Birthdays and New Year’s are unique days of the year because they are hard demarcations of the passage of time and compel reflection.
Most of us wake up those days and take some sort of assessment of our lives including good and bad experiences, “progress” toward goals, regrets and goals for the future.
Though the days begin with some sort of celebration they often end up with some sort of list of resolutions — things that we want to be, have or achieve in the next year.
A year passes.
We go through the exercise again and create another list. More often than not, it has many of the same items from the previous year’s list. The cycle repeats itself until at some date we look back and can see in sharp relief all the things we wish we would have done in the time we had.
Is it procrastination? Lack of drive?
A better analysis points to the use of time and a sense of urgency. It’s a question of focus and to what items we apply our energy in the time that we have.
Want to geometrically improve the results you’re getting? Examine your goals, accelerate their time frames, increase the amount of energy you’re allocating to them and set the reward you’ll provide yourself when you achieve them. Don’t wait a YEAR before setting or evaluating efforts, results and goals.
Compress the year and manage energy, not just time!
The concept of periodization was brought to my attention in Brian Moran’s book of the same name. It was enhanced and solidified by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in “The Power of Full Engagement.”
Working with Olympic and professional athletes, they demonstrated that HIGH performance comes with focused effort and massive energy expenditure over (relatively) short periods of time with defined periods of rest, rebuilding and celebration.
Instead of planning an entire year, break the 52 weeks down into four 13-week sessions. They do not have to align with standard quarters. Set clear, compelling objectives for what you want to achieve by the end of 12 weeks. Expand your goals and make them bigger than you usually would.
The key to this method of higher performance is to get your head around the concept that “every day is a week and every week is a month.” Focusing massive amounts of energy and attention to these objectives, you are accomplishing in one session what it takes other people a year to do.
Athletes focus their attention, energy and effort on the event they are running at that time. They go all out to achieve victory. When the race is done, they rest and plan for the next one.
That’s your 13th week!
The 13th week is for celebration. Execute your pre-planned reward — a vacation, a weekend away, a special purchase. Reflect on your performance over the last 12 weeks: What would you improve? What would you keep doing the same? Use this data to PLAN for the next 12 weeks.
The great thing about periodization is that it can apply to more than just sales. It works with just about anything on the birthday or New Year’s resolution list.
The best part is that we can achieve more and celebrate more often.
Happy New Year!
Patrick Morin is the president and COO of BrightHammer, a team of experts that work directly with company leaders nationwide to develop and implement sales strategy, deliver targeted sales training and effect sales-oriented culture changes. Email him here, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.