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Since it’s the “last quarter” of the year, and I finished my plans for the next 12 weeks, I decided to write about one of my favorite books–12 Week Year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington.
You may have read about the 12 Week Year from my previous article, 4 Essential Books for Goal Setting and Achievement. In this post, I’m going to discuss more about it.
What’s the 12 Week Year?
The concept of the 12 Week Year is to shorten the year to be able to do more. Sounds ironic at first, but hear me out.
Have you heard of the Parkinson’s Law? The Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the time allotted. If you have three hours to finish a blog draft, it’ll take you three hours to finish it…even if you can finish it in an hour. The longer time scale we set to reach our goals, the longer it will take us to fulfill them.
Imagine an insurance agent with an annual quota of 1,000,000. The 1,000,000 quota challenges him at the beginning of the year. He meets with clients and sells here and there, but after a few months, his motivation wanes. He falls by the wayside and slacks off thinking he still has six months to meet his quota.
Come October, he realizes he’s still behind his quota, so he doubles the effort from October to December just to meet his quota.
Now, let’s see this concept from a non-business context, Jack is not satisfied with the extra 80 pounds he has gained over the past five years. On New Year’s Eve, he writes “Lose 80 pounds and build muscle” for his New Year’s resolution.
Like the salesman, he was excited and motivated about his goal! In January, he enrolled for a gym membership. He exercised a five times a week at the beginning, and his friends noticed the difference.
In March, he became so busy with work. From five times a week he decreased his gym sessions to three times a week until he didn’t go anymore.
So, what happened?
He ended the year only losing half of what he intended to lose. Losing 40 pounds isn’t bad, but he could have done better.
Why the 12 Week Year is a Good Idea
1. Deadline is the best motivation.
You know this already. We work harder when the deadline is near. Early deadlines for different goals motivate us to work daily and weekly on our goals. Having a long timeline for your goal will cause you to fall off the wagon; remember the Parkinson’s Law.
2. New excitement every end of the “year.”
The 12 Week Year is not just a quarterly goal setting. When you approach it as a quarter, you perceive it as a continuation of the previous quarter. No excitement there, right? Whereas when we consider it as a “new year” the excitement is different. It’s as if you were given a clean slate, another chance to set new goals. Isn’t that how we feel at the end of an actual year? We feel like the coming year is here to change us, to give us another chance to make things right to be a better person.
3. No excuses: Put in the effort every day and every week.
The 12 Week Year forces you to put in the effort every day and every week…even if you’re having a bad day! A regular 52-week year gives time to slack off. Not in the mood to go to the gym today? It’s okay. You still have 42 weeks to lose the excess weight, but next thing you know it’s the end of the year, and you’ve completely stopped going to the gym.
If you follow the 12-week year concept, you know that you have to go to the gym no matter what you’re going through. Indeed, no excuses. To quote the book: the weeks become days.
4. Tracking is easier.
The 12-week duration makes it easy for you to backtrack and adjust your plan. If you’re in sixth week, and you’re not getting closer to your goals, you can easily check what you’ve done in the past six weeks, and adjust your tactics for the next six weeks to meet your goals.
Is the 12 Week Year for you?
If you’re a goal-getter who wants to do more in life, then yes! The 12 Week Year is perfect for you. Breaking down goals into tasks makes everything possible for you. You can work on different projects throughout the year without worries.
If you like the concept, you can get your 12 Week Year copy here, and sign up to my newsletter to receive a FREE 12-week year planner!