The Twelve Week Year: How Adjusting to a Shortened Year Can Propel Your Success


My husband is a smarty pants and comes across new visionaries, frameworks, and perspectives that we can try. He is always engineering and tinkering. It helps me to shed some of my pre-conceived notions and blindspots. Anyway, we’ve explored some new ways of thinking over the last two years. Some, we stick to, others we don’t, but ultimately each little experiment satiates a curiosity. We have a lot of books sitting around our apartment that touch on various spiritual and health approaches. There are some Youtube and Podcasters that we both follow, and through osmosis I get to learn about whatever Ryan is researching. We’ve had a lot of good conversations and shared experiences exploring some new areas. We have listened to Dave Ramsey, Sam Harris, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, and Thich Nhat Hanh. We have learned about minimalism, plant-based diet, keto diet, mindfulness, buddhist principles, and accountability.

In years past, I didn’t even want to explore. Change wasn’t a priority for me… yet. Now, I’m chasing learning and growth with reckless abandon. I want to find things that will help me remove struggles I’ve had for years.

I’ve been learning about accountability in a professional setting. I’m thankful for my ability to take stock of whether or not someone (including myself) is being accountable - it extends to all facets of life.

Today, Ryan said that he had a new concept to share with me. We’re still listening to the audiobook right now, but I am already sold on the fact that I will be listening to it again, more intently, mabye with a pen and paper in hand. This is “The 12 Week Year”. I hate gimicky-self-helpy stuff, and often find that it misses the mark, but I think this book can be a very practical resource for someone who is looking to make some real, calculated changes in their life. The message touches on the importance of big-picture concepts like intentionality and foresight, but the book then also breaks down how to lay out plans so that they can be accomplished. It’s all about putting mindfulness into action.

Disclaimer: This audiobook, well, is not fun. It is not sexy. It could be considered boring. But, I think it has a lot of utility to it. Several times, while listening to the audio book together, I looked at my husband and indicated that the book may have, in fact, blown my mind. I’m excited to keep listening and affect some real change in my life!

I have a very cut and dry PDF filled with visuals to illustrate the points in “The 12 Week Year”. Look how bland, but also completely relevant this information is. There are gems all over the place in this document!

Example of one of the charts in “The 12 Week Year”

Example of one of the charts in “The 12 Week Year”

Here are some other key points from the 12 Week Year that have stuck with me:

  • “Intentionality is your war on mediocrity.“

  • “In God we Trust, Others Must Bring Data”

  • “Measurement provides important feedback that allows you to make effective decisions.” This, ladies and gentleman, might be one of the most boring and important sentences I’ve ever read.

All of this intentionality is about planning. Planning gets a bad wrap, and I know why… it can be inherently painful. Planning makes you come to terms with reality and sometimes that just sucks (Ie: I want to spend the weekend in Portland. But I don’t have any money.”) But, planning has real value and utility and is ultimately worth it in the end… it’s actually a way to get what we want. Who knew?

I am going to keep listening to this and apply it to my life and projects. It will be like Sprint Planning, but for my life. I need to develop a map, keep it objective, and then stick to the plan.

One more note: For the first 30 minutes of listening to this audiobook, I thought that it was an older audio recording for some reason. The narrator sounds like an old school son-of-a-gun and uses very formal language. It sounds like Mr. Rogers for Grownups. However, then there was a reference of Michael Phelps, which keyed me in to the fact that this is a recent book, published in 2013.

Heather DagleyComment