Do you have problems following through and actually accomplishing your well-laid plans? It can a lot of fun, and highly motivating, to create new plans. However, following through is not always as much fun.
If you find yourself always going back to your old habits, and not reaching your goals, then you should check out the book 12 Week Year. One of the key tenets to Moran’s goal planning is creating and tracking your weekly plans.
As the old saying goes, people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do today. Instead, by shortening the timeline into 12 weeks instead of 12 months, we can see real progress on our goals in a shorter time. And to get there you need to create a weekly plan.
A Tale of Two Business Owners
Let me tell you a story about the entrepreneur who started the year with huge ambitions and visions of grandeur in their eyes. They sat down on New Year’s Eve and created their goals for the coming year. They weren’t really sure what the end of the year would look like because they hadn’t launched their latest course yet so they created arbitrary sales goals without any data or testing.
Additionally, last year’s book sales hadn’t been tracked so they didn’t know their exact conversion rates on their landing page. But instead, they continued to set goals for the coming twelve months with pie in the sky sales goals. Finally, without looking back at their email list or size of their audience they created goals without any concrete data.
The next morning they woke up late after a long night out. But they didn’t worry, they still had the whole year in front of them.
A few days turned into a few weeks as daily life started to get in the way of planning for their annual goals. They knew that most businesses do really well during the final quarter of the year, so they weren’t worried that the first quarter had dismal numbers.
I’m sure you know how the story ends. Days turned into weeks and months, summer turns into fall and soon you’re planning next year’s goals without getting any closer to this week’s goals. Instead entrepreneur number two sets shorter timelines and creates actionable steps to reach their goals.
With the shorter timeline, they know what their schedule will look like and can plan when to schedule their focus blocks. Thanks to their strategic planning, which includes actionable steps, they know what to do each time they sit down to work. And in only weeks, instead of months, they reach their goals.
Choose the Second Way With the 12 Week Year
It’s easy to see you want to choose the second option. Stop setting goals that are abstract and too large to break down into actionable steps. Instead, start creating goals based on a 12-week timeline so you can shorten the horizon and accomplish your goals.
You’ve probably heard of 90 days plans and wondered how they’re different from the 12 week year. And the biggest difference is that they are created as part of a larger plan. They are still based on the idea of annual planning in terms of 12 months.
Whereas the 12-week plan is a singular plan in itself without being part of the traditional annual planning process. Each 12-week section of time is created as it’s own separate entity with its own set of goals and measurable objectives.
At the end of each 12-week timeline, you take a break, reevaluate your progress, and then set new goals for the next 12 weeks. And the biggest key to setting goals you can accomplish is to create measurable tactics you can track along the way.
Use Measurable Tactics in Your Weekly Plans
Your 12-week plan is just a wish and a hope without measurable tactics. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, then some examples of measurable tactics you can control include:
- Get up at 5 am and workout for 30 minutes
- Drink 64 ounces of water each day
- Don’t eat any food after 8 pm
You can objectively track these daily activities so that at the end of the week you have a concrete number that tells you whether or not you will reach your goals. In this example you have three objectives you can measure over the next seven days. These objectives are your lead measures which are tasks you can control.
At the end of the day, you have a number you can objectively look to determine whether or not you can lose weight at the end of your 12 week year.
Moran suggests that 65% compliance signals a job well done and hitting your key objectives 85%+ of the time is excellent. So, for our three objectives over seven days we want to aim for at least 14 checkmarks well done and 18 to reach excellence.
When you set specific key metrics that you can track and measure, you will see success in your plan. When you set arbitrary goals such as pay off my debt by next year, you will never reach your goals. Instead, break it down to see how much you owe and commit to decreasing your debt by ten percent in 12 weeks.
Determine the exact amount of money you need to save and/or earn each week, then track this amount. The smaller number that is tracked on a much shorter timeline will determine the level of success you see in your larger goals.
Move Away From Abstract and Start Measuring
As you can see the 12 week year takes traditional annual planning and turns it upside down. Instead, focus on a smaller timeframe so that you can break your goals down into bite-sized chunks you can get done today.
Your weekly plans are based on your larger goal for the 12 weeks time period. Each step moves you closer to accomplishing your goals. And each plan is based on actionable steps you can track and measure objectively.
I truly believe you can improve your life by improving the books you read. You can check out my YouTube video here where I share the top reasons you should read more books. And be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss any videos.