If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
That's what former Marine, Erik Therwanger, told me about the approach to leadership that he learned in the Marines.
It's also the foundation of his 90 day run.
The concept is incredibly simple – the US military has a long history of teaching young men and women how to become the best version of themselves in just 90 days.
So why not apply that same methodology to the civilian world as well?
What will you accomplish in the next 90 days?
Unlike many goals we set, the GPS makes the process concrete by asking, “What will you accomplish in the next 90 days?“
For me, I wanted to be consistent with my sleeping patterns – going to bed at nine, and waking up at five.
This would ensure that each day my mind was right, I had a good night sleep, and I was able to perform well on a consistent basis in the very inconsistent reality of entrepreneurship.
When setting your own goals, ensure that you are concrete about what exactly you want to achieve and why it is important to you.
By specifying what to do over the next 90 days, there was no wiggle room. I knew the mission – and it was time to make it happen.
What habits will you add to achieve this goal?
When it comes to achieving a new goal, consistency conquers and intensity squanders.
You can’t do everything in the first ten days. The excitement will wear off.
That’s why it’s more important to build habits rather than achieve quick results.
For me, the habit I needed to add was something that was worth waking up for.
Living near the Atlantic ocean, I had the chance to wake up and watch the sunrise every morning.
A 90-day goal is accomplished one day at a time. What habits do you need to add to your schedule to make those days count?
What habits will you eliminate to achieve this goal?
Next, because you can't do everything, you need to eliminate habits as well.
For me, I needed to eliminate continually checking my email.
Beyond the fact that a stressful email received at 8 PM is going to make it difficult to fall asleep at 9 PM, there's also a degree of anxiety that one feels in continually checking your email – which makes it difficult to go to sleep.
So, I set up this automation to get the essential emails sent to my phone so I did not have to check my inbox after 5 PM for anything important.
To achieve a goal in 90 days, you can't just create more time out of nothing. So don’t focus only on adding new habits – focus on eliminating the wrong ones.
Who in your personal network can you reach out to?
Your network is your best tool for accomplishing any goal – use it.
My roommate and I both decided that we are going to wake up every day at 5 AM, so when the alarm went off, we were there to hold each other accountable to waking up and starting our days off right.
There's no shame in asking someone else for advice or help in becoming your best self and making improvements in your life.
In many cases, like mine, you will find someone who wants to make a similar change in their own life and together you can achieve that goal.
Before you start your next goal, find someone to be an advisor, a partner, or someone who will simply hold you accountable for what you want to achieve in life.
How will you remind yourself to achieve this goal?
Beyond others, technology can also serve as a powerful tool in helping you become your best self.
Personally, I noticed that it was a lot easier to let go of the need to check my email at night when I set a reminder to be done with them at five.
Similarly, I received a text message along with my alarms every morning from my GPS app that reminded me why it was worth getting up, watching the sunrise, and being consistent with my sleep routine.
In reaching your own goals, never underestimate the power of a reminder. Sometimes the difference between sticking to a 90-day goal and giving it up is just that extra push to make the right decision.
90 days later, here are my results.
As you can see, I was pretty consistent in my sleep routine. I wasn't perfect, but no one ever is.
The important thing was not that I went to bed every night strictly at 9 PM and woke up every morning strictly at 5 AM. The important thing is that my body now has a routine, it's easier to sleep now more so than ever before in my life, and the next 90 days are likely to be much more productive and healthy.
Nobody reaches perfection in 90 days. But, if you make a deliberate effort, you can make a lot of progress in that amount of time.