Last year I tried to do a year-long goal-setting exercise called #FinishYear.
The biggest thing I learned was that I’m not good at year-long goal-setting exercises.
I used to think my inability to hold one thought for a solid year was a weakness.
Now, though, I see it as a strength.
I’m a high D and I. (DISC test.)
I’m an ENFP. (Myers Briggs)
I’m an Otter. (Forgot the name of that one.)
The bottom line is that I go.
I’m not a glacier that takes a thousand years to cross the ocean. I’m a solar flare. Bright, fast, on the move.
So how do I approach 2013?
Knowing that I’ve had much more enjoyable years when I’ve been deliberate with my time, do I change my design on the year?
Easy, I break the year down.
There are 365 days in the year.
There are 7 core areas of life. (Spiritual, Financial, Physical, Social, Mental, Career, Family.)
365 divided by 7 is 52 and some change.
And so begins my 52 & 7 challenge.
I can do anything for 52 days.
I’ve had horrible dating relationships I survived for longer than 52 days.
I’ve had miserable jobs I survived longer than 52 days.
I can do 52 days.
So can you.
And it just so happens most people tend to believe that, if you can do something for that many days, you can make a habit of it.
Best of all, this is also the approach that brings the best projects to life. Let me illustrate with a story.
A guy once told me about an extreme skier.
He asked this cliff skier, who gets dropped off at the top of mountains via helicopter, if he plans his whole run from the top. That is, does he plan every move before he starts? The skier said, “Never. I plan four moves at a time. By the time I get to the fourth move, there’s a cliff I can see that I couldn’t see from the top. There’s ice. Or a ridge that was hidden. I plan four moves at a time.”
Most of us plan our whole years when we are the dumbest.
In January, you have no idea what July holds or what September will be like or what storm will rock your shores in November. But you press on, and you make your biggest decisions when you have the least information at the start of the year.
Not this year.
This year, I’m only goal setting in 52 day chunks.
I’m going to:
1. Pick a goal or two in each of the 7 areas of life. (e.g. Physical = Working out 4 days a week.)
2. Crush said goals for 52 days.
3. Drop the ones I hate at the end of the 52 days, keep the ones I love, and then work on a brand-new set for 52 days.
I’m done with trying to predict a year. I’m done with holding on to boring goals when the year changes unexpectedly.
I’m up for 52 & 7.
If so, pick your goals. (I listed mine below as an example.) We’ll share them all tomorrow.
(If we start on January 2, we finish our 7th 52 sprint on December 31…perfectly.)
My goals for the first 52:
Bring my lunch to work 4 out of 5 days each week.
Sleep 7 hours 80% of the 52 days.
Work out 4 days every week.
Lose 10 pounds in the 52 days.
Hang out with my buddy Brewster once a week.
Return my friends’ phone calls within 24 hours.
Read two new books each month.
Respond to every work-related email within 24 hours.
Grow Pinterest to 20,000 folks.
Take Jenny on two dates a month.
Take my daughters out individually each month.
Read the first 52 days of a Read Through The Bible in 52 days program.