(350 words, 2 min read)
Annual planning and goal setting can sometimes have unintended consequences. It’s easy to put tasks off and even convince ourselves we have our own ‘just-in-time’ system. But is binge drinking a good way to become a master sommelier?
In The 12 Week Year, Brian Moran defines a year as 12 weeks rather than 12 months. He then suggests you can achieve more in one 12 week year than others do in four! The basic idea (in 12 seconds) is:
Choose 3 quantifiable goals to achieve in the next 12 weeks. Track up to 5 tactics which repeated daily or weekly should mean you achieve each goal. Schedule a weekly meeting to report your progress.
A couple of 12 week years ago I adopted this approach and continue to use it today. The goals and tactics change each year but they do follow a consistent theme.
My first goal is a growth target for my business. It could be the number of clients, billable hours or some kind of monetary amount. My second goal is about personal development. As a CPA, professional development is a must, this keeps me on track. My third goal is personal health. This could be to lose 10lbs in 12 weeks, walk 30,000 steps a week or eat one salad a week. At the end of 12 weeks:
- If I achieve my first goal I will know my business is growing.
- If I achieve my second goal I know I have prepared for the future.
- If I achieve my third goal I know I am looking after myself.
Each week I sit down with my wife and discuss my progress. Before the first of these meetings, my wife was sceptical. But it soon became clear that reporting back was a good thing. Your meeting could be with a partner, mentor, coach or business colleague. It’s an opportunity to hold yourself accountable.
There can be a tendency for systems to become self-serving. But, I’ve found the 12 week year gets the balance right. A solid framework with enough scope to create something specific to your needs.
Next week: How to manage a million passwords with one.