11 Weeks to Anything
Easter weekend of 2015, my husband and I decided to re-root our family of four from New York to the South. Eleven weeks later- we had sold a home, bought a home, secured new jobs, registered the children for school and moved to Charleston, South Carolina.
All. In. Eleven. Weeks.
“Envision, create, and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you.”
- Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO
With our focus and energy directed towards the ultimate end vision, and with the vision so clear we could feel it, everything around us moved us seamlessly towards our finish line. I now use that timeframe as a level set for anything I wish to accomplish. It is the 11 Weeks to Anything plan.
I have begun to apply the 11 Weeks to Anything plan to varied aspects of life- from career to health to physical fitness. There are six key components:
Commit to a clearly defined, specific end result with a definitive completion date.
Hold yourself accountable: Who will hold you accountable? Decide who your ring of coaches will be, who will hold you accountable, inspire you, and keep you moving.
Create a list of action items and put EVERYTHING on it: List them all! Everything from the small and minute to the massive. This list will grow, so consider a notebook or, if the digital type, a google doc.
Identify the musts on the action item list: Highlight those items that MUST occur in order for you to achieve your goal.
Assign those tasks that can be completed by leveraging other resources: First, review your musts and see if any can leverage another resource to tackle. Then, review the action item list and see what can be completed by leveraging your resources.
Schedule the musts: This is considered non-negotiable time for completion of your musts, and are to be placed on your calendar, down to the time, what you must accomplish and any further details such as who to call, where to meet, etc.
Identify All Obstacles: Make sure you prepare for hurdles, this way you are ready for anything.
Celebration! It is core to feel the power of the accomplishments by celebrating each milestone. Bask in the glory of your achievements.
WHY DOES THIS WORK?
I could say Newton’s First Law of Motion - an object in motion will remain in motion with the same speed and direction (unless an object of equal or greater force acts upon it). Or, immersing yourself with purpose begins to shape every action item so that all are pointing you towards achievement.
Both are correct. And I have seen this plan work time and time again.
Sprint Triathlon ready in 11 weeks? Yes, I was.
Change the course of our company’s marketing communications culture? Absolutely.
Launch that consulting practice you always dreamed of? No time like the present.
Decide what you will accomplish 11 weeks from today. As an example, I kicked off Sprint Triathlon training at the 11 week mark and created the following 11 Week Plan:
Commit Specific Goal and Definitive Completion Date: Be in the best shape of my life for the race
Accountability: Training with a team of five women, at least once per week group training
Action Item List: Develop a training plan, Make appointments for physical therapist, Buy team triathlon top, Schedule swimming practice, Plan meals for the week, etc.
Identify the Musts: Develop training plan, Set weekly appointments for physical therapist and Define/Improve supplement/nutrition plan
Leverage Resources: Getting my body ready for a sprint tri was important to me, so I saw my physical therapist weekly for alignment. Also, I was able to leverage my spouse or a neighbor to drive children to school two-three times per week so I could train early.
Schedule the Musts: 7AM two times per week I scheduled lap practice in the pool, 7:30AM three days per week scheduled bike, run or brick training; scheduled for physical therapy for maintenance weekly in their books.
Identify All Obstacles: Weather is an obvious when training, so had backup plans for training indoors. And, a last minute business trip to Japan, arriving home the DAY BEFORE the sprint triathlon had me prepping for fueling and training while in Tokyo.
Celebration! Daily I complete a visualization technique, one that embraces a sense of gratitude and pride for our accomplishments and our personal gifts, big and small. This allows us the opportunity to thank our body, our mind, our spirit for being the incredible machine and vessel that it is.
Try the 11 Weeks to Anything plan. What are you accomplishing?