5 Takeaways from The 12 Week Year Critical to Achieving Your Biggest Goals

The 12 Week Year, is one of the best books I’ve read about planning, goal setting, and getting more done. I also appreciate that authors, Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington speak thoroughly to the importance of not only getting more done, but getting the right things done.

I loved long-term planning when I was a classroom teacher and instructional coach and I adore planning goals for Edupreneur Today. Planning and goal setting comes natural to me.

Where I have tremendous room for growth is in my execution.

The premise of the 12 Week Year is to avoid the pitfalls and low productivity that results from annualized planning by redefining your year in 12 week increments.

I LOVE this concept because I am a multi-passionate educator and entrepreneur with TONS of ideas. The 12 Week Year gives me the structure I need to stay focused on a goal long enough to actually accomplish it while giving me flexibility to take action on different projects as I get excited about them at different points during the year.

Here are my top 5 takeaways from The 12 Week Year.


  1. Accountability is Crucial

Accountability often the missing piece of a very well thought out plan. Steven Covey once said “Accountability breeds response-ability.” A good accountability partner, or small group, will help you over procrastination and stagnation as you work towards achieving your goals. One

  1. Quarterly Planning is Powerful

Setting 12 month goals is certainly better than not planning at all, but the downfall in annualized planning is that the due date on the deliverable is as much as twelve months away. This can give the illusion that because you have so much time to accomplish to goal, there is not a sense of urgency to work towards this goal weekly and even daily.

  1. Track Progress Towards Goals Weekly

In my opinion, the aspect of The 12 Week Year that leads to increased productivity is tracking progress towards your action items on a weekly basis. I love the idea of tracking my execution on a day to day, week to week basis. Keeping track on how well I am executing my plan helps me see clearly where am I succeeding in my execution, and where there is room from growth.

  1. Prioritize Day to Day Tasks by Goal

Prioritizing how to spend time on a daily basis is critical for the success of any goal. The problem that I, and many emerging entrepreneurs are faced with is HOW do I prioritize the time I’ve dedicated to running my business. Planning in this way has allowed me to see clearly what I should focus on each week of my 12 year plan. I can then take the weekly plan and prioritize which tasks to focus on each day.

  1. Monitor Lag and Lead Indicators

As I was navigating the book the terms “lead indicator” and “lag indicator” were frequently repeated. I couldn’t help but wonder about the simplified meaning of these fancy business terms. An example of a lag indicator would be, say, to earn $5,000 in your business by the end of the quarter, or, to increase your students’ assessment scores by 10% on the next quarterly assessment. These are lag indicators because the actual goal will not be achieved until the end of the 12 Week Plan.

Lead indicators are measured in shorter time frames. An example of a lead indicator is sending weekly emails to your list promoting a different product or service or working in small groups with each student weekly until the next quarterly assessment. The idea is that if you are monitoring your lead indicators, you will greatly increase the likelihood of achieving your lag indicator.

Ideas are great and goal planning is essential, but if you want to achieve your most important goals, you must take action on what matters most. For me, The 12 Week Year has given me the structure to make that happen. What goals are you currently striving to meet? Does the 12 Week Year system appeal? I would love to hear your comments below.


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  • Crystal Ngumezi

    Love this! These will definitely help me for next year

  • I’ve never considered this concept before but I can instantly see how it would be helpful to set goals with a shorter timeframe.

  • Babies to Bookworms

    This book is on my to read list! Great post!

  • Laura

    This sounds like a great book! I have no trouble planning, is getting it all done. Or prioritizing what needs to be done. I know that since we will be homeschooling in the next year or so, I need to figure out planning the best way possible and I love the idea of doing 12 weeks at a time.

  • Melissa Dow

    I haven’t read this book yet. It’s really great! I’ll have to add it to my list. Great tips!

  • Alfa Sengupta

    Ok. I totally need to read this book!!!! I’m hoping for more organization and order in my life for 2017, and this book seems like the ticket!

  • Julie Overpeck

    I read this book last spring and have been using the principles both at home and at work. My productivity has shot through the roof, although I feel no busier than before! Creating weekly to-do lists based on weekly goals, which are based on 12-week goals, is a simple but powerful concept.