Have you sat down at the beginning of the year and planned out the results you want to have by the end of the next 12 months?
Have you found it hard to focus on getting those results for the entire year or have you had years where you have pivoted and changed direction because another thing came up?
I bet you did and the reason I know is it’s the same for everyone else I know.
Trying to plan a years’ worth of activities to get a certain result is just too long a timeline to plan on.
Yes, by all means, set you major goals over a year or two but if you plan the things you work on over this period, you will find it difficult to stay on track.
And what about setting monthly goals instead?
Now, this can be a little too close as it can take longer to see results. Like Facebook Ads for instance. Did you know on average it takes about 42 days to see the bulk of results from the paid ads? If you had a monthly goal you may stop working on your ad just before you get the best results from your efforts. Ouch.
There is a good balance point for planning I have found. It’s the Quarter. Every three months or 90 days. However, you like to put it.
I learned about planning activities each quarter this from a book called “The 12 Week Year”. An amazing book by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington. The book outlines how breaking down a year into 12-week chunks will help you achieve much more than most will do in a year.
And by the time you complete four of these in a year, you will have accomplished so much more than spinning your wheels swapping from project to project.
You can use this as a filter when new things come in. Let’s say you get introduced to a new marketing tactic and you’d love to give a go? You can say to yourself “This is great. Let’s add this to the list of things to consider in the next 12 week year”. And you don’t need to wait until next year to try it or just pivot as most people do.
12 weeks is long enough period to get some great results and to be patient enough to execute on all the activity you want to do over the period.
I highly recommend reading the “12 Week Year” book. No need to go nuts with all their planning guides and frameworks but get the essence of planning in 12-week chunks.
I included the 12 week year as a tool to be used in my Accelerate book. I wrote the book to help e-commerce store owners to focus on a few projects that will deliver fast results and help them to reach a level of sales and automation where they can focus on growing their business beyond their wildest dreams. Click here to check out the Accelerate book here.