7 Things That Can Derail a 100-Day Plan

Now that you have written your 100-Day Plan using the S.M.A.R.T. goal approach (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound), you are set for the year, right? After all, what could possibly go wrong?

If you are like most of us, you have set career goals in the past and have met some of these obstacles.

Your 100-Day Plan Doesn’t Align with Your Values:

If the goal of your 100-day plan is something you feel you “should” do, and isn’t aligned with your values, it will be difficult to sustain the effort required to finish.

For instance, one of my clients was advised by her boss that she should become a CPA in order to progress in her career, even though her true passion was improving business processes. Every attempt to study for the CPA exam failed. She successfully shifted her career goals and education to focus on business process and left that employer for a better fit.

Under-estimating Time and Resources:

Many of us are overly optimistic in estimating how quickly we can complete the steps to reach a goal. Have you broken your career goal down into manageable steps? Did you allocate enough time for each?

Focusing on What You Don’t Want:

It is human nature to articulate what we don’t want. For instance, it is easy to say, “my next boss won’t be a micro-manager.” Instead, take the time to articulate and specify the type of boss you do want.

Letting Naysayers Derail You:

Are you surrounding yourself with people who are positive and constructive? Choose your friends and advisors carefully, and make sure you are not letting negativity sink your plans before they launch.

Focusing on Outcomes Versus Process:

Let’s say your goal is to have multiple opportunities well into the job interview process in the next 100 days. Paying attention to the process is the key to success. Rather than counting on an offer after one great job interview, prepare for the process one step at a time and focus on excellence each step of the way.

Becoming Discouraged and Giving Up:

Have you ever started out strong and given up on a goal because of an unexpected obstacle? Maybe you had a productive week at the start of your plan and then had a job interview that felt like running into a buzz saw. It is important to build resources for maintaining resilience to stay the course.

Ignoring the Little Wins:

Completing a big career goal takes many small wins along the way. Acknowledge your small wins daily and weekly, as you debrief and plan for the week ahead.

Look ahead and try to anticipate common obstacles. Help yourself by identifying resources and ideas that will speed you on to the next steps in achieving your plan.