Being forced to sit out the start of the year thanks to a severed tendon in my dominant hand has allowed me to spend a little more time than I usually do pondering what I’d like to set my sights on for the coming year.
My review for the previous year turned out to be a little deflating. Not to say I didn’t get good and positive things done last year, they just weren’t necessarily the things I’d set out to do from the start.
Was I disappointed? No. It just made me question the usefulness of planning 12 months into the future when changes in direction, or life just… happens… as it invariably does.
Around the same time (my busted hand hiatus) I happened upon the concept of 12WY (The 12 Week Year). Now, I must admit I didn’t go too deep into the minutia of the concept (ie. didn’t go as far as to actually read the book or anything) but the shallow surface level takeaway that piqued my interest was to take the annual goal setting and review structure that I was so used to and applying it to a 12 week timescale instead.
Tack a week on to review and plan for the next makes 13 weeks – 13 x 4 = 52 weeks. So, effectively focusing only on a quarter at a time. This allows greater scope for pivots due to changes in circumstances, ideals, opportunities or whatever.
I’ve decided to take it a little further and make the first and last blocks of the year 10 weeks long rather than 12 by taking the last two and the first two weeks of the year off.
The time leading up to Xmas, the kids school holidays, New Years, summer weather, vast South Australian beaches, catching up with friends… nothing much invariably happened in this time anyway. So rather than getting down because I’m not getting to that work I’d planned to do (or dealing with that nagging feeling that I should be doing something) I can instead just relax and be present with my family and friends safe in the knowledge that I’ll pick things up again once the breaks over… week three of the new year.
It is the process of making these continual adjustments based on new things learned – both from external sources and personal experience – that is the basis of what growth and improvement is all about.