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From Knockout to Knocking Goals Out: The Quarterly Plan to Reclaim Your Resolutions

Updated: Feb 29

Mike Tyson famously quipped, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” A little over a month in, does it feel like 2024 has punched you in the face?

A boxing gym

There is a tendency in all of us to see the new year as an opportunity to reshape ourselves. We need to lose the few pounds we packed on eating Christmas cookies, and we swear that we will accomplish all the things we didn’t get to and more in the previous year. 

You don’t need me to pull data on our abysmal performance record when it comes to adhering to our New Year’s resolutions, because you feel it. All the grand intentions you felt as you reflected on 2023 are struggling to stand up against the onslaught of reality called 2024. Most Americans abandon their goals within three months of the new year, and about 9% of us actually see them through. 

I’ve got three basic reasons why we routinely fail to achieve our yearly aspirations, and one solution you can start to implement. 

First, we often fail because our goals are too vague. The most common goal in the US is to “live healthier” closely followed by “be a better person.” During new year planning, you might start off with good intentions, but when Mike Tyson starts moving in, you stop trying to do anything different because you never defined what healthier or better looks like. 

The second reason is that a year is a psychological eternity. If you want to lose 10 lbs this year, you can start that in August and coast through the spring and summer. Boxing matches are broken up into rounds knowing the body can’t exert itself indefinitely.

Thirdly, we don’t formulate plans that can withstand getting knocked down. What if we could trick ourselves into finding that New Year’s zeal periodically throughout the year?

In The 12 Week Year, Brian P. Moran invites us to dismantle “annualized thinking” and execute each quarterly chunk of time as its own horizon. I’ve used this framework for years to help me plan projects related to work, marriage, family, ministry, and personal development. Adopting a 12-week year framework requires a few steps:  

How to Accomplish Goals

1. Embrace Quarterly Reflection and Planning:

Transform your approach by dedicating a block of time every quarter to reflect and plan. Whether it's a half-day retreat or several evenings, make this a non-negotiable part of your calendar. This isn't just a task; it's a way to train your whole body to participate in the process.

2. Set Specific, Measurable Goals:

Use the provided quarterly planning journal not just as a tracker but as a blueprint for success. Set clear actionable targets you can measure so you can know if you hit them. If a goal isn't met, use the reflection space not for self-criticism but for recalibrating your approach. It’s great that you have big aspirations. Over time you will understand your capacity and increase it.

3. Immerse in the Quarterly Rhythm:

Engage actively with your goals on a weekly basis. This isn't mere tracking; it's about keeping your ambitions in your daily field of vision, maintaining momentum, and celebrating small victories. Make this rhythm an exhilarating part of your life. Let this quarterly planning spill out into your weekly and daily plans. We know life never goes as planned, but you can act confidently “bob and weave” maintaining your balance as the punches fly.

Don't let the year's challenges knock you down. If you're ready to craft a life of purpose and progress, not through sudden leaps but through steady, thoughtful strides, let Craftd’s AI-powered life coaching services be your cornerman. Reach out now to start sculpting a plan that truly fits your life's contours. If you are having trouble getting started, chat with Craftd about creating a plan you can effectively implement in your life.


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