Part 3 – Set Goals And Intentions
Have you ever set yourself long-term goals and failed? If so, you’re not alone. The problem is usually two-fold.
Firstly, your goals are too long-term. By that I mean your timescales for completion are not close enough to feel urgent. To ensure you stay on target, your goals must be within reach at all times. A few weeks is the perfect amount of time to feel close and therefore urgent, but still achievable if you knuckle down.
Secondly, you are not breaking those goals down into smaller chunks that you can measure progress with. If you don’t have measurable targets, you’re more likely to be oblivious to the fact that you’ve missed them completely. By setting weekly and daily targets that fit into your overall short-term plan and longer term goals, you’ll always have something to work towards that, if tackled in small chunks, will get you closer to your end point much quicker and with more certainty.
These two points are where most people go wrong and thus fail to achieve what they thought they’d set out to do. If you’re one of those people, it’s ok, it’s not your fault, you just didn’t know how to set goals correctly.
In reading The 12 Week Year : Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington, you’ll learn that by getting out of that over-used year-to-year mindset and setting clearly defined goals that span just 12 weeks, you can achieve a hell of a lot more in 12 weeks than you previously would in a much longer time period. To ensure you achieve your 12-week goals, you must tackle one or two items only, and ignore everything else that doesn’t fall within your overall strategy to meet those goals.
Typically, we set our objectives just once a year, so it’s easy to lose sight of the end goal and feel like we’ve plenty of time to catch up. In reality, we hardly ever make up for lost time spent on irrelevant activities, so this traditional annual cycle is simply too long. Shift that cycle into a 12-week sprint and you’re never far enough away from your goal to lose sight of what needs to be done today and you won’t have time to take your foot off the gas.
How I Applied This Theory
This 12 Week Year approach is exactly what I used when writing Cracking The Website Code. Don’t get me wrong, I hadn’t even read the above-mentioned book at when I started writing, but I was unwittingly following its principles by virtue of the fact that the course I was taking was intended to have me write and publish my book within 90 days. In case you haven’t put two and two together, 90 days is roughly 12 weeks.
By writing my book while completing a set of objectives each week, I had completed a cycle of The 12 Week Year. Focused, determined, single-minded is how I felt. And it turned out almost perfectly—my book was written inside those 12 weeks, then edited and brought to market within another month.
With clear, pre-defined goals, my focus never wavered, so I suggest you do the same.