New Year’s resolutions are getting a bad rap. Perhaps rightfully so when an estimated 95% of all resolutions fall flat on their faces.
It’s not that they were bad resolutions, or that the people setting them were overly optimistic. Let me explain how I manage to keep my New Year’s resolutions every year.
The magic of planning for 12 weeks at a time.
I live by the 12 week year. My year is 12 weeks long. (you can read a book about that here) 12 weeks is the perfect amount of time to create a sense of urgency around what needs to get done, short enough to make it seem manageable and long enough to see real results. It also happens to be the ideal length of time to try something out to be able to reevaluate it, to find out if it’s worthy of another 12-week run. (not all goals and resolutions turn out to be in our best interest)
I have played around with planning in 90-day chunks, 3 month quarterly periods or 13 weeks. 12 weeks is the magic number for me. It might seem like a trivial same-same scenario, but 12 weeks gives me several days off per year (if I don’t just want to steamroll ahead, and I don’t) and I am MORE efficient with my time than when I’m going month to month. I know.. it makes no sense but it has helped me develop the right mindset around time management.
So rather than trying to commit to something you don’t know for sure will actually have the desired effect on you for an entire year, and set yourself up for those crappy odds to succeed, let your year be 12 weeks long too.
I most definitely plan for and set yearly goals too. I make sure that my 12-week goals all align with my bigger goals. As far as resolutions? I get to set them several times per year and it’s a system that rocks! The overwhelming feeling of 12 months to commit to an oftentimes guilt-driven resolution (if this is you, PUHLEASE stop doing that – resolutions can feel fun, empowering and playful) is gone and with a shorter amount of time, people tend to be more realistic with their plans and planned actions. What that means is that by planning in shorter chunks of time, we truly set ourselves up for success.
There’s more to the secret sauce of success than just leaning on a New Year Resolution. All the great intentions, hopes, and dreams can come true if you work for it. In the 12-week system, you make this achievable and realistic. I have a hard time distinguishing between a goal and a resolution, as I am equally committed to both.
Here’s the condensed version of how to do it!
Make a list of ALL. THE. THINGS. you want to see happen int he next year or so.
If you could make that a reality, what do you need to work on for the next 12 weeks?
How much progress do you need to make in the next 2 weeks?
These three points all feed into each other like this:
2-week focus → 12-week goals → 1-year target
Now it’s up to you.
You can let this be another great idea (yes, it is) that you see on the internet OR you can decide to implement. Right now is a good time!