I’m a big fan of numbers. Not in a math kind of way, though. Geometry, what?

I love the relationship of numbers, patterns, and how numbers can create meaning for people. As a kid, I liked to break down groups of numbers to make them both familiar and memorable.

Now that I have been coaching for awhile, I’ve found that numbers are an important part of the work I do with clients to create change. Goal setting, as an example, requires just the right number by person. Setting too many goals can be incredibly overwhelming for some. Setting too few goals may not strike the right chord of accomplishment for others.

Here are 3 numbers I have grown to love as a coach:

5, 3, 90

I use these 3 numbers with people to set the following:

  • 5 goals for one year
  • 3 actions
  • 90 days

So, how does this work exactly? When working with a client, we discuss what matters most to him/her and the areas they wish to change or improve. We then set 5 goals for the year in the direction of that change. Then, we reflect together on the goals to determine 3 actions that, if taken over a period of 90 days, puts them on track to achieve those 5 goals over the course of the year.

For 90 days, the individual focuses on completing those 3 actions. Then, as the 90 days wrap up, we reflect on the next 3 actions that need to be taken over the upcoming 90 days to keep them on track to achieving their 5 goals for the year. Rinse. Repeat. Four times.

The purpose of this approach is help people to maintain discipline and momentum over a shorter timeframe. Ninety days is a reasonable amount of time to stay disciplined and focused in any particular area while not losing sight of what matters most.  Instead of trying to tackle 5 goals for a sustained amount of time (365 days), 90 days keeps it all front and center. If you’ve tried P90X, you may see my point.

As we gear up to the first of the year, what are 5 goals you wish to accomplish? What 3 actions will you take between September  – November 2015 to keep you on track to accomplishing your goals?

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