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How to Make Goal Setting Work: The 12 Week Year 

It’s the beginning of the year so everyone is goal setting. We all have the best intentions. But it is the rare few who actually accomplish the goals they set out to achieve at the beginning of the year. 

It’s not the goals that are the issue - they are probably great and mostly achievable! The real problem is how we set them and the timelines we give ourselves. 

Here’s what I do now and why it works. 

I use the 12-Week Year method for my personal life, my business, and all my clients’ plans. Why? Because it taps into a fundamental part of human nature. It actually lets you “get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months”. 

What is the 12 Week Year?

The 12-Week Year gives you a concentrated focus on the highest priority activities to get you results. It adjusts your perspective on time to look at 12 Weeks as we have been trained to look at 12 Months. So your new “year” is 12 Weeks long, not 12 months. You condense your timelines and achieve more. Pretty simple!

Why does this matter?

A full year is a lot of time and when we spread out our goals over 12 long months, we deprioritize the tasks and kick the can to the next month often. By the time November comes around we are demoralized when we realize we are not close to accomplishing our goals because for the last 10 months we felt like we had so much time left. Read the book for the full concept of Periodization that Brian Moran and Mike Lennington adapted for us. But that is the gist. 

How I use the 12-Week Year

Rather than explain it, I am going to share a few of my exact goals laid out in the 12-Week Year format. I included a personal goal, a financial goal, and 2 client based goals. You can replace mine with your own if you see the light too. If you need more info or context, here are the books that outline everything you need to know: 

Goal Statement 1: Increase my net worth by 50%

Key Motivations: 

  • Financial security. 

  • To buy a home and achieve a few other financial goals.

Tactics List with due date (I only share a few because this list is pretty long, but I tried to include a variety as thought starters):

  1. Decrease student loans by $700 each month. By the 14th of each month. 

  2. Post my drone services on Fiverr by 1/15/24.

  3. Open a new savings account for saving for getting 2 dogs by 1/25/24.

  4. Add recurring payments to that new savings account of $200/month starting 1/28/24. 

  5. Make February a “No-Spend” Month and track progress daily. (For me, this means no expenses outside of the basic needs). 

  6. Select 10 items to sell in my house by 2/1/24. 

  7. Post the 10 items for sale by 2/3/24. 

  8. Review my financial progress every Friday at 5pm. 

  9. Select a financial planner by 2/5/24 and set up a first meeting.

  10. Open a CD by 3/31/24

What support or assistance do I need to get, how, and when?

  • Meetings with my financial planner. 

  • Meeting with my Accountant. 

  • Calendar reminders for all of the tasks above. 

Goal Statement 2: Flip my first property

Key Motivations: 

  • Make more money. 

  • Increase my financial stability and security. 

  • Gain the knowledge to do it again, better, and for more money. 

  • Spend more time with dad. 

Tactics List with due date (I only listed a few because there are too many that are likely too boring for this post):

  1. Establish the parameters of what I am looking for by 1/11/24.

  2. Reach out to my realtor with the parameters I want by 1/12/24.

  3. Set up Zillow alerts by 1/13/24.

  4. Find a contractor by 1/16/24.

  5. Find a mentor by 1/20/24.

  6. Tour properties (as needed). 

  7. Create the financial assessment tool by 1/30/24.

What support or assistance do I need to get, how, and when?

  • A mentor who has done this before. 

  • My dad who has done this before. 

  • A good realtor who knows how to work within this model. 

  • A reliable contractor who can get the job done quick.

Goal Statement 3: Increase App Downloads for Client 1

Key Motivations: 

  • Achieve my client’s goals. 

  • Make more money. 

  • Prove that I can do this and my BOM Method works for all marketing (including App Marketing which will be a new add to the portfolio!).

Tactics List with due date (I am only listing a few here because there are a lot, and this is also how I make my money so I can’t give away all my secrets for free):

  1. Establish budget by 1/12/24. (Part of the overall Marketing Budget and I use this tool.)

  2. Select partners to work with by 1/16/24.

  3. Complete App Marketing course by 1/19/24.

  4. Create an App Marketing plan with all tactics and content by 1/26/24. 

  5. Turn Marketing Plan on 1/31/24. 

  6. Once the plan starts

  7. Track progress weekly. 

  8. Reply to all customer questions. 

  9. Optimize the content based on what inspires customers to take action. 

What support or assistance do I need to get, how, and when?

  • Partner to execute specific initiatives that require a deeper level of expertise. For example, an Influencer Marketing Agency. 

  • Course to refresh my knowledge on in app marketing and how to best use it to inspire purchases. 

  • Feedback on the content and progress from my team. 

Goal Statement 4: Increase Site Traffic for Client 2

Key Motivations: 

  • Achieve my client’s goals.

  • Make more money.

  • Prove my value and abilities. 

  • Collect more proof points that I can use to add value for others. 

Tactics List with due date (I am only listing a few here because there are a lot, and this is also how I make my money so I can’t give away all my secrets for free):

  1. Create and share 2024 Plan by 1/5/24.

  2. Outline all key tactics and needs for each by 1/12/24.

  3. Draft 3 pieces of long form content for the client to review and approve by 1/20/24. 

  4. Schedule all the social posts to accompany that long form content by 1/26/24. (I use Content Repurposing.)

  5. Solicit reviews for third party sites from 3 key people for each site by 1/26/24. 

  6. Initiate backlink strategy by 1/26/24. 

  7. Start commenting on key accounts posts by 1/31/24. 

  8. Reply to all comments and messages - ongoing. 

  9. Repost all content my client is tagged in - ongoing. 

What support or assistance do I need to get, how, and when?

  • Buy in from my clients on my proposed plan. 

  • Partners who are experts in key areas I identified as a need.

Goal Statement 5: Become a better writer 

Key Motivations: 

  • I want to write things people enjoy reading. 

  • I want to become a better storyteller for writing and marketing. 

  • I want to impact more people. 

Tactics List with due date:

  1. Write something (anything) publicly every day. 

  2. Keep a daily Story Bank.

  3. Write down every memory as they come to me (ongoing).

  4. Read 1 book per month about writing or storytelling (~10 pages per day).

  5. Tell people about my writing to get feedback and honest opinions. Tell 2 new people each week. 

  6. Read all the newsletters I subscribed to for ideas by Saturday of each week. 

What support or assistance do I need to get, how, and when?

  • Feedback from friends and family.

  • Support that I don’t suck entirely at this.

  • Tips and teachings from experts.

The Plan is Done, Now The Work Begins

And this is the hardest part. Sticking to the plan and holding myself accountable. Here’s how I do it: 

  • Each morning, I pick the top 3-5 tasks that must happen each day to move my goals forward. 

  • I have a secondary list of tasks I can work on if I finish the top 3-5. 

  • I prioritize the most important tasks first thing in the morning when I do my most productive work. It is a 2 hour block that is dedicated only to those priority tasks. (Thank you to the 5am Club for helping me structure my days better!) 

  • I schedule blocks of time for myself to review each goal and the tasks that move it forward each week. This time lets me shuffle things around if I need to. It also lets me assess what is and is not working. Also, all of these guided prompts are in that Planner I linked above. 

  • I do this on Saturdays and Sundays. But you could fit it in on a Friday afternoon. I put the invite on my calendar so that it cannot be booked over. 

There are probably more tips and tricks I use that I am forgetting about right now. There are plenty more suggestions in the 12-Week Year book. I use most, but not all. 

Writing this out publicly is another trick I use to hold myself accountable. 

Hope this outline helped you - if not, I know it will at least help me! 

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