Do you make New Year Resolutions? It seems like it is easier to work toward the goals at the beginning of the year, but once a few months pass, they fall off the radar.
It ends up being discouraging, and yet, if we want to get closer to our goals and dreams, we need to at least try to have goals…..right?
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What if instead of making goals for 12 months, the “year” was shortened to 12 weeks? Let me introduce you to The 12 Week Year.
It’s not a typo! It is a book, The 12 Week Year. This is a great book that helps break down the steps to work towards your goals.
The great thing about the 12 weeks is that you can start anytime instead of feeling like you have to wait until January 1st.
I love this concept of writing goals for a 12 week period. The time period is long enough to accomplish something and yet short enough to keep you focused.
It keeps you motivated.
Time to work on these action plans should be scheduled in your day.
Goals can be in different categories such as these:
Choose 2 or 3 goals for each 12 week period.
It will allow you enough time to really work at those goals before moving on to another set for a different 12 week period.
If you have too many goals at one time, there is not enough time to focus on each one. We get discouraged if we don’t see progress towards our goals.
Make SMART goals.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-Bound
WRITE the goals down! Keep them where you can see them.
I typed mine up and printed them on card stock. I kept this in my planner and could always refer to it to remind me. This is just one of many ways.
Goals into Action Steps
Break those 2 or 3 goals into action steps.
What things can you do to accomplish them?
Financial SMART Goal- pay extra $1,250 towards car note (above the minimum due) by end of 12 weeks, date of xx/xx/xxxx. (specific goal)
Example action steps –
-Reduce grocery bill by $50 each week ($50 x 12 weeks = $600)
-Reduce eating out lunches from 5 days a week to 2 days a week. Bring lunch from home. (3 days x 12 weeks x $8/meal = $288)
-Reduce eating out dinners from 4 times a month to 2 times a month. (2 times per month x 3 months x $60 = $360)
$1,248 Total (Find $2 – one less coffee!)
Working on the Action Steps
Implement the action steps!
It takes discipline to work towards these.
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to remember “WHY” the goal is important to you.
There will be times that it will be more difficult to stay focused, but reflect back on the “why” the goal was established.
It takes planning to make this happen.
In the example above, if you don’t plan what days you bring lunch to work, then you’ll loose that opportunity to save money that week. To catch up, you’ll have to tweak the steps and bring lunch more the other weeks.
Another way to stay motivated is to determine how you feel rewarded.
I love to check off lists and like to see my progress visually. I’m not a big fan of drinking water, but I’m actively trying so that I can reduce the number of soda drinks I drink.
I bought stickers that can track how much water I drink and this really motivates me to see the progress (or lack of progress and I need to work on it). The sticker has a “raindrop” for each bottle of water I drink and I fill it in once I’ve finished it. I also feel better when I’m drinking more water, but the visual is more motivation for me versus just feeling better, but they both help.
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. – Jim Rohn
Set your goals for 12 weeks at a time. The time period is short enough to stay focused and long enough to accomplish something. Chose 2 or 3 goals each 12 weeks and remember to look at the various areas of your life when determining the goals – health, personal, spiritual, professional, relationships, and financial. Make SMART goals, break them into action steps, and keep them visible. Determine your “why” and work on the action steps.
You can do this!
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