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  • Christie Varner

PJS #006: Accomplish more in 12 Weeks than in 12 months

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

In this week’s issue of Profit & Joy Simplified, I want to break down a method to accomplish more in the next 12 weeks than you have in 12 months.

A couple of years ago, I came across Brian Moran’s book The 12 Week Year.

He talked about shortening the time frame of our goals from annual goals to 12 week ones and this really stood out to me:

I had been using a methodology similar to it for years for myself & my clients, but his way of explaining was just so simple that I immediately adopted parts of it.

Unfortunately, most annual goals are never achieved.

12 Months is too long

Why is a year too long of a time period to consistently accomplish results?

  • We procrastinate and delay

  • Things change over 12 months

  • We lose motivation

  • We cram it in at the end

If we moved to the idea that a year was 12 weeks - so every week was like a month? Now that might just work.

How a 12 Week Year Works, step by step

Step 1: Create a compelling vision

Your vision motivates you to push through the difficult, boring or uncomfortable times that arise while working to achieve meaningful goals.

You’ll want to create 2 visions:

  • Successful You - think about who you ultimately want to be. Close your eyes and envision down to the details of what a day looks like, your level of enjoyment, how much you travel, where you live, how you spend your days. Get to know Successful You.

This is something I’ve done for awhile & it felt weird to me at first. But I now know Successful Christie & can see her. I am becoming more like her because I know where I’m heading! Try it.

  • 3 Year You - if you were to call me in 3 years and say “You won’t believe how great my business/life is now,” (as you move toward Successful You), what would you be telling me? Now you’ll be thinking about what you’d want to achieve within the next 3 years. This could include growing your business to $5M in revenue, working 35 hours a week, traveling 4 weeks a year, or even being available for family dinner every night.

Once you have these visions, come up with a way to review them daily: screen saver on your phone or computer, print them & put them on your wall, write them down daily. Whatever works for you, but you want to see them daily - and anytime you need an injection of motivation to keep going.

Step 2: Set 12-week goals & activities

Based on your vision, choose 1-3 goals to pursue for the next 12 weeks. These should be SMART goals - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound - to improve the chances of accomplishing them.

Next, you’ll need to determine 3-5 actionable activities per goal that’ll help you accomplish that goal. Assign a frequency and due date for each activity.

Step 3: Plan & Calendar

If you don’t calendar the activities, you won’t achieve your goals. Knowing what we need to do is not enough - we need to have it scheduled out to make it happen.

  • Take 15 minutes every Monday to plan your week.

  • Re-read your vision every morning.

  • Take 5 minutes to review your ay & see how your actions align with your vision

Step 4: Keep score weekly

If you don’t measure your progress, how do you know how you’re doing? Score yourself so you can see what’s working & what’s not so you can make adjustments along the way. At the end of each week, also jot down take-away ideas.

Moran suggests scoring on a % basis for each action step & then averaging those activities so you get a single score for your goal. The score will allow you to celebrate wins & confront areas where you are not executing.

I track all this on a spreadsheet for myself & my clients. It just helps make it simple for me.

Step 5: Learn & Go

At the end of the 12 weeks, take time to reflect on whether you achieved your goals. If you didn’t, it’s either an execution issue or that the action steps weren’t the correct ones to achieve that goal (in 12 weeks). It becomes much easier to determine the issue when it’s just those 2 factors.

Spend the next week setting up your next 12 week goals (and I usually continue on with my current activities).


If you’re open to considering a new method to achieving goals, I’d take some advice from Moran, from my own experience and from my clients and give this 12 week method a try.

It's definitely worthwhile to pick up the book too.

Don’t expect perfection. You can start anytime because this isn’t tied to calendar quarters. What are you waiting for? Start now!

1. Create a compelling vision

2. Set 12-week goals & activities

3. Plan & Calendar

4. Keep score weekly

5. Learn & Go

What goals are you setting for the next 12 weeks? I’d love for you to let me know.

Thanks for reading.

See ya again next week!

Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you

1. Get help building a 12 week plan, cash flow forecast or understanding the levers affecting your profit here.

2. Want to chat about how I can help you achieve your vision of success? Schedule a call to see if we'd be a good fit to work together.

3. I post on LinkedIn every weekday at 7:15a CST. I'd love to connect. Find me here!

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