Imagine I told you to accomplish your goals. All of your goals. The goals you set for this year… 2017. And I told you to do it within 12 weeks. Could you do it?
I recently read the book “12 Week Year” by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington.
And I realized just how much more I could do with my time.
The key concepts are simple. And I’m going to share them with you.
Knowledge vs. Execution
We all know what to do. The problem is, we don’t do it.
Lack of knowledge isn’t the problem. Execution is.
Think about it. We have access to a lot of information. Available at our fingertips. Literally!
We could learn anything we want to learn — and the barriers to accessing knowledge are increasingly becoming non-existent.
Information overload becomes the problem.
And we don’t end up doing what we know we’re supposed to do.
How do we fix this?
By accepting the fact that it’s not what we know that counts. But what we do.
So what does that mean, and how do we do it?
Days vs. Weeks. vs. Months
When we know what to do, we need to urgently push ourselves to do it.
We set goals based on what we think we should do, but more often than not those goals are meant to be accomplished over a long time span.
We want to make $200k this year.
We want to lose 20 pounds this year.
We want to pay off $20k of debt… this year.
Now let’s kick it up and add a bit of urgency to our goals.
What if… instead of 12 months… we had only 12 weeks to accomplish those goals?
Wouldn’t that drastically change the plan of execution we would need to pursue in order to achieve our goals?
You’d have to do radically different things to earn $200k in just 12 weeks versus 12 months.
Same with losing weigh. Paying off debt. Saving up for a vacation.
I won’t go into too much detail here — I’ll share some insights with you when I show you the results of what I’ve done with the ideas in this book.
But essentially, you’ve got to accept that going after those big goals in a shorter time span requires you to be much more particular with how you spend your time.
It also kicks up your motivation and urgency — and aggressiveness — to passionately pursue the achievement of your goals.
Three Things You Need to Succeed
The book talks about three blocks you need to set each day, and recommends a certain number of hours for each.
They are: strategic, buffer and break blocks.
To simplify, you’ve got to spend time strategizing or planning the things you need to do so you can execute properly.
You’ve got to have buffer blocks to take care of administrative (ugh, mundane) tasks — and this shouldn’t eat into important planning time.
And you’ve got to have breaks — have fun — so you can remain enthusiastic about working on achieving your goals.
Time blocking is something I have yet to master.
I’ve figured it out for my morning schedule — but after that, my whole day is in disarray.
I have a great feeling about what I’ve accomplished so far with my morning schedule.
So after I figure out how to use these three time blocks for the rest of my day, I can pretty confidently say I’ll be able to achieve my one-year goals in just 12 weeks.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
“The secret to living your life to its potential is to value the important stuff above your own comfort.”
Many of us live life in our comfort zone.
Every day, we do what we’re used to. We don’t stray too far outside of our comfort zone. But this hinders us from totally living our life to its full potential.
Here’s an example.
I don’t consider myself very fit. I would go out mountain biking whenever I felt like it. Go to the gym whenever my brother-in-law invites me. I hated running when I was in high school. I bought the P90X and P90X3 programs and never made it past a month (though I came close… on several occasions).
Then I realized the value of fitness, being healthy, and what it really meant to me.
If I’m fit, I’ll have more energy. I’ll be able to really crush it at work. And have enough energy to spend time with my family, especially coming home and playing with my daughter.
So I decided to embrace ‘working out’ head on. After my wife repeatedly told me to hire a personal trainer.
I didn’t want to spend the money to have someone tell me what I already knew how to do.
But I realized something profound.
Sure, I know what to do. But there must be a reason why I never do it.
I’m in my comfort zone.
And I needed someone to take me out of it. For the better.
I hired a personal trainer earlier this month. And, oh boy, the changes to my lifestyle were ridiculous.
You see — working as a Real Estate Broker and leading an office in Richmond Hill, I had to commute 45+ minutes to work.
In order to fit my one-hour workout into my daily schedule, I had to wake up at 5am.
I’m a night owl. I’d go to bed around 10/11 and fall asleep around 11/12. Seven to eight hours of sleep means waking up at 7-8am the next day.
Waking up at 5am was way out of my comfort zone. But I had to do it.
My Morning Schedule
Since execution was a key concept in this book that I know I had to master, I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone.
I started going to bed at 9am. And I set my alarm.
First for 5am. Then 4:55am.
And today… 4:47am.
In the beginning, it was very uncomfortable.
But now, I’ve gotten used to it.
And it transformed my morning schedule. (But that’ll be another blog post!)
What Do You Want to Achieve?
So let me ask you a question: What do you want to achieve in the next 12 weeks?