The first month of the year is nearly over. Are you 1/12th toward achieving your 2020 goals? Or are your goals already forgotten or abandoned? No reason to feel frustrated though, because you’re in good company. And there’s a solution to make 2020 your best year.
Believe it or not, approximately 80% of people don’t follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. And only 8% achieve them (). Here’ the thing for entrepreneurs – we’ve got to make the most of our time. We’ve got to stretch and do what we thought we couldn’t. We’ve got to scale. And time’s a-wastin’.
We’ve got to find a way to stay the course and achieve.
The 12-Week Year
I’ve discovered and implemented a system that is rocking my new decade, and I’ve got to share it with you. For about 10 years, I’ve tried numerous calendaring systems since I’d fallen out of love with the Franklin Planner (man, did I love that thing for such a long time!). I’m pleased to say I have finally found my new number one!
It’s called The 12-Week Year. And it’s an entire system (and book) created by Brian Moran. It’s the KPI kick in the pants every small business owner and entrepreneur needs. That is, if you are serious about personal growth and scaling your business. Since you’re reading this, I think you are indeed a serious business owner!
Why 12 Weeks?
The main concept of this system is about chunking a year into 12-week segments. Not quarters, per se, but 12-week cycles. The 13th week is for reflecting on results and planning the next 12-week burst.
Here’s why: procrastination.
See, when we set annual goals we naturally think we’ve got a whole year to achieve our goals. The first part of the year is wasted while the last couple months of the year are the most productive.
By breaking our year into four 12-week focused bursts, we simply get more done.
A weekly plan is a to-do list on steroids.
All of this centered upon your longer-range vision. Vision drives goals. For each 12-Week cycle, determine three goals and high priority daily and weekly actions to achieve the goal. Assign a due date to each item (a date within the 12-weeks).
It’s the weekly plan that really makes the engine work. That’s where you list recurring actions and one-time steps.
Let’s take weight loss as an example. Daily and weekly actions for this goal could include a one-time action of join Weight Watchers with an assigned due date. Recurring actions of drinking 8 glasses of water and keeping a food diary can also be listed on the weekly plan.
Then, throughout the week, you work your plan.
Time blocking for the win!
Setting goals is great, but urgent matters and mundane tasks can tend to rule the day. So this system teaches time blocking. By taking time at the start of each week to look at the matrix of your week and plan chunks of time for specific activities, you’ll have better control and carve out the necessary time for important things.
There are three main types of time blocks that you should schedule. These things are just as important as meetings, so make these appointments with yourself.
- Strategic blocks. Allow three hours of uninterrupted time, ideally once per day, for working on the things that move your goals forward. No calls, no texts, no social media should go on during this time. Focus your energy on your preplanned tasks relating to money-making activities and your weekly plan.
- Buffer blocks. Schedule one or two 30-minute blocks a day for taking care of low-level activities like responding to email and messages.
- Breakout blocks. You’re working hard and getting things done. And you need creativity to keep things moving along. So plan three hours once per week for fun and R&R. Crazy, right? You now have permission to go to a movie on a Wednesday afternoon. Or enjoy a workout and massage on a Friday. It’s not playing hooky, it’s mandatory for highly productive people.
Each week, take a few minutes to assess your accomplishments. Did you do your daily and weekly actions?
You can get very detailed assessing your performance. Self-reflection is important because so much of this is about changing behavior and upping your game. How you perform this week indicates how you set next week’s plan.
Here’s an exciting statistic the folks at the 12-Week Year have found. If you accomplish your weekly plan by 85% (meaning, 85% of the things on your weekly plan were accomplished), you are on track to achieve your goals.
What you do today directly influences your tomorrow.
What does this have to do with marketing, anyhow?
Marketing drives sales. So if you’ve got growth and revenue goals for your business, you need
a marketing plan. And a lot of marketing requires consistent action. It’s not about chasing the newest fad, tripwires, or shiny object. It’s about doing the right thing with clarity and consistency.
I work with small business owners and online entrepreneurs. Solo business owners and bootstrappers need tools like the 12-Week Year to get it all done. This system will help you become the business owner and the person you know you can be. The best version of you.
Reach out to me for a conversation about designing your marketing strategy, and implementing it to reach your business goals in 2020.