A Focused Framework for Change
If we want to create and sustain a Victorious Cycle, we need a framework for focusing on that which is most important.
Explore the full show notes and links at VictoriousCycle.com/5.
Annual Planning Sucks
A year is too long of a timeframe. We cannot make realistic plans or set achievable goals that are a year in length. On the rare occasion annual goals work, it is because we have a deadline. We need a deadline, not an annual goal. And 365 days is too far away to be a realistic deadline.
Black Friday exists because so many companies are behind their goals and are trying to make it up in the last few months. The fourth quarter is often the most focused because of that deadline. We can get that same focus and productivity four times as often if we operate in quarterly cycles instead of annual ones.
Build your planning, goals, and deadlines around a quarter instead of a year. There have been repeated studies that show that people’s productivity toward annual goals starts to fall off at around ninety days. Books like The Twelve Week Year and Traction tout the benefits of having a quarterly reset that energizes us and then sprinting for 12 weeks to hit the goal. If you plan and execute in quarters instead of years, you can reset your focus and hit your goals four times as often.
A year is too long. A month may be too short. But we can get meaningful work done and achievable progress toward goals in a quarter.
People live on a weekly schedule. They work Monday-Friday, not always the 1st through the 5th. They go to church on Sundays, not the 1st and 15th. Financial bills seem to be the only thing in life that operate on a monthly cycle. We plan our life on a weekly basis, starting on a Monday and ending with the weekend.
We use 13 weeks, 91 days, in our Quarterly Cycle. If we use a calendar quarter (January-March, April-June, etc.), then our quarters start on a different day of the week. If we use 90 days, we run into the same issue. By using 13 weeks, our quarter always starts on Monday. Our year (used for Targets, not Goals), also always starts on a Monday (January 2nd, 2023). Four Quarterly Cycles come out to 364 days, so our year shifts by one day each calendar year.
We use Week 13 as a wrap-up and planning week. Wrap up our previous quarter, and plan the next. Then we can hit the ground running in Week 1. Run hard for 12 weeks. We only have 12 weeks, not 52! The deadline is there, and the motivation is higher.
By setting all our goals and plans to Quarterly Cycles, we can create achievable goals and maintain motivation throughout. By using 12 weeks for production and one week for review and planning, we get the rest and focus we need and achieve and push the rest of the quarter. The Victorious Planner is set up using this system.
Try it. After switching to Quarterly, you’ll never go back.
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