This post may contain *affiliate links.
Life, Productivity

The benefits and pitfalls of a 100-day plan

A life planner next to a keyboard. It's being used to illustrate a 100-day plan.

I’d never heard of a 100-day plan, but a friend sent me a social media post about the concept and I decided to try it out for myself. The idea is, that you work towards goals over a period of 100 days, check in with yourself regularly and subsequently achieve your goals. It sounds easy, right? But does it work? I decided to put it to the test, so I could report back. 

How do you write a 100-day plan?

It’s up to you how you format your plan. There’s no official way to do it (as far as I’m aware). It’s just a lose concept for you to implement in a way that suits you. This is how I formatted mine:

  • I bought a blank pad and some coloured pens
  • On the first page, I wrote down a calendar covering the next 100 days and I segregated the days into weeks
  • I brainstormed what I’d like to achieve over the 100-day period. This included personal aims, career aspirations and things I’d like to achieve around the house
  • At the start of each week, I wrote three personal things I’d like to achieve, three professional things I’d like to achieve, three things I was looking forward to and three things I’d like to avoid
  • Each day I would make a to-do list, leading me to my weekly aims. My aim was to have more ticks than crosses

I decided to spend a Monday morning setting my weekly aims. I went to a local coffee shop to do this. Well, I did until the country went into lockdown. After that point, I filled in in whilst sat in my home office. I enjoyed going to a coffee shop as this felt like quality time to myself, but you have to work with your circumstances. 

This is just how I decided to format my 100-day plan, but there’s no set structure and you could do it differently.

Why is this a useful exercise?

The advantage of setting a 100-day plan is that it isn’t a super-long period of time that you’re committing to, but it is enough time to make a change. I thought it would enable me to focus my mind and to work on things that I could change. A lot of things in life are out of our control and I thought this plan would ground me when I was uncertain about the cards that the world was going to deal me. 

Did it work?

When I wrote my 100-day plan, my overall aim was to make progress. I wanted to declutter, I wanted to establish myself in my two new professional roles and I wanted to build my self esteem up.

I do believe that I made positive steps in these areas and that my 100-day plan helped to guide me. However, I personally found that 100 days was too long for me to truly focus. I’m not sure that it was as productive as shorter snaps are for me, but maybe that’s because I have a short attention span?

I also think that I made the mistake of trying to achieve too much. I was working towards important aims in each area of my life, but there’s only so much time and energy to go around. This meant that because I didn’t achieve exactly what I set out to (because it was too much), I felt a bit disheartened and struggled to engage fully for the whole period. If there’s a next time, I’ll keep it simple.

Is it worth it?

I did feel this was a worthwhile exercise, but I am not sure that I would use a 100-day plan again. This is a great tool if you want to focus your mind and concentrate on things within your control, but you do need a decent attention span for it to work.

I’ve added the 100-day plan to my productivity toolkit, but it won’t always be my tactic of choice. I think that setting a monthly goal, or putting something on my vision board is better for me personally. But we are all different and I think that this could potentially work well for somebody else. 

Have you ever committed to a 100-day plan? How did you find it? If you enjoyed this article, then you should check out my other pieces of productivity advice

The image shows a note pad on a table, along with a coffee and a bottle of Diet Coke. Over the image, the text reads: 'hacks: the benefits of doing a 100-day plan'.