How to Set Goals that STICK Using the Principles of the 12 Week Year
Today I want to talk about how to set goals that stick, and how to set yourself up for success using the principles in the book, The 12 Week Year. But first, let’s talk about goal setting in the broader sense.
Setting and Achieving Goals that Stick (Year After Year)
Most people I know set annual goals. It’s a well-known fact that if you write your goals down, you’ll get drastically better results than if you don’t. According to Inc.com, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. That number goes up even higher if you spend a few minutes each day focusing on your goals and visualizing them.
However, goals without a plan for implementing them are useless. For most people, it is the implementation piece that has always been missing. That’s why the framework in the book the “12 Week Year” is so powerful. It gives you a roadmap for implementing your goals that is easy to follow, it gets you out of overwhelm, and most of all it shows you that those big annual goals entrepreneurs set are 100% achievable if you follow the framework.
How to Set Goals that Stick. Where Do You Start?
- Step #1 is to do a quick review of last year. What went wrong? Better yet, what went right?
- Get clear on your vision and your dream. In a perfect world, you would take a day (or two) and go off by yourself for this process. An alternative to doing this is to take a couple of hours and sit down and do a brain dump to begin the process. What do you want your life to look like? Don’t be afraid to dream big.
- You should look at every area of your life. Your: health, family, business/career, relationships, personal growth, faith, finances, and fun. (Don’t forget about fun.) When you are doing this look at the “season” you are in. People with small children will be in a different season than empty nesters. In other words, you will have different priorities.
- What’s your why? It’s critical that you get clear on this, because when the going gets tough, this is what will keep you moving forward.
Next… Do a Brain Dump
When you’re doing this brain dump, don’t put any limits on what you want your life to look like.
Wayne Dyer wrote a book called, “You’ll See it When You Believe It”. In other words, thoughts become things. You must believe it’s possible before you can ever attain your goals or manifest any dream into your life.
Here are some tips when doing your brain dump:
- Let go of your limiting beliefs. Anything is possible once you get rid of your limiting beliefs. If you need help doing this, check out the podcast I did with mindset expert, Nina Cook a few weeks ago on imposter syndrome and getting rid of your limiting beliefs. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes.
- You can’t change the past, so stop looking in the rearview mirror. Don’t let what happened in the past influence what you want your future life to look like. Focus on what you can change and move forward.
- Remember…thoughts become things. You may as well set your sights high.
Learning how to set goals that stick is not an easy thing. It’s a process. If there is one thing I’ve learned about goal setting, it’s that we tend to think too small. Your goals should stretch you. They should put you in the “uncomfortable zone”.
Choosing a Word or a Theme for the Year is Extremely Helpful
Before we dive into the framework of the 12 week year, I want to mention one thing. I have found it enormously helpful to have a word for the year or a theme for the year. Last year mine was “self-care”. I need to be honest here. Once Covid-19 came along, I totally failed at that. Most of my goals including my health goals changed because of the “circumstances”. Looking back on 2020, I realized I needed a big mindset shift for 2021. I needed to remind myself of these things…
“You can’t change the past, focus on what you can change and move forward, and never forget that your thoughts become things”.
Goal Setting the 12 Week Year Way – The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington
I have to tell you; I love this book!
I purchased it at the beginning of the year in 2015, and I have used it since that time as a framework for building my business. The basic idea of this book is that you can get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months when you implement the concepts outlined in the 12 Week Year.
The magic word here is “implementation”. If you create your 12-week plan and then implement it, I can promise you that you will succeed. I have always been an aggressive goal setter. So much so that those goals would be practically impossible to achieve because I didn’t have formula or a framework for achieving them. That’s why I like using this method to set goals.
You might be wondering, “What if I fall short? What if I don’t nail everything on my list”? The answer is that you will still be light years ahead of everyone else that doesn’t have a plan. If you intend to have a different year this year, you must do things differently. Creating goals that stick will stretch you if you’re doing it correctly.
What Differentiates “Great” Performers?
The one thing that differentiates great performers from those that are mediocre is their ability to execute what they know and what they know they need to do.
Most of us know what we should do, however putting together a plan and executing it is a whole different matter. That’s where the best-laid plans tend to fall apart. When it comes to achieving our goals, there is often a gap between what we should be doing and what we are willing to do to get there. We often find a way to avoid doing the hard stuff.
Big annual goals are great, and they are necessary for growing your business. But how do you nail the implementation piece when life continually gets in the way?
How Goals Many Goals is Too Many?
Now is the perfect time to point out that you should only have 3 or 4 big goals (or big rocks) for the year. You need to keep your eye on the big picture while creating an executable plan of action but keep your immediate focus on a few big things.
The first step is to look at your big annual goals. Once you’ve done that, create 12-week blocks of time and decide what you will put your focus on for just that 12 week period. Next, break that 12 week period into months, then into weeks, and finally into daily tasks that will help you accomplish your goals.
Here Is an Example.
Let’s say, you want to close 12 off-market deals in the next 12 months. That will involve setting up marketing campaigns. As you know, direct mail and most types of marketing take a while to gain momentum. Looking at this from a purely practical standpoint, it’s not realistic to think you will buy one property a month in each of those first few months. It could happen, but it’s not likely.
A more realistic scenario would be that as you commit to implementing your marketing plan, you will buy 1 property in the first quarter, 2 in the second quarter as your marketing begins to get some traction, 4 houses in the 3rd quarter, and 5 properties in the last quarter. Now that’s just an example. Keeping your marketing the same going forward, it would be perfectly achievable to buy 3 to 5 houses a quarter year after year. Your numbers will vary somewhat due to things like holidays, bad weather, and other unforeseen events. It will also depend on how consistent you are with your marketing. If you increase your marketing, you will then be able to generate more leads and so that you can buy more properties. More leads = more deals. As you can see, your focus for this initial 12-week segment should be on marketing.
If you want help creating a roadmap and a marketing plan for generating more leads, I’ll be hosting a workshop in February to help you with this. Be sure to check back weekly for more details. You can also head over to the Louisville Gal’s Real Estate Blog, grab one of the freebies over there and you’ll be notified as soon as registration opens.
What Can You Expect if You Implement this Framework?
When you live the 12 week year the authors say you will:
- Regain control of your day
- Increase your income
- Lower your stress
- Accomplish your goals in record time
- Balance the priorities in your life
I believe this is true. Implementing the framework of 12 week year will force you to create priorities. It will also determine how you spend your time and ultimately how you will accomplish your 12-week goals (in record time). Can you see how this all works together?
I want to be clear that this is not about working more. This is about working more efficiently so that you can accomplish your goals.
Working Your Plan One Day at a Time
Long term results are created by consistent actions you take every day.
While it’s important to plan for the future, that future is actually created by the actions we take every day. The one thing we have control over is those daily, weekly, and monthly actions that ultimately create our results.
To recap: once you have your plan for the next 12 weeks, you then put those into buckets which are the 3 individual months. Next, create a weekly plan which you will implement through your daily actions. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? It’s simple but it’s not always easy like a lot of other things in your real estate investing business.
The Three Principles
The 12 Week Year builds on 3 key principles:
- Greatness in the moment
Let’s look at each one of these three principles.
- The first one is accountability. Accountability happens when you take ownership of the implementation of your plan regardless of what life throws your way. Accountability is part of a person’s character; it is when a person is willing to own the actions and the results. Now let’s be clear, life does get in the way. However, this will allow you to get back on track easier and faster.
- Next is commitment. Commitment is a promise you make to yourself. The book says, “Keeping your promises to others builds strong relationships, and keeping promises to yourself builds character, esteem, and success”.
- The third principle is greatness. The book points out that greatness in the moment is all about making the choice now to do what is necessary to become great. Your ultimate results are only the confirmation of your greatness. Greatness is achieved long before you see the results.
Long term results are created by consistent actions you take every day.
The Real Treasure in this Book
I think the real treasures in this book are these 3 concepts. It will teach you:
- Shift your thinking
- Minimize distractions
- Create a realistic plan for your 12 week year so that you will be able to achieve your goals (in record time).
It also addresses some of the common pitfalls everyone is likely to face, and it has a whole list of success tips to help you along the way. Finally, there is a whole chapter devoted to your first 12 weeks so that you start off on the right foot.
Implementing YOUR Plan
Whether you decide to follow the plan word for word or implement your own version of the 12 Week Year, I can promise you that you will see dramatic results if adopt the principles of this book. Following this framework will help you set goals that stick (and achieve them) year after year.
If you don’t have a copy of “The 12 Week Year” today, you can take the 1st step and write down the things you want to accomplish in the next 12 weeks. Make it an ambitious list. Then you can get your book and get all the details right for your own 12-week plan.
One Final Tip for Achieving Goals that Stick
Get an accountability partner to help you stay on track. I have several accountability partners myself for different areas of my business. One word of advice; pick someone that will hold your feet to the fire.
Want to Know How to Choose the Perfect Accountability Partner?
Here’s a link to a blog post I wrote on this topic. How to Change the Course of Your Business with an Accountability Partner.
Check out this podcast with Nina Cook on Conquering Imposter Syndrome where she also talks about getting rid of limiting beliefs
Book: “You’ll See It When You Believe It” by Wayne Dyer
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