100 days is the perfect goal setting timescale.
100 days (or just over three months) is long enough to give a sense that there is time to achieve the goal. However it’s not so far away that it lacks urgency. It sits in the middle; achievable with some pressure to get you motivated.
The other great thing about 100 days is that it means you will see results quite soon. If it takes too long to reach a goal it’s easy to get de-motivated. Achievement inspires and energises people. If you can break your goals down into 100 day chunks then you can keep yourself and your team inspired and motivated.
That’s not to say longer term goals aren’t relevant – clearly they are. But if that’s all you have then it’s likely they will always seem too big and too far away.
There is a reason why President Jed Bartlett’s team in the “West Wing” hurried to make their changes within the first 100 days. Yes, it’s to do with the run up to the next set of elections, but its also to do with showing the electorate that they are actually achieving something, that they are keeping the promises they made in their election manifesto.
The first 100 days are always the most important – they set the tone for the future. And that applies in business just as it does in politics.
So set goals in 100 day chunks with clear markers for achievement; you’ll build a momentum that will carry you on far past those initial 100 days.