It often seems like we don’t have the time to pause and lay out a plan. But I have found this to be super valuable. It is time well spent and actually reduces the time it takes to get to your goals.
A 12 Week Plan
One of books that I read/listened to last year was called the 12 week year and described a method to essentially get a year’s worth of work done in 12 weeks.
I don’t know if this is entirely possible, but I did find that having a set of goals for the whole year was not ideal. Also, writing a post to review them every month was probably not a best use of writing time. Twelve weeks seems like a pretty good number for a set of goals and then reviewing them afterwards.
Part of the 12 week year planning process is setting a larger goal that is to be reached in about 3 years. This is the vision of what you want your life to be like in 3 years.
You then set smaller goals to be accomplished in the next 12 weeks that will move you closer to the 3 year vision. These goals should be a little bit of a stretch for you. They should not be impossible, but also not super easy.
Finally you breakdown the actions you are going to take each week to accomplish your 12 week goal.
Applying the Process
I have decided to give this planning method a try in the first quarter of 2017 to see how I like it. The vision part is a mix of personal and business goals so I will not be sharing that here, but I will be tracking my 12 week goals.
Goals for the 12 Weeks
You should probably have no more than 3 major goals for each 12 week stretch. Otherwise you will not be focused and probably won’t come close to any of them.
My goals for the next 12 weeks are:
- Finish the Making Your First Game with Monkey-X tutorial series and turn it into a short E-book: Although the Monkey community is not all that large, it is a great little framework and perfect for beginners. I am still learning a lot writing this tutorial although I have decided to switch target frameworks as a specialty.
- Clean up and release Prism Ship to Android with 2 versions, 1 paid with no ads and 1 free with ads. This will be hooked up to Google’s service that tracks high score: I really liked getting a game out to Android last year and I want one that could start a small revenue stream. Not looking to make tons of money with this, but I already have the code and want more practice with releasing things to Android.
- Begin specializing in Xamarin: one of the key concepts I learned last year was the importance of specialization. It is tough. There are so many cool things to learn. But if I want to actually achieve success, I will need to start by focusing on a niche. One of the reasons I like Monkey is because it allows cross platform deploys. Xamarin does the same thing for cross platform mobile app development. The overall focus will be on doing cross platform development and deployments. I will still be making games, just not writing about it as much in the first quarter. Additionally if I don’t like Xamarin at all after 3 months, I will pick something different.
So lots of changes coming up, but ultimately a clearer focus. Looking forward to an awesome 2017.