This year, I’m conducting an experiment. I mentioned it in a post entitled, Create a Better New Year. In case you missed it, here’s the essence of my project – I’ve divided my annual plan into four separate 12-week years. Today, the 20,018th day of my life, is the first day of my “new year.”

What have I learned thus far? I have four big take-aways.

Having a 12-week year does keep my energy and focus high. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to try this. As expected, it’s hard to delay activities until later when you realize you’ve only got 12 weeks until the “year ends.”

A 12-week year does make the linkage to my life plan is easier. That’s another reason for this approach. I felt like my annual plan wasn’t connected well enough to my long-term life plan. I’m not really sure why the 12-week format feels more aligned; maybe it’s because I’m actually referring to my plan more often.

It is easier to move past my previous gaps and shortcomings at “Year End.” Just like January 1st represents a fresh start each year, so does today. I’m writing this on April 1st. My new year has begun. It is full of promise and potential. What happened “last year” (a.k.a. the last 90 days) is history. I like that.

If I overcommit in the planning process, having a 12-week year doesn’t remedy the tension that creates. As a longtime advocate for personal plans, I know I tend to bite off more than I can chew. I wondered if this new planning format would enable me to do more – it hasn’t. However, I’d still rather accomplish 60% of an aggressive plan rather than 100% of a timid one.

So, what’s the bottom line? I had some significant wins in the “first year” of this experiment. I hit my target weight; I improved my fitness level (although I didn’t run the half marathon); I completed the first draft of my next book, and more. I’m updated my plan for days 20,018 – 20,109. The experiment continues and I’m excited about a “new year!”

Whether you embrace a 12-week year or not, is not the point. The point is – progress is always preceded by change. So here’s the question I’ll offer you in closing…

What do you need to change to improve your effectiveness over the next 90 days?

I’ve got a plan to help me answer to that question. How about you?[GLS_Shield]

 

Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.