Tag Archives: habit

THE 12 WEEK YEAR: accomplish 1 year goals in 12 weeks

If you’re looking for a game-changing book, this is IT!  This book’s strategy single-handedly made me more productive in 3 months than the previous 6 months.  I was able to put things on that list that had been dragging or seemed like pipe-dreams and knock them out!  It was, and continues to be, amazing!  I learned about it from a date, actually.  (Bonus lesson: dating is productive 😉  On a second date with a suitor 😉 , he mentioned the book and was so clearly taken by it that I took to it and read it and started my personal “12-week year” in mid-January.  Sure enough, by mid-April – just about now – all of those goals have sustained massive progress.  I wanted to wait until my first “12-week-year” was over, however, before making any reports, announcements, or blogs about it.  But here we stand, in the clear for making it public, and I’m so excited to share this tool that you can get started on right away!
The 12 Week Year Book
THE INSPIRATION: You should definitely go borrow or buy the book, but I’ll give you the gist of it so that you’ll even understand what a “12-week year” is.  SO! Are you ready?!  This is exciting stuff!  Sit up straight and put your listening caps on!  Ok, so the problem the “12-week year” is solving (because all great ideas are solving a problem first) is that most people lose steam on their “new year’s resolutions.”  Most people pen a list of lofty new year’s resolutions in January and then fall off within a few months or even weeks and then revisit that goal at the end of the year, “right before the deadline!” So, Brian Moran, the author of “the 12-week year,” took that starting energy and ending energy, if you will, and just cut out all of the messy middle in between.  The authors of this book (Brian Moran and Michael Lennington) discovered that humans generally can remain highly motivated for 3 months on a particular goal.  After that, they want to see results, celebrate, recalibrate, and set another goal.  And so they transferred this information into a system for goal-accomplishing that complements our natural tendencies – genius! (in my humble opinion 😉 ) THE APPLICATION: So, how does this translate?  Ok, are you ready?!  Again, this is exciting stuff and now that you’re on board, you’re about to really get blown away by the application.  So, you start to think in quarters, not unlike a Fortune 500 company – you are now your own successful business and your gameplan begins with designing your first quarter. You lay out about 3 goals for the quarter.  This is not set in stone, but they recommend setting up a small number of goals across any areas of your life.  So i.e.: you could have 3 goals that cover: losing 10 pounds, getting debt free, and having an awesome marriage.  Next, lay out these goals very specifically so that you KNOW when they’re accomplished, list milestones and their prospective dates, and list weekly, daily, or semi-regular actions that have to be taken towards that goal.  Now, you are SET!  You are looking at the next 12-weeks as ridiculously productive and powerful weeks on the way to your goal and you are super excited because you’re about to “get it done!” THE EXECUTION: Now, every day when you wake up, you’re knocking out the relevant actions toward your goals.  Every week, at the end of the week, or beginning of the week (you set your routine), you will look at the list of actions that you intended and then grade yourself on how much of that list you accomplished.  If you had 10 actions toward your goal (using previous example) that included working out 5 times, spending in the form of cash only, having a date night with your spouse, you would grade yourself based on the percentage of the intended actions.  So, if you accomplished 8 out of the 10 goals, you would give yourself an 80% for that week. THE EFFECT: In doing this, you will start to really use your time wisely and more intentionally.  You will feel urgency and motivation throughout the process.  The weekly reviews also begin to tick off the weeks so you see that you have one less week every week to accomplish your goals and  act almost as a barometer for whether or not you’re on track.  You will also find it easier to say “no” to anything that does not contribute to your goals.  You will have a very distinct filter for what should take up your time and what should not.  And THAT is good.  Having uber-focused goals lets you say no to things, at least, for now, until you decide they’ll be a focus, perhaps next quarter, that’s all!  It’s ridiculously freeing. MY EXPERIENCE: I had 3ish goals: To create an app, to lose 10 pounds/ to do a handstand, and to get out of debt.  Did I accomplish all of them?  Nope.  BUT, I made SO much progress that I now have new habits and a different lifestyle because of last quarter’s focus and I call that a success!  I found myself using new strategies as some fell short and I saw that I had only x number of weeks left to accomplish my goals.  Once I had my strategy, I saw myself really hunkering down and doing it consistently because I wanted to celebrate by the end of March.  And when I saw that I was not actually going to accomplish the goal, I saw that because I had learned and done all the intense work I had done, it would eventually happen. And so, at this point, I have accomplished major milestones in my business goal; I have lost 8 pounds and am very happy with my figure; I can do a handstand for a few seconds and a forearmstand for longer; and I have crossed off a couple of thousand in debt and am living in control of my money.  I would not have had a daily, weekly, and quarterly mindset without this strategy and that made all the difference for me.  I wasn’t working in an endless space.  I had 3/31/16 on my calendar and that galvanized me to create the progress that I did.  And I lived life too!  I did everything else that I wanted to do: socialized, enjoyed life, and had “me time,” but I also saw clearly where I had to say “no” to things because they were going to take away from my goals. WHAT NEXT? After you accomplish and celebrate your first quarter, you start all over again!  Make new goals that are either the next step for some of your first quarter goals, or make new goals altogether!  It’s a chance to shake things up again and get excited all over again.  I am in the process of setting my next quarter up now and I’m loving it.  It really does make sense to me and human behavior does reflect this for me and I believe companies use quarterly reviews for this very reason – so why not us?!  So, if you’re a go-getter and/or are looking for a structure to guarantee your goals, go get this book and read it.  I finished it in 1 or 2 days because I wanted to get started asap.  Now, go and get em!