What the 13-Month Year Is and How It Can Help You Get Ahead
There’s a disturbance in the Force.
The weather is getting colder. Winter is setting in. The holiday season is soon upon us.
I’ve found that there are primarily two types of people that emerge when the holiday haze hits.
Which one are you?
Type #1 is the 99 percent. They are “The Sheep.”
By December 1st, The Sheep are already "mentally checked" out.
They might be here here physically, but their minds are roasting chestnuts over an open fire.
"Dude…it’s December,” they’ll tell you.
The Sheep have plenty of big goals that they’re hoping to accomplish in 2016.
(I mean, who doesn’t?)
But right now, all that stuff is on the back burner...
For them, December means it’s time for champagne at work.
It’s time for gorging on an ungodly amount of pastries, moving up a pants size and snuggling on the couch with “bae" to watch that awesome claymation Rudolph movie.
And I get it.
Going on mental cruise control around the holidays doesn’t sound like such a bad idea for most people. I think we can all relate.
But inevitably, a sinking feeling begins to develop. Right in your core.
It starts very subtly, when you look back at 2015 goals and realize, “Damn…I didn’t really accomplish what I set out to do this year.”
“It’s ok,” you tell yourself.
“New Year, New Me. Right? I’ll get a fresh start in January.”
So you set new resolutions to get even MORE done in 2016.
It feels good to envision yourself following through. Maybe you even write some things down.
Deep down inside, though, you know nothing has really changed.
You don’t really have a plan for getting from where you are to where you want to be, and in your heart-of-hearts -- as much as it hurts you to admit it -- you wouldn’t exactly be surprised if December 2016 left you feeling just as unsatisfied as this year.
So you kinda just…bury your expectations in food and embrace the holiday slump.
It’s a nice six-ish weeks of self-induced, “I’ll deal with it after New Years” bliss. But on a core level, it an agonizing cycle of self-defeat.
That’s how 99 percent of the population spends their holiday season. That’s what happens to sheep.
If that’s happened to you, or is happening to you, I’m not criticizing you. I’ve been there too.
But there’s another way.
Then there’s Type #2. The 1 percent. "The Hustlers”
On the outside, Hustlers seem like anomalies whose massive success can’t be explained with logic.
They’re like “glitches” in the system.
Remember that scene in the Matrix, when Neo walks through the crowd of sober worker bees all dressed in black and spots an elegant blonde in a red cocktail dress?
The effect is jarring. These Hustlers stand out like a sore thumb.
These are the people who set out to accomplish MASSIVE goals every single year, and not only CRUSH those goals...but surpass them.
I know you’ve seen them...
Maybe you’re reading Entrepreneur and catch a glimpse of some young, brilliant entrepreneur in his twenties who’s making billions with an app he developed in his dorm room.
Or perhaps it’s the newest junior executive at your job, who despite being with the company for less time than you, has already put herself on track to become a partner.
(Meanwhile, your boss just rejected your request for a raise. Ouch.)
These seemingly extraordinary people pop up on social media too. How many times have you had to look at friends-of-friends taking selfies from Fiji as you agonize over which formula to use in an Excel spreadsheet?
It just doesn’t seem fair.
“Who ARE these people...and what are they doing that I’m not?”
It’s easy to look at outstanding people doing exceptional work and think of them as outliers.
They must just be freaks of nature. Not “one of us.”
Unusually gifted. Uncharacteristically lucky. Probably have rich parents. Born with better facial structure.
The unfairness would be depressing if it wasn’t so intriguing.
How are they doing it?
At the end of the day, you can come up with all sorts of reasons why the “chosen few” should see massive success while you sit on the sidelines, fighting for the scraps with the rest of the population.
You can even choose to hate them because of their success.
Or you could simply decide to become one of them.
But to do that, you’re going to have to STEP UP YOUR GAME.
I’d like to invite you to undertake The 13-Month Year.
What is The 13-Month Year?
The 13-Month Year is how true Hustlers get ahead.
More than anything, someone living a 13-Month Year says:
“Screw the norm. I don’t care that everyone else is taking the holidays off. I’m about to turn the rocket boosters ON.”
While your friends and colleagues are winding down, getting fat and singing carols, you’re grinding through the holidays.
You’re starting your year early and you get an entire “bonus” month in 2016 to figure things out without wasting time.
You’re working out all the kinks in your plans so that come January 1st, while everyone else is sobering up and crawling back to the office, you’re already well into the groove.
THAT’S how winners kill the game.
This isn’t another played out New Year’s Resolution that you'll sweep under the rug in a few weeks, quietly embarrassed. This is a proven strategy for success.
If you want to get in better shape, maybe you’ll use that extra month to start your workout routine and diet plan early. You’d be appalled how empty the gym is in December. Only Hustlers are gettin’ it in. Perfect.
If you want to start a business, maybe that extra month is used to begin testing your ideas early and identify where to focus your efforts so that you already have momentum and clarity going into 2016.
Now here’s the catch....
THIS STUFF IS IT NOT EASY.
I’m just going to put that out on front street right now. I’m not here to sell you dreams.
I’m not a guru. I’m just Daniel. I’m not a millionaire (yet). I’m not perfect. I’m not all-knowing.
But I HAVE figured some stuff out that can help you.
And the more I hang out with people who are MUCH more successful than I, the more I realize that success is not an accident. It’s not luck.
A big part of getting ahead is the ability to focus while other people are distracted.
So get focused. Not in January.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer