The 13-month Year

The 13-month Year

A 12-month year is not flexible enough and simply too stressful, so I've given this concept up and created a 13-month year.

My personal problem with time

Before I explain how a 13-month year looks like let me preface with a bold but true statement:

I don't understand time.

There is no future and no past. There is only now. It is incredibly difficult for me to imagine time so I learned about different types of time perception. Tracking progress and journaling helps. I pay attention to the changing sky  because it makes me understand seasons. But a statement like: you have 6 months to finish the first draft of Project Wombat doesn't mean anything to me. I don't understand 6 months.

You know how in supermarkets, people tend to ignore the first aisle? This is how changing months feel like. If something important happens at the beginning of the month, it's a blind spot to me. I use a wall calendar to manage appointments but it can still be challenging.

Why doesn't 12-month year work for me?

Here's the thing. 12 is a wonderful number. You can divide it by 2, 3, 4 and 6 which most people find handy. Businesses operate with quarterly OKRs, there are
mid-year reviews. Each season lasts 3 months.

When a new year starts, I want to feel energetic and motivated to reach my goals. January, 1st to begin a new adventure doesn't feel right to me. Why?

  • I'm sleepy.
  • There is so much pressure to be productive from the get-go. I barely am able to finish reflecting on the previous year, reading the diaries and writing a list of good things.
  • I don't want to set goals in a hurry, or goals that are not intentional. I'm a, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas, Do go gentle into that new time kind of a person.
  • I like starting things on Mondays. January 1st is usually not on Monday.

Add to that, months of different lengths but of the same importance... too much chaos for me. Therefore I decided to create a system which works for me.

How does a 13-month year looks like?

When I was a child, calendars, months, movements of  weekdays fascinated me completely. I made my own calendars and planners. Then I learned some basic math. To my astonishment, I discovered that:

13 x 28 = 364

This simple equation means that we could enjoy twelve 28-day months and one 29- or 30-day month. This year, I decided to embrace this idea. All months start on Monday. The extra month, which I call Extrary (like extra + January) is the time to rest and relax, reflect on the past and the future. Beginning of 2023 is postponed until January 9th which gives me space to cool off after the hectic beginning of a conventional year.

List of months

Here's how the first month looks like:

You can print it and try it out yourself. The names for new months are missing but hopefully, I'll figure it out soon.

Does it mean that a conventional year is bad?

Absolutely, not :) It is what it is and I still use it however for the sake of my goals and planning, I prefer to use 4-week months.

How about you? How do you organise your time?