The 12 Week Year is about productivity and getting more done in less time. As you’d expect then, it has major application to business, and especially sales-based organizations that have been used to pushing to reach annual sales goals. This book would also benefit individuals looking to improve their personal finances, work, or personal lives in general. But in the 12-Week Year there’s also plenty of relevancy to sports, fitness, and weight control…

The 12-week-year-book-review

The way this is a business book, yet also applies to fitness is one of the things that made it stand out to me. In our fitness community, Burn the Fat Inner Circle, we sponsor 12-week body transformation challenges, offer 12-week training programs, and for years have encouraged our readers and members to set fitness and weight management goals in 12 week blocks, not just long term. That makes the premise of this book fit in well with our philosophy.

What is that premise? You might think it’s about setting 12-week goals, but it’s more than that. Moran and Lennington propose completely redefining what a “year” is. They say, “A year is no longer 12 months, it is now only 12 weeks. There are no longer four periods in a year. That’s old thinking. Now, there’s just a 12-week year, followed by the next 12 week year, ad infinitum.”

We all know the calendar year is still there, this is a change in thinking; a paradigm shift. They don’t dismiss long-term goals, they simply suggest that 12 weeks is where your main focus should be and that another “12 week year” always immediately follows the last one.

Why take this perspective? The authors mention how most companies have a fiscal year of 12 months. With annualized thinking being the main focus, there’s almost always a big year-end push as people work harder to reach that annual goal on time. But that means the rest of the year, results fall short of what they could be. What if they pushed that hard every 12 weeks?

The authors suggest that productivity and results would skyrocket, and that’s what they’ve seen with their business clients. And why is that? Because a 12-week goal is in the near enough future that you realize every week counts. Every day counts. Early in a 12 month year, the end of the year is so far away, it’s easy to procrastinate and take it easy.

Let’s circle back to fitness. The subtitle promises, “Get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months. Is this possible? In business and in personal finance, absolutely! Case studies are plentiful. I think results could be even greater than 4X. More than one business coach talks about 10X and they too have the success stories to back it up.

Will exponential results like these happen with weight loss? Probably not. Sales and weight loss are different animals. But what I believe will happen with a 12-week focus is a major improvement in results, getting you closer to your maximum results possible, and better maintenance of weight loss and fitness improvement. On the other hand, since many people take their foot off the gas or drop out after hitting a 12 week goal and don’t get back on track quickly, then perhaps after four “12-week years” in a row pass, the difference really could be exponential.

In our fitness community, 12-week challenges have been massively successful since 2009. A potential pitfall for participants is that we only sponsor a body transformation contest twice a year. Some people fall into the trap of thinking that on the last day of week 12, they’re done. By adopting the mindset that the very next day is day one of the next “12 week year,” the motivation and productivity are renewed. It’s like I’ve said for years, “Always think 1 goal ahead.”

The 12-Week Year is not simply about thinking 12 weeks at a time. It’s an excellent productivity, success and personal development book overall, covering many key concepts for being successful. Early in the book the authors emphasize that it’s not about knowledge, it’s about execution. You can have a goal and a plan, but if you don’t implement, you fall short or fail.

Fitting in with the theme of the book, they also emphasize that it’s amazing what happens when you have a goal and a deadline. Other topics include periodization, vision, planning, daily and weekly action, accountability (keeping score), priorities, commitment, focus, and teamwork.

I’ve read a lot of books on productivity and prioritization. For example, The One Thing, Essentialism, Eat that Frog, Feel Good Productivity, Deep Work, Getting Things Done, Atomic Habits, The Checklist Manifesto, The 80/20 Principle, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Indistractible, and more. The 12-Week Year deserves to be mentioned alongside great reads like these.

This was published in 2013, but I didn’t hear about it until 2023 and didn’t read it until 2024, but I’m glad I did. On its release, it became a New York Times best seller, and now over 10 years later, it still often ranks in the top 1000 on Amazon, with 7500+ reviews average rating 4.7.

I liked it enough to make it one of our choices for the Burn the Fat Inner Circle book of the month (study) club

The 12-week year is available as an Audiobook on Audible. It’s also in hardcover and on kindle at Amazon.

You can Get This Book At Amazon:

– Tom Venuto,
Author, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle
Founder, Burn The Fat Inner Circle,
All-Natural, No-BS Body Transformation

tomvenuto-blogAbout Tom Venuto
Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilding and fat loss expert. He is also a recipe creator specializing in fat-burning, muscle-building cooking. Tom is a former competitive bodybuilder and today works as a full-time fitness coach, writer, blogger, and author. In his spare time, he is an avid outdoor enthusiast and backpacker. His book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is an international bestseller, first as an ebook and now as a hardcover and audiobook. The Body Fat Solution, Tom’s book about emotional eating and long-term weight maintenance, was an Oprah Magazine and Men’s Fitness Magazine pick. Tom is also the founder of Burn The Fat Inner Circle – a fitness support community with over 52,000 members worldwide since 2006. Click here for membership details

Disclosure: Burn the Fat Inner Circle posts may use affiliate links to third-party websites and online stores such as Amazon. When readers purchase a product or book, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to the reader, which helps support our website. We only recommend and link to books or products we have reviewed and recommend.

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