January 30, 2016

Twelve Weeks by Susan Barclay



I have a couple of large writing goals for this year. One is to blog more regularly (daily, in fact), the other to finish my novel. Even more importantly, I really want to grow and mature in my faith. To accomplish these goals, I’m taking the 12-week approach to life.  

What is the 12-week approach, you ask? It comes from the book The 12 Week Year: get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington. Instead of thinking of a 12 month year as the time frame for accomplishment, think of the year as lasting only 12 weeks. Chances are you’ll be driven to accomplish more because you will no longer have that sense of having lots of time.  

The first step is to choose 3-4 goals to work on. Then identify your objectives and how you’re going to achieve them. At the end of each week assess your progress and map out your plan for the week to come. Schedule your activities.

So, for my goal of finishing the novel, I’ve determined to revise one chapter every weekday until I’m up to the point at which I left off. I have about 32 chapters written, so this goal will take me approximately six weeks. I’m not sure how many chapters remain beyond that (up until now I haven’t been an outliner), but writing a new chapter will take longer than revising one that’s already written. For now I’ll plan on writing one new chapter a week in the last six weeks of my 12-week year. I’ll schedule my writing for Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings, Wednesday evenings and Thursday afternoons.

Plans are great; it’s the execution that’s more difficult. Still, I am committed. And when I am done my novel, you will hear me singing this:


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For my website, please visit www.susanbarclay.wordpress.com

9 comments:

  1. This sounds similar to the 6X6 that Bill Hybels teaches about for moving ministry (or whatever project) forward. Great job setting up your goals into manageable pieces. I trust you've given yourself permission to "fail" when something God-designed interrupts, and have set in place rewards when you successfully avoid man-designed interruptions. 12 weeks is very "seasonal" so seems like a good way to break up the year. Thanks for sharing this wisdom - I am excited to celebrate your advancements with you!

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    1. Thanks, Marnie, and I wasn't familiar with Bill Hybels' teaching on this subject. Definitely I will not beat myself up when something doesn't go the way *I'd* planned it to, but I hadn't considered rewards for success. I will give that some thought!

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  3. Best of luck with your goals Susan!

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    1. Thank you, Tracy. So far, so good!

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  4. thanks for your project. I also found that twelve-week, or even one-month goals work much better for me. It's easier to focus, and I can track my progress much easier.

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    1. Thanks for this affirmation, Sandra. It's good to hear that it's working for someone outside of a book :)

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  5. Excellent goals. I hope you can get that novel done and sing that song.

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  6. Phew! I suspect this would be a tight schedule for me, but then I don't have the stamina I used to have; nor can I operate under pressure like I used to. I agree with Marnie's comments and I am pleased that you have considered what she is saying about forgiving yourself for failures or things happening that are beyond your control. That being said, however, I will spin my office chair and cheer for you, in Brenda Leyland style, when you complete your novel. Blessings on your project, Susan. Thanks for sharing.

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