This Week’s Guest:
In a world obsessed with five and ten-year plans, it’s easy to get so caught up in the big picture that you forget to take the smaller steps you need to get there. Believe it or not, any goal you make should only be 90 days out. Research around procrastination and avoidant behavior indicate that goals further out than this create high levels of avoidant behavior. While it’s important to keep the big picture in mind, sticking to concrete, 90-day goals helps you stay focused on getting there.
As you may have guessed, this wisdom comes from the creator of the 90 Day Year. Todd Herman’s award-winning high-performance achievement system is used by athletes, entrepreneurs, and companies around the world. In addition to creating the 90 Day Year, Todd is the founder of The Peak Athlete, a mental toughness training and sports research company, and the author of the forthcoming book The Alter Ego Effect. Todd and I met through a mastermind run by Taki Moore, and I’m excited to finally have him on the show!
Find Out More About Todd Herman Here:
In This Episode:
- [02:06] – Todd starts things off by telling listeners about the concept of the 90 Day Year.
- [05:05] – We hear about differentiating between the crucial few and the trivial many that Todd has been talking about.
- [10:30] – The next phase is the achievement phase, Todd explains, and talks us through how this phase works.
- [13:18] – How fast is Todd able to assess whether someone is productive or just spinning their wheels?
- [14:30] – Todd talks about what to do if you have multiple important goals.
- [17:07] – What are some of the 15 or so goals that Todd has identified as options that businesses (or individuals within businesses) can have?
- [21:04] – Thinking that you can accomplish a lot by multitasking is a complete fallacy, Todd explains.
- [21:55] – What’s the distinction between context switching and task transference?
- [23:36] – Todd gives listeners a taste for what the 90 Day Year can do for goal setting and goal achievement without going through the whole course. As he does so, he walks listeners through the various phases of the system.
- [30:51] – We hear about a conversation that Todd had with Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook’s focus and goal.
- [32:25] – What Todd has been saying reminds Stephan of a presentation he saw at Traffic & Conversion Summit.
- [34:52] – What is Todd’s take on the meetings epidemic?
- [37:52] – We hear about one tactical thing that everyone who’s listening right now can employ.
- [41:45] – Todd talks in more depth about his own meditation practice, and what he recommends in general.
- [47:09] – How often does Todd meditate, and for how long?
- [49:28] – We learn about Todd’s themed days for the week, and whether they always stay the same.
- [51:40] – Todd talks about why he wears glasses even though he doesn’t need them.
- [54:26] – Todd lists some ways that listeners can learn more about him or the 90 Day Year.
Links and Resources:
- The 90 Day Year
- Todd Herman
- Todd Herman on LinkedIn
- Todd Herman on Twitter
- Todd Herman on Facebook
- Tim Ferriss on the Optimized Geek
- David Allen on the Optimized Geek
- Cal Newport on the Optimized Geek
- Mike Vardy on the Optimized Geek
- Stever Robbins on the Optimized Geek
- Ari Meisel on the Optimized Geek
- The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman
- The Peak Athlete
- Taki Moore
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Traffic & Conversion Summit
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Acuity Scheduling
- Elon Musk
- Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevelin
- Ziva Meditation with Emily Fletcher
Your Checklist of Actions to Take:
☑ Stop making annual goals and create a 90-day goal instead. Choose a specific task that I can accomplish in the next 90 days and make sure I do it.
☑ Focus on a few important things that can actually grow my business or improve my life rather than trying to do everything at once.
☑ Prioritize my responsibilities from least to most important and create a sequence on how I can tackle them during my day.
☑ Evaluate my daily routine and observe how I spend my day since my daily activities pave the way to a better future.
☑ Gradually scale and avoid putting all my eggs in one basket. Climb the ladder to success one step at a time.
☑ Build a business model or system my team can realistically execute. Projects are much more productive when everyone understands each other’s role.
☑ Strengthen my relationships with all the people around me – my family, friends, business partners, clients, and employees.
☑ Let go of things beyond my control. Don’t stress out when I don’t have the power to change things. Focus on putting in my best effort in everything I do.
☑ Ask myself how something is impacting my life and if it’s worth doing it for the long run. This will help me focus and prioritize better.
☑ Always look at the big picture and focus on the long-term. If something seems unproductive or unhelpful, the best thing to do is let it go.
S: I’m a real geek when it comes to productivity. I’ve had some of the top productivity experts in the world on this show including David Allen, Tim Ferris, Cal Newport, Mike Vardy, Steve Robbins, and Ari Meisel. Well, this episode really rounds out that superstar cast because today we now have Todd Herman—the creator of the 90 Day Year. The 90 Day Year is a high-performance achievement system used by athletes, entrepreneurs, and companies around the world, and it’s twice recognized as being the world’s top leadership and skill development program by the Stevie Awards. Todd is also founder of the Peak Athlete, a mental toughness training and sports research company, advising pro and Olympic athletes for over 20 years. Todd’s also the author of the forthcoming book, The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Change your Life. I got to know Todd through a mastermind called Black Belt run by Taki Moore. I was just always by him so I’m very excited to finally have him on the show in this episode number 148. Enjoy. Todd, it’s great to have you on the show.
T: Mr. Spencer, it’s a pleasure, my man.
S: Well, I’ve been wanting to have you on for a while now. We met multiple years ago now at Taki Moore’s black belt program and I just finally got a chance to attend your 90 Day Year live event, which was awesome. Why don’t we start by telling the listeners all about the concept of the 90 Day Year?
T: Well, my world has been in high-level athletics for the last 21 years. I’m on the sports performance and sports science research company for a long time, and working with athletes on the mental game and high performance, and along that process of trying to get athletes to perform consistently. Because that’s always the number one recurring theme that comes up, is just, “How can I be more consistent?” That’s also something that coaches always bring up. Every coach wants that athlete who’s just going to consistently perform for them. It’s like building predictability into their system. It was just, “How can I help my athletes,” A, find that zone and flow state more consistently but then also, even when they can’t find the zone and flow state, how can they get the maximum capabilities out of themselves and, over the course of time, just this system of getting athletes. Well, here’s the big problem. I was sitting down, I was telling someone this story the other day about actually where the 90 Day Year started, and it was a kitchen table in Saint Albert, Alberta, Canada. I was living in Edmonton at the time. I live here in New York City right now. I was sitting down with a 13 year old and we’re mapping out his season. He’s a hockey player in hockey seasons and baseball seasons, many different sports. They run for a very long time, and you always get this leg that happens in the middle of the season. We call it the long slog or the middle slog. I just said to him, “Why don’t we just break this up into two 90-day sprints?” Sprints, is just a concept we talk of a lot in sports, and so we broke it up into 90-day sprints, and that’s actually where this system first started. It was all just around high performance, just getting people to consistently perform.