post!

Let’s cover the 7 Essential Life Skills idea first: The 90-day goal is at the heart of Essential Life Design Skill #6, Achieve Your Next Goal: bring laser focus to the most important next step in your life, over and over again. Today I want to introduce you to this essential skill with the first-ever excerpt from the forthcoming book, Younique.

You may have noticed that I released a new book last month called Clarity Spiral: The 4 Break-Thru Practices to Find the One Thing You’re Called to Do. Clarity Spiral is about the first essential life design skill for how to Engage Your Vocational Vision. It is a prerelease to the much bigger book Younique which will cover all of the life design skills. If you haven’t checked it out yet, the book is FREE as a downloadable PDF. (It is also now available to buy as paperback version)

Now if you have been following along with the #LifeDesignWithMe project (started 14 days ago) you already know that the 90-day window of life is very important to me. Over five years ago, when I put the toolbox together that is now the Younique Experience, a personal calling and life planning system for followers of Christ, one bedrock tool is the utilization of the 90-day season of success. Everything we do at Younique is built around a lifetime march in 90-day increments.

That’s why I am in Aspen for 90-days fulfill one of my most dramatic bucket list goals–to snowboard 50 days in one season. That’s the fun and playful part of the next 90 days for me, but its not the only part (I’ll post more on that later.) The point is that I want you to not only start thinking about 90-days, but to join me in accomplishing a 90-day goal for yourself: To write down your own Life Dreams List with 100 well-developed, take-it-serious life dreams before this Easter.

Come on and let’s do this together! #100Dreams

90-days is far enough away from the here-and-now to imply a substantial journey but close enough that we can cross it with a solid burst.

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Now back to the excerpt from my forthcoming book: Younique, Designing the Life God Dreamed for You.


There is something about a 90-day period—approximately one quarter of a year—that is entwined deeply with the operating system of human beings. Ninety days is roughly the length of a season in temperate climes. It is about the length of a school semester and the span of the business quarter.

Ninety days also has the intriguing characteristic of being just out of reach. It is far enough away from the here-and-now to imply a substantial journey but close enough that we can cross it with a solid burst. It is enough time for an individual to accomplish something truly significant. You would not believe what people can achieve in three months.

Top Nine Big Accomplishments in 90 Days

  1. A Moscow architectural firm will build you an environmentally friendly, 1,300-square-foot home within 90 days of order.
  2. Boot camp makes a recruit into a Marine in just under 90 days.
  3. Thru-hikers walk the Pacific Northwest Trail from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean within 90 days.
  4. A human baby in utero is fully formed and can open and close its hands and mouth by 90 days after its conception.
  5. Blogger Maneesh Sethi developed and lived out a plan to become fluent in a new language (in his case, Italian) in 90 days.
  6. John Steinbeck wrote the first draft of The Grapes of Wrath in 90 days in 1938.
  7. In 2004-05, Frenchman Vincent Riou became the first to sail around the world in a monohull vessel, solo, in under 90 days.
  8. On July 8, 1914, the Boston Braves baseball club had a record of 29-40, dead last in the National League. Over the next 90 days they won a whopping 74% of their games to win the league pennant and eventually a World Series championship.
  9. Mozart composed two piano trios; a violin sonata; two piano sonatas, including his most famous; his last three symphonies, arguably his greatest; and three other pieces of music in 90 days in 1788.

Ride a rifle bullet into the future, not a scatter shot.

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This crucial principle is missing in so many life-planning approaches, but businesses are beginning to figure it out. The fourth quarter of the year is almost always a company’s most productive, sometimes more than the previous three put together. That’s because year-end deadlines ratchet up the urgency. Brian P. Moran teaches organizations to redefine their “year” to be 12 weeks long and to repeat the cycle every three months to capture this kind of momentum and lock down execution over and over. Setting a 90-day goal makes the Important into the Urgent.

The Power of 90 Days is harnessed by setting one—exactly one—just-out-of-reach goal and driving toward it with laser-beam focus. It is simply incredible how much you can do when you use this method—especially when you use it repeatedly. Ride a rifle bullet into the future, not a scatter shot.

One 90-day goal set and reset over time builds a track record to chronicle your journey with God like none you’ve ever seen

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Top Ten Benefits of Focusing on One Goal Every 90 Days

  1. One 90-day goal makes it easy to focus attention daily without having to adopt a new system or tool or app.
  2. One 90-day goal powers your prayer life in new ways.
  3. One 90-day goal stretches your faith in a meaningful direction rather than leaving it complacent in seven.
  4. One 90-day goal eliminates the false optimism of assuming you’re getting somewhere and the discouragement of feeling you’re going nowhere.
  5. One 90-day goal regathers personal energy that has been dispersed and fragmented.
  6. One 90-day goal creates an “eye of the storm,” as a center of calm singularity amid the swirl of needs and responsibilities competing for your time.
  7. One 90-day goal, repeatedly set, gives you plenty of time to create a splendid variety of goals in many aspects of your life.
  8. One 90-day goal, achieved one after another, grows you to attempt things ten, twenty, and thirty years down the road that you would never imagine you could accomplish today.
  9. One 90-day goal set and reset over time builds a track record to chronicle your journey with God like none you’ve ever seen.
  10. One 90-day goal at time is easy to track and celebrate with yourself and others.

Having reflected on the benefits of having one 90-day goal at a time, I bet that you have lots of things you could set as a 90-day goal right now. But I want to beg you to try the one I am doing with hundreds of my friends in ministry: By Easter this year, write down one hundred ideas on your bucket list. That sounds like a lot, but I will show you how to make it doable. And just think– it is the perfect way to install Life Design Skill #6 into your life. Because after Easter you will be able to chase after your next 90-day goal. It’s the most simple and power singular idea for life planning, or what we call at Younique, “gospel-centered life design.”

If you want to jump in: Here are the first two steps writing your 100 Life Dreams List.

STEP 1: Calendar block 6 hours in the next 90 days.

STEP 2: Start with your 10-10 List.

Everything is posted sequentially on the blog to make it easy to follow along.

Cory Hartman contributed to this post.

Topics: Date: Feb 2, 2019 Tags: 90-day goal / younique / life design skills / life planning / life design / life focus

About Will

Would you like more meaningful progress in your church? 

I want you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, I’ve worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing mega-churches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. I have the privilege of being the founder of Auxano, a church consulting group and Younique, a personal vision and life planning training company for the church. Most people know me from two of several books that I have authored: Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision and Create Movement and God Dreams: 12 Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church's Future.

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Will Mancini