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Welcome to Week 2 of the end-of-the-decade 12 Week Year adventure. Today I’m going to review how the previous week went and share my best tips on how to get back on track when you suffer a setback.
- Week 1 Update – Do it scared
I read the 12 Week Year last year as a way to help me get more done while in college. I LOVED it and wrote a whole long review that goes into more detail about what the 12 Week Year is and why I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
However, for those that don’t know, the 12 Week Year is a productivity and goal completion method developed by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington in their best selling book by the same name. It is described as a guide to creating results through focus, commitment, and accountability. Unlike a lot of other productivity books, it’s not just a book of theory but one that includes an actionable plan that you build as you read through it.
The core of the book can be summed down to 4 things:
- Shorten the timeline on goals that you set
- Prioritize your time through strategic time blocking and a task-focused weekly plan
- Measure how well you completed the steps you laid out for your goals weekly, and work to improve it
- Join a community for accountability and to refocus on your goals
Related Reading: Jumpstart Your New Year
Week 2 Progress Report
Well, that was an unexpectedly dismal week.
After riding high on motivation in Week 1, I hit a metaphorical brick wall in week 2. While writing the progress report for week one I started feeling a bit off. Physically I was feeling nauseous, emotionally I was feeling the start of a depressive episode. Not exactly how you want to start your week.
Although I was hoping that I would bounce back after a day of rest on Tuesday, my symptoms persisted and worsened over the week and I was essentially bedridden for the entire week going into the weekend. Thankfully the fog I was living in started to break on Saturday and I felt almost fully functional on Sunday.
The fog was bad enough that I wasn’t able to do much at all past changing sleeping positions hoping for relief.
My execution score for this week was a dismal 0%.
How am I going to improve next week
The thing about failing and feeling like you hitting rock bottom is that you can only get better from here. Does getting a zero execution score suck and make me want to crawl back into bed? Yeah, it does, a bit. But I have a goal that I am determined to finish. It’s time to get back on track.
This next week will be focused on trying to find a rhythm that works for me. I’ll be adding in a few tasks to try and “catch-up” to where I’m supposed to be in my timeline over the next few weeks. I’m going to resist the urge to DO ALL THE THINGS and slowly work my way back on track.
Which leads us into our tip for the week. How do you get back on track when you have a setback on your goals?
Tip of the Week – How to Get Back on Track
It can be easy to feel defeated when you experience a setback on your goals.
Maybe your cheat day turned into a cheat week or month. You got behind on your organizational tasks and the house looks like a tornado went through it. The plague and depression came calling and you lost a week (essentially a month in 12 Week Year time) of productivity.
Related Reading: How to Stick to Your Goals
1) Don’t beat yourself up for the setback
Yes, it sucks that you aren’t where you wanted to be at this point in your goal timeline. It’s probably even your fault that the setback happened.
THAT DOESN’T MATTER.
Beating yourself up over your setback only does one thing – set you back even further as you waste time feeling mad at yourself. And makes you feel worse for longer than you deserve. Okay, technically 2 things. But neither of them are good.
Instead of focusing on the setback, let yourself feel upset about it for a little while, but then focus on how you are going to do better.
2) Review your WHY and get remotivated
Sometimes the hardest thing to get back on track is the motivation you had before your setback.
My biggest tip for goal setting is to always know your “why” for setting the goal in the first place. This “why” is for times like right now when you have suffered a setback or are experiencing a time of low motivation.
If you haven’t yet thought about or figured out your “why” do it now. Write it down and hang it somewhere you can see it every day. Motivation is fickle and rarely comes when you really want it to but being reminded of WHY you are working hard can at least help you find motivation’s cousin – determination.
Related Reading: How to get motivated
3) Be reasonable with your plan to get back on track
When we get behind on our goal timeline it can be oh so tempting to just pile on as much as we can in the first few days so that you can catch-up to where you are “supposed” to be. As you’ve probably experienced time and again, this piling of expectations just leads to near-immediate burnout and a complete abandonment of your goal altogether.
A better way to get back on track with your goal is to make small increases to expected tasks over the length of your timeline. Or, simply extend your timeline out by however many days you missed.
Either way, make sure you aren’t causing yourself undue stress over “catching up”. It is much more important to make steady progress than it is to meet every step of an arbitrary timeline.
Although it can be easy to feel defeated when you experience a setback, it is important to keep going. Losing what amounts to a month of time in the 12 week year was super demoralizing but I’m not going to give up on my goals. And neither should you!
By being kind to yourself, using your why to remotivate yourself, and making a reasonable plan to catch-up, you can get back on track. Your adventure is not over yet. Here’s to making next week the best week!