Book Review – The 12 Week Year

I was so inspired when reading The 12 Week Year that I started implementing its system before I’d even finished reading the book.

The 12 Week Year

The 12 week year works like this:

1. You construct a vision of what you want your future to look like. You need to ensure that you have a strong emotional connection to your vision.
2. You create some 12 week goals that will bring you closer to achieving your vision.
3. You create a 12 week plan that contains a list of tasks you need to complete in order to achieve your 12 week goals.
4. Every week, you construct a weekly plan which is made up of tasks from your 12 week plan.
5. At the end of every week, you measure your progress.
6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until your 12 week year is complete.

Why 12 Weeks?

Why a 12 week year, you may ask? What’s wrong with a good ‘ol 12 month year?

In theory, a 12 week year creates a stronger sense of urgency. With such a short time horizon, it’s much harder to put things off to the last minute. Suddenly, every day becomes much more important.

At the heart of annualized thinking is an unspoken belief that there is plenty of time in the year to make things happen. In January, December looks a long way off.”

Your Life Probably Isn’t That Bad

There were so many inspiring moments in The 12 Week Year, the greatest of which was the story of a boy named Dustin who had both his arms and legs amputated. Despite this, he managed to overcome the odds and went on to become a wrestler.

Barriers? Really? When I think about what Dustin had to overcome, and I look at the things I let hold me back, I’m embarrassed. What about you? What do you let stand in your way?

Really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

Do you have problems staying motivated to achieve the things you want in life? You’re not alone.

Given a choice, people choose immediate and certain short-term comfort over potential long-term benefits almost every time, unless there is a compelling reason to choose otherwise.

My 12 Week Year

I use Trello to track my 12 Week Year, with lists titled Vision, 12 Week Goals, 12 Week Plan and Weekly Plan. When constructing my vision, I searched for imagery to represent the things I wanted most in life, and attached them to my Vision list. The following picture represents the part of my vision that resonates with me the most:

Front of a kayak on a misty lake
An early morning paddle in my kayak

What does your vision look like? Let me know in the comments below.