90 Day Goals > 365 Day Goals

Most people who set New Year’s resolutions don’t follow through on them.

Annual business goals often fall by the wayside as well. Consequently, late December brings a crush of articles on why we fail, and how we might reform the process to boost success. Among the best suggestions I’ve heard lately? Forget year-long resolutions and focus on 90-day goals. Several small business owners who tried this over the past year as part of an accountability group they participated in explained to me why this tweak helped their businesses, and lives.

1. 90 days isn’t too long

Life changes a lot in a year, especially if you work at a startup. Goals set annually may not feel relevant in 12 months. Or 12 months seems so far away that you figure you can always start tomorrow. Ninety days, on the other hand, is about “holding me accountable to my long range goals, but in smaller chunks, so I actually see an end in sight,” says Marni Beninger, who owns Mountain Waters Spa and Wellness in British Columbia. She set a 90-day goal to raise revenue by $5,000/month, saw what it took to meet it, and then set another 90-day goal to raise revenue by another $10,000/month. That involved hiring a sales person, but now that she knows that, she might aim for another $15,000/month over the next 90 days. That would put her $30,000/month over where she started, all in doable chunks.

2. 90 days isn’t too short, either

Of course, the day-to-day nature of startup life means it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds. When Beninger first tried to set quarterly goals, she realized that this was a challenge she faced. “The first time it was just basically a to-do list,” she said, with 50 items on it. “It’s really hard to come out of that mindset of working in your business.” But she soon figured out what made a good mid-range goal: one that involved looking just far enough into the future to challenge herself, but be achievable.

3. You can reset quickly

When we give up on New Year’s resolutions, it’s easy to let ourselves wait until next January to try again. Ninety day goals offer a quicker option. Victoria Lynden, who founded Kohana Coffee in Austin, Texas, says that “In 90 days, if I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail fast.” One example: she wanted to enter the Canadian market, but after setting that as a 90-day goal, figured out that getting the proper organic certifications could be a two-year process. The take-away? Do more research, and figure out other international markets that are easier to enter. “I have succeeded through my failures,” she says.

4. You don’t spread yourself thin

You may have lots of goals, and that’s a good thing. Giving yourself 90 days means you can focus on a few at a time, knowing that there’s another 90-day period coming up soon. Maybe during the first quarter you focus on launching a new product. Then in the second quarter you focus on finding a new and bigger space. At the end of six months, you’ll have the new product and the bigger space, whereas if you aimed to do both at once, you might get overwhelmed and figure out neither. “As an entrepreneur, you always go in a lot of different directions,” says Lynden. “This, to me, is like having a map that charts my course.”

5. You can make personal goals part of the mix

The good thing about setting two to three goals four times per year is that this gives you space to think about all spheres of life. Rachel Hofstetter owns Guesterly, a startup that specializes in directories for events. Like many entrepreneurs, she finds it hard to take a vacation, and so she made taking a week-long December holiday one of her 90-day goals. When I sent her an email on a December Friday asking to chat the next week, she insisted on getting on the phone right then, since she was on the plane for Mexico the next morning and planned to unplug. “Without that part of my plan, it wouldn’t be my utmost focus,” she says. But as one of her big goals for the quarter, she was determined to make it happen.

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Here’s what you missed this week:smartbrief

Colorado construction-defects law may be reformed in 2015 A Colorado law that allows HOA boards to decide whether to sue over construction defects and reject fixes by homebuilders could be reformed in 2015. The law is necessary to protect condo owners, said Nancy Stockton, president of the homeowners association at the Vallagio at Inverness in Arapahoe County. “I think (reforming the law) would be a license for builders to cut corners and be even more lax in their construction,” says Stockton. “The dispute process is already onerous.” The Denver Post (1/4)

Mixed-use neighborhoods attract ex-suburbanites Mixed-use neighborhoods where hotels, condos, offices and shops all thrive in concert with one another are becoming more popular as the American dream slowly shifts away from the popular suburbs of yesteryear. Millennials and Baby Boomers alike are flocking to these new projects that are being built in many major and minor cities. The Tampa Tribune (Fla.) (1/4)

Association manager can’t preside over meetings Association managers are not permitted to conduct HOA board members’ responsibilities and can leave the board in a risky situation if allowed to run the organization. “[I]ndemnification may be negated, depending on the terms of insurance, business conducted during all those meetings may be void and, in the event of a lawsuit, the association would be at a disadvantage, if not handicapped, in proving the board members acted in good faith and in the best interests of the association and its titleholders,” write attorneys Donie Vanitzian and Zachary Levine. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (1/4)

CMCA Recertification

CAMICB sent reminder notices this week to individuals who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by April 1, 2015. Here are a few helpful links:

A few things to note:

1. It is the responsibility of each CMCA to provide documentation of their 16 hours of continuing education at the time of recertification. CAMICB does not track your CEs. If you took a class with CAI, please log into their website (caionline.org) to print out a certificate of completion.

2. Only courses completed between April 1, 2013 and April 1, 2015 present will count as continuing education.

3. If you have held an active AMS, PCAM, FL CAM, NV CAM or NAHC-RCM for at least a year, this will satisfy your CMCA continuing education requirement.

4. Credit hours may be earned only for education that meets either of the following criteria: It pertains to community association operations or management and/or it contributes to the professional development of the CMCA.

5. The CMCA Annual Service Fee is $105.00. Oftentimes this fee is confused with CAI’s individual manager membership. Recently, CAI increased the rate of the individual manager membership from $130.00 to $134.00. While CAMICB maintains an affiliate relationship with CAI, we are an independent credentialing body: separately incorporated, governed by an independent Board of Trustees, and guided in the administration of our program by the standards of our accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. We are not a membership organization; we do not collect membership dues. We assess our credential holders an annual maintenance fee which is used to support the development and delivery of our core exam and the operation of our program in accordance with best practices in professional credentialing.

Roland Richardson, Certification Assistant, is happy to assist you with the recertification process. Contact Roland at rrichardson@camicb.org with any questions.

Directory of Credentialed Professionals

CAMICB is proud to announce the new and improved Directory of Credential Professionals at: https://www.camicb.org/find-a-cmca.  CMCAs are automatically listed in the Directory of Credentialed Professionals when they achieve certification.

The new Directory lists your CMCA recertification and billing dates as well as your contact information.  You can use the Directory to see if your CMCA certification is current or up for renewal.  Homeowners and management companies will also use the Directory to find CMCAs in their area.

The Directory is searchable by many fields: last name, first name, organization and location.  Results can then be sorted by column and further filtered by the state selection on the right.

CAMICB has also included your CAI designations in the search for your convenience.

If you’d like to be removed from the Directory of Credentialed Professionals or your information needs updating, please email us at info@camicb.org.

CMCA Recertification

CAMICB sent reminder notices this week to individuals who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by October 1, 2014. Here are a few helpful links:

A few things to note:

1. It is the responsibility of each CMCA to provide documentation of their 16 hours of continuing education at the time of recertification. CAMICB does not track your CEs. If you took a class with CAI, please log into their website (caionline.org) to print out a certificate of completion.

2. Only courses completed between October 1, 2012 and October 1, 2014 present will count as continuing education.

3. If you have held an active AMS, PCAM, FL CAM, NV CAM or NAHC-RCM for at least a year, this will satisfy your CMCA continuing education requirement.

4. Credit hours may be earned only for education that meets either of the following criteria: It pertains to community association operations or management and/or it contributes to the professional development of the CMCA.

5. The CMCA Annual Service Fee is $105.00. Oftentimes this fee is confused with CAI’s individual manager membership. Recently, CAI increased the rate of the individual manager membership from $130.00 to $134.00. While CAMICB maintains an affiliate relationship with CAI, we are an independent credentialing body: separately incorporated, governed by an independent Board of Trustees, and guided in the administration of our program by the standards of our accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. We are not a membership organization; we do not collect membership dues. We assess our credential holders an annual maintenance fee which is used to support the development and delivery of our core exam and the operation of our program in accordance with best practices in professional credentialing.

Roland Richardson, Certification Assistant, is happy to assist you with the recertification process. Contact Roland at rrichardson@camicb.org with any questions.

News Follow up: NYC to Ban ‘Poor Doors’ In Luxury Buildings

From Huffington Post

New York City officials are vowing to reverse a law allowing luxury developers to install two separate entrances in new residential towers — one for residents paying at market rate and another for low-income residents who qualify for affordable housing.

Such buildings include affordable housing units so that developers can receive tax credits.

“The two-door system, or creating a poor-door system as some media have coined it, is an affront to New Yorkers’ belief in fairness and diversity,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said at a recent press conference. “Creating a two-tier system in a development that is receiving tax benefits is offensive.”

The outrage stems from news last week that the city approved a controversial dual entrance at 40 Riverside Boulevard, where developers have already begun constructing a luxury condo in which low-income residents will be segregated from wealthier residents. Those who will live in the lower-income part of the building will be prohibited from using amenities including a gym and swimming pool.

Extell, the developer behind the Riverside Boulevard project, has since defended the housing design.

“Would you rather not have the affordable housing? Ask any one of the thousands of people who are applying for that, and they don’t give a damn,” Extell president Gary Barnett told NPR. “They want to have a beautiful apartment, in a beautiful neighborhood, and you know, at a super price.”

The poor door practice, which is technically permitted due to zoning codes created to spur more affordable housing units under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), is common throughout buildings across the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) was quick to put blame on his predecessor for the loophole, even though he voted for the measure in 2009 when he was a city council member.

Lawmakers including Councilman Mark Levine are now drafting legislation to close the loophole in the city’s Inclusionary Housing Zoning system.

“It’s outrageous that we give huge tax credits to developers for including affordable apartments in their buildings only to allow them to turn around and segregate entrances or block access to amenities for low-income tenants,” Levine said. “I am profoundly disappointed that the developer of 40 Riverside has exploited this loophole in creating a ‘poor door’ in its building. We must do everything we can to end this discriminatory practice immediately.”

Cvil rights groups are also working to end the practice, which they say inherently discriminates against minorities who make up a large portion of residents qualifying for affordable housing.

A New York University study cited in the Times noted in 2011, 73.4 percent of market-rate residents were white. Seventy-seven percent of owners were also white.

A petition demanding change was also launched.

“Our goal is to continue to fight, to do what we need to do and make it right,” Elzora Cleveland, who started the petition, explained. “It’s just not right, it’s not right.”

 

In The News: NY Condo Getss ‘Poor Door’

By Inaw Oh from Huffington Post

A controversial plan to have the lower-income residents of a New York City luxury condo go in and out through a separate entrance has officially been given the green light.

The proposal, from the New York-based developer Extell, was approved under a city program meant to incentivize affordable housing, the New York Post reported Sunday. New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development was reportedly the city agency that gave the go-ahead.

The 33-story building, now under construction at 40 Riverside Boulevard on the Upper West Side, will contain 219 luxury units facing the Hudson River. There will also be a segment on floors two through six that will contain 55 street-facing units for the building’s poorer residents. This segment will have its own entrance.

The more affordable units will be given to families of four whose annual income is $51,540 or less — about 60 percent of the area’s median income.

Residents living in the lower-income part of 40 Riverside will be prohibited from using the attractive amenities commonly found in Extell properties, including a gym and a swimming pool.

Extell’s proposal, which has been widely described as a “poor door” policy, was approved under the city’s Inclusionary Housing program, which allows developers to use more square footage than they’d ordinarily be allowed to — provided they set aside some units in their building for affordable housing. For doing so, developers also receive millions in tax breaks.

Gothamist reports that arrangements like the one planned for 40 Riverside are not uncommon in New York.

Still, ever since plans for the separate entrance were revealed last August, city officials and community members have been demanding that Extell officials jettison the policy for a more inclusive one.

“This ‘separate but equal’ arrangement is abominable and has no place in the 21st century, let alone on the Upper West Side,” Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal told the blog West Side Rag last year. “A mandatory affordable housing plan is not license to segregate lower-income tenants from those who are well-off.”

As The New York Times noted in May, minorities and the elderly largely make up the city’s rent-regulated population.

Getting the Same Amount Done in Half the Time

Pomodoro-TechniqueBy Jessica Stillman

A formerly frazzled founder claims he managed to squeeze 40-plus hours of work into just 16.7. Could his system work for you?

What if I told you there’s a way to get exactly the same amount of work you’re now accomplishing done in less than half the time? You’d probably respond that you have some amazing magic beans you’d like to sell me or ask for directions to the unicorn stable.

The idea that some miraculous wrinkle in the time-space continuum exists that can instantly compress your workweek into a more humane duration seems too fabulous to be believed, but entrepreneur Chris Winfield insists that the idea is fact, not fantasy. In a recent post on his site, he relates how he’s developed a system for cramming 40 hours of work into just under 20 hours (a startlingly precise 16.7 hours, to be exact) using nothing fancier than a kitchen timer and his phone’s airplane mode.

He laid out the whole system in detail in a recent post that also explains the genesis of his new approach. If you’re seriously considering giving the system a try, it’s well worth a read in full to get all the finer points, but here’s a basic rundown.

Employ the Pomodoro technique.

There’s nothing radical to Winfield’s first suggestion–the Pomodoro technique, which is simply a fancy term for setting a timer to work in 25-minute sprints of single-minded focus (no Facebook, no popping over to your inbox quickly, etc.) followed by 5 minutes of rest. It has been around (and much recommended) for ages. After every four intervals, called Pomodoros, you’re supposed to take a longer 15-minute break.

It sounds incredibly basic, but Winfield insists that after much monkeying around to find the perfect number of Pomodoros to shoot for in a week, the simple technique radically increased his productivity and his sanity.

“My goal was eight Pomodoros each weekday, for a total of 40 per week. This worked, sort of, but as they say, life happens. Some days I had so many meetings to attend, or my daughter had a recital at school that I didn’t want to miss, and I just couldn’t find fit in eight Pomodoros. It became clear that 40 was my magic weekly number, but I needed to be less rigid with how I approached my workweek,” he says (which also explains the oddly exact time he allots for work in this system: “40 Pomodoros = 1,000 minutes of work (plus 350 minutes of breaks) each week. This averages out to about 16.7 hours of work each week.”)

Choose your tasks wisely. 

The second half of Winfield’s approach, as the quote above suggests, is all about flexibility. To manage to get to his goal of 40 Pomodoros, he found he had to choose his tasks wisely each day, taking into account his mood, physical energy levels, and degree of mental focus.

“The reality is that I’m a human being, living in a world full of other humans. I have emotions I don’t control, and I often get tired. Some tasks I simply don’t feel like doing, even though I know they’re important, and possibly urgent. To make this work long-term, I had to face these things and learn to accept them, working with rather than against them,” he writes. In order to stop fighting his moods, he learned to survey his mental state and find jobs to do that would reverse whatever was ailing him–on low energy days, he’d find tasks that made him feel healthier; if he was sad, he looked for work that would cheer him up.

Truly forget the nine to five.

The last step for Winfield was jettisoning old ideas of when he should work and when he should unwind, so he could better utilize all the hours of the day, not just the ones falling within “normal” work hours.

“The final piece to my puzzle was moving from a five-day work-week, where I had to stop by 5 p.m., to a seven-day work-week, where I could work when it suited me. This took me from 40 to 45 hours available to get my 40 Pomodoros in, to having 168 hours each week. Since I only need 16.7 hours net, that means I only work 10% of my time. What a difference.” he says.

A note for the skeptics

Taken together, these three simple changes meant that Winfield went from working a frazzled 40-plus hour week to getting just as much done in half the time, he claims. Though there is a pretty hefty caveat: He doesn’t count meetings and calls within those 16.7 hours of work.

His bottom line: “I ‘work’ 35 to 40 hours a week, but I spend at least 20 to 25 of those hours on calls, meetings, networking online and offline, and other less-focused tasks. These are important, but I don’t count them as work time. I truly work 16.7 hours each week, and I get about five times more done in those few hours than in the other 25 hours.”

So that incredible 16.7 hour number does take a little word-choice wizardry to make a reality, but whether the final tally of hours worked is a little tarted up or not, Winfield insists he’s a far saner man for his system–having whittled an overwhelming 60-hour workweek down to a healthier and more manageable schedule.