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The 12 Week Year

New Year’s resolutions come and go, and for the most part, while I tend to only make a few and usually stick to them for a bit, do seem a bit…. ineffective? Maybe because I only make them once a year, and feel some weird need to wait until January 1st to start, or maybe because I find myself rotating the same resolutions (I resolve to stop biting my nails every five years or so, and do well for a long time- even using “No Bite” to make sure I don’t bite, but then after a year or two I stop using the peppery nail polish, start biting my nails again, and we’re back where we started).

My point is, I needed a new way to plan and resolve to get things done. And the 12 Week Year is my new thing. It’s a book that’s been out for a while, but for some reason I started seeing it everywhere this year, and decided to give it a try. It makes sense to me… resolve to do something and make plans to get it done in 12 weeks. A year is tooooo long to wait to get something done. I don’t want to take an entire year to lose 8 pounds. Or finds ways to pay off a debt. Or start a new project. But in 12 weeks? I can get a lot done.

Get a year’s worth of goals done in 12 weeks

This year, I started my first three months with three goals: one financial (to pay off any debts, put money into my Roth, tithe, and pay for boys’ activities in full at sign-up), one health (to maintain a healthy eating window, eat OMAD at least one day a week, and reach a new weight loss goal), and the last one encouraged me to be involved in my sons’ education (read with them daily, study with them if they are struggling in any subjects, and provide them with extra study material to do well on tests). I wrote it all down, broke it up into weekly goals, and now that I’m done with the first month, I’m thrilled with how on track I am. I see that I could easily even jump ahead a bit and do some things faster, but since this is only a three month commitment, and I want to do more 12 week years every season or three months going forward, I’m working on not jumping the gun and just staying the course. I scheduled plenty of goals to accomplish, and so much is getting done without my feeling burned out.

I wanted to share some tips from the book by Brian P. Moran that will give you an idea of what to expect (and why you should buy it and try it too!):

– Instead of monthly goals, focus on weekly goals. We tend to meet deadlines and get a lot done (personally and in business) in the last quarter of the year as we attempt to meet or exceed goals set at the beginning of the year, but those middle months? We sort of coast and waste time. Instead of taking an entire, unmotivated, slow year to reach a goal, we can be more focused and concise and get a month’s worth of work done each week, so that we reach our goals in a quarter of the time… and can spend the next quarter of the year moving beyond and reaching even higher goals.

– Weekly and daily plans keeps us on track, because we don’t see the deadline as some far off event. Each day, we view our To Do list and see what we have to do to reach our weekly goals, and at the end of the week, we can adjust to do more the following week if we didn’t meet the mark, or give ourselves a pat on the back when we do well, staying motivated to keep going.

– Goals must be written down (by weeks), and visible at all times. They must be measurable goals (I will increase my income by 30%, I will cold call 10 more people each week, I will walk 1/2 a mile a day, I will save $25 a day). The book has tips to focus and stay on track, a lot of support and great ideas, but I won’t share more here today. Instead, I will update going forward on my success in achieving my goals during my 12 week year and share new goals in future quarters. I hope you join me in elevating our lives by aspiring to great things… and quickly!