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We wish you all a joyous holiday season and a
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PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Tuesday Report on
December 24, 2013.
From the desk of Bob Meyer...
40% of Americans Say
They�ll Spend Less This Holiday Season
financial website Bankrate, 4 in 10 Americans contend
they�ll spend less while 14% of consumers are planning to
increase their holiday spending and nearly half (47%) are
planning on spending the same amount as last year.
Productive Early In The Week
An Accountemps survey
reports that Thursdays and Fridays are viewed as the least
productive days of the week. Tuesday tops the list for
productivity, followed by Monday. Why Tuesday? Because many
workers spend Monday catching up from the previous week and
planning the one ahead.
Also, employees are
far more productive in the morning than the afternoon. The
most productive period of the week is Tuesday from 10 a.m.
Productivity Grows Dramatically
The Labor Department
reports that U.S. workers� productivity rose 3% in the third
quarter of the year, the fastest in four years. Overall
productivity growth over the last two years has averaged
6.4 Million Are Still
The number of U.S.
homeowners who owe more on their homes than they are worth,
declined some 11% year-over-year. But the numbers are still
staggering with some 6.4 million underwater in the
third-quarter of 2013.
The Internet was
supposed to make libraries extinct, according to many
pundits. Well guess what � 95% of Americans 16 and older say
that libraries are important because of the opportunities
and the resources they provide, plus they promote literacy
and the love of reading.
The Pew Internet &
American Life Project surveyed more than 6,000 Americans in
July and August to come up with the conclusions.
back issues of "From the Desk..." can be accessed by
free to forward our newsletter to your friends and
colleagues. We have a "box" at the end of the
newsletter for your convenience.
See you next week...)
BarterNews.com � World�s Largest
Hundreds of valuable articles,
techniques, and strategies are found in the following various barter
Offset & Countertrade,
Community Barter, and
Categories are found on the horizontal bar at the top - 3rd
button from right.)
There�s Always Next Year: The REAL Reason Resolutions Fizzle
Everybody loves a new year. It�s a bright, shiny, fresh, clean
slate. A vista unblemished by mistakes or regrets. A brand-new
chance to make those changes as well as to accomplish those things
we�ve been meaning to do forever.
Yet, undermining all this glorious potential is the hidden truth
we�re aware of even as we proclaim that this time we�ll really lose
20 pounds or get out of debt or finally launch that long-dreamed-of
business: New Year�s resolutions are nothing more than fairy tales
we grown-ups tell ourselves.
That�s right. If you�re like 92% of Americans, you�re not going to
keep those resolutions. What�s more, you know it. What you may
know, says Brian Moran, is why.
�The number one enemy of most New Year�s resolutions isn�t
feasibility, a lack of know-how or even a lack of motivation, though
those things can come into play,� says Moran, coauthor along with
Michael Lennington of the
New York Times
The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12
�The number one enemy of most resolutions is
Think about it: It�s all too easy to procrastinate through January,
February, March, and even longer.
I have over half a year left to do what I said I�d do.
Even when July and August roll around, there are still enough months
left in the year that you don�t feel a real sense of urgency. Next
thing you know, the holidays are almost upon you. You�re still over
your ideal weight, drinking too many sodas a day, working the same
job, with fewer saving than you�d like.
Too late to do anything now,
I�ll try again next year.
�For many people, this depressing chain of events recycles on a
yearly basis because far-away deadlines allow � even encourage � us
to be slack on execution,� comments Moran. �Give yourself too much
time and you will procrastinate. It�s just human nature.�
Ultimately, says Moran, effective execution happens daily and weekly
and on a consistent basis. To perform at your best, you will need to
get out of �annual mode� and stop thinking in terms of a 365-day
year. That�s where the 12 Week Year comes in. It�s a system that
works for businesses striving to meet their goals � and it will work
for you, too.
�When you redefine the concept of a year, your life will change,�
promises Moran. �A year is no longer 12 months; it is now only 12
weeks, followed by the next 12 week year, ad infinitum. Each 12-week
period stands on its own.
�You no longer have the luxury of putting off critical activities,
thinking there is plenty of time left to meet your goals,� he adds.
�When you have only 12 weeks, each week matters, each day matters,
each moment matters. And the result is profound.�
Here, Moran offers eight ways to get yourself out of the annualized
thinking trap � and into the much-more-productive 12 week year,
Realize that success is created in the moment.
According to Moran, most of us have a skewed definition of success.
We see it as the end of the road: the completion of a project, the
day you�re finally able to button your old pants, receive an award,
or whatever. However, he argues, true success isn�t any of those
things. It isn�t a list of all the clients you brought in over the
course of a year, or the number you see when you stand on the scale
on December 31. It isn�t something that happens only once at the end
of a planning cycle.
�Success is all of the little things you do throughout the year to
make your goals happen: reaching out to X number of prospects a day
or getting up on cold mornings to run when you�d rather stay in
bed,� he explains. �You just can�t reach your full potential if you
put off critical activities.
�Success does not happen monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or once
a year. It happens daily, ultimately moment-by-moment. You succeed �
or not � long before the results show it. When you adopt this
definition of success, you�ll want to make the most of your time,
not squander it. And the 12 Week Year can help.�
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Redefine your relationship with deadlines.
Most of us see deadlines (December 31st featuring prominently among
them) as the bad guy. They�re always looming on the horizon,
overshadowing our peace of mind and hassling us to work faster,
They make us nervous, resentful, or both. But what would happen if
we thought of deadlines as good guys instead?
�Deadlines aren�t sinister in and of themselves � we only feel that
way about them when we aren�t on track to meet them or when they�re
unreasonable,� Moran asserts. �But realistic deadlines are actually
great motivators. They are tools that can help you to hone your
focus, increase your efficiency, and realize your full potential.
When you think about deadlines this way, it makes sense to have more
of them, not less! They can help you to create end-of-year energy,
focus, and commitment
Put a little less faith in your yearly planner.
In other words, be realistic about your ability to plan ahead. Life,
including what we want out of it, can (and often does) change in an
instant. What you thought you wanted for yourself in January might
not be what makes the most sense by the time July, or October, or
December rolls around.
Your circumstances and abilities may have changed. The truth is,
even the most thoroughly thought-out annual plans are based on
assumptions that are stacked upon earlier assumptions, which are
stacked on even earlier assumptions � and a lot can (and often does)
change from start to finish.
�Once you realize that there�s just not enough predictability to
make annualized planning effective, the 12 Week Year begins to make
a lot more sense,� Moran comments. �Personally and professionally,
12 weeks is about as far out as you can reliably plan. There�s a
much stronger connection between the actions you take today and the
results you want to achieve, because you don�t have to take as much
of the future on faith. Who wants to waste time going partway down a
certain path, only to realize that you were mistaken and should have
taken a different turn?�
Keep score starting January 1st.
As Moran has noted, it�s relatively easy to ignore or rationalize
procrastination and low productivity when you have to look at the
numbers only once a year. But when you start measuring your
productivity, progress, and performance on a more frequent basis,
you can�t hide behind the illusion that the present moment isn�t
important. Measurement drives the execution process because it
or the uncomfortable feeling you get when you know you�re not doing
the things you need to do.
�As the CEO of your own life, you need to have the courage to
measure your performance in the areas that matter,� Moran says.
�That�s much easier when your goals and tasks are broken down into
12 week increments. Effective scorekeeping prevents you from
rationalizing lackluster results and forces you to confront the
reality of your situation, even when it�s uncomfortable. While this
can be difficult, the sooner you confront reality, the sooner you
can shift your actions toward producing more desirable results.�
Be honest about your track record.
How many promises and commitments do you welsh on in the course of
12 months? Probably more than you�d like to admit to. The fact is,
at the beginning of the year, it�s all too easy to make promises and
commitments. �Sure, honey, we can remodel the kitchen this year.�
�Of course our department will reduce its operating costs by 15
percent this year.� Frequently, though, we fall short of our
professional commitments because over the course of 12 months, we
encounter unforeseen obstacles, our priorities change, or our
�If you don�t want to be seen as someone who breaks commitments,
drops the ball, and flakes, it makes sense to ditch annualized
thinking,� Moran comments. �It�s much easier to say you�re going to
do something � and then do it � within a 12 week time frame. As I
have already pointed out, you can more accurately plan ahead, so
you�ll make fewer mistakes, save time, and remain more focused. With
these working habits, your results are not left up to chance. They
are high in quality, and they are consistent.�
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Stop saying �have to,� and start saying �choose to.�
As you pursue a long-term goal, it�s all too easy for your daily
tactics to turn into daily
go to the gym.� �I
spend an extra half-hour working on this project for my boss.� �I
use that money to pay down my credit card, even if it means skipping
a night out with my friends.� That�s a problem, because have-to�s
quickly turn into things we loathe � and if you loathe the things
you need to do to accomplish a goal, you�re less likely to reach the
�There are no have-to�s in life,� Moran asserts. �Everything we do
in life is a choice. And when you look at tactics as choose-to�s
instead of have-to�s, you�ll notice a big change in your attitude
and motivation. Instead of feeling burdened and put-upon, you�ll
feel empowered. Admit it: saying, �I choose to attend night classes
so I can rise in my field� feels a lot better than saying, �I have
to attend night classes so I won�t be stuck in this job forever.��
Be proactive, not reactive.
Sure, modern life is hectic, and it�s easy to feel like there just
aren�t enough minutes in the day to get everything done. But the
truth is most of us don�t make the most of our time because we
engage each day reactively instead of proactively. We are driven by
input triggers � the phone rings, the email dings, a new task
appears, someone knocks on your door, and off you go to solve the
problem of the moment. When you live reactively, it�s difficult, if
not impossible, to stay focused on high-value activities.
�Even though annualized thinking gives us lots of time in which to
procrastinate, we still feel overwhelmed because we use the �extra�
time on things that are low-value,� Moran explains. �That�s why 12
week planning is so beneficial. With an action-based plan, you don�t
have to rely on input triggers to initiate your actions; instead,
your plan triggers your actions. You can live with clear intention,
organizing your life around your priorities and consciously choosing
activities that align with your goals and vision.
�I�ll warn you: Making the reactive-to-proactive switch won�t be
easy,� he admits. �You�ll have to become more comfortable with
and you�ll have to crack down on procrastination. But in the end,
you�ll get more of the
done each day, and ultimately reach your goals faster and with
Celebrate your 12-week wins.
Companies often throw end-of-year parties and receptions to
celebrate growth, acknowledge outstanding achievements, bestow
awards and bonuses, etc. On a personal level, you may promise
yourself a reward if you keep your New Year�s resolutions. It�s very
gratifying to be recognized for achieved goals. And, the promise of
celebration � especially when you allow yourself to celebrate at the
end of each 12 week period � gives us something to look forward to,
motivating us to keep our noses to the grindstone when the going
�Especially for goal-driven people, it�s tempting to always look at
what lies ahead and not fully appreciate the ground that has already
been covered,� notes Moran. �The 12 Week Year presents, at a
minimum, four times as many opportunities to recognize and celebrate
your progress and accomplishments. It might be a three day weekend
or a weeklong vacation; the important thing is that you take time
out to reflect, regroup, and reenergize.�
Another great thing about switching to a 12 Week Year: There�s a
built-in reset every few months, you can switch gears when you
realize something isn�t going to work.
�We all know how demoralizing it is to realize that a year-end goal
is just not going to happen,� says Moran. �By July, it�s already
clear that you�re not going to be able to sock away as much into
your retirement account as you wanted to. Or in September, you have
to admit that you�re not going to be able to lose the 30 pounds you
pegged for your resolution. And because annualized thinking is so
ingrained in your worldview, you automatically assume that you�ll
just have to wait months to try again.
�It�s not uncommon for individuals and even entire organizations to
mentally give up on their goals before October,� he concludes. �With
the 12 Week Year, that will never happen again. Every 12 weeks you
get a fresh start � a new year! So if you�ve had a tough 12 Week
Year, you can just shake it off, regroup, and start again. If you�ve
had a strong 12 Week Year, you can build on that momentum. Either
way, you can more quickly transition into something new instead of
spending weeks or months waiting for a chance to start fresh.�
About the Authors
Brian P. Moran
is founder and CEO of The Execution Company, an organization
committed to improving the performance and enhancing the quality of
life for leaders and entrepreneurs. He has served in management and
executive positions with UPS, PepsiCo, and Northern Automotive. In
addition to his books, he has been published in many of the leading
business journals and magazines. He is a sought-after speaker,
educating and inspiring thousands each year.
is vice president of The Execution Company. He is a consultant,
coach, and leadership trainer, and is an expert in implementing
lasting change in organizations. He works with clients in the U.S.,
Europe, Asia, and the Middle East to help them implement corporate
initiatives that drive sales, service, and profitability.