You set a personal goal for yourself at the beginning of the year.
You’ve clearly identified what you need to do each day to reach your goal.
You set out with the best of intentions, then one thing pops up, and then another, and you realize you’ve gotten hopelessly off track.
You’d really like to monitor your progress, but you’re unsure as to how you should proceed.
How can you keep true to your goals this year, without getting overwhelmed?
In this post, I’ll show you how you can use quarterly reviews to help you reach your personal goals.
A Word About Quarterly Reviews
Quarterly reviews are common in the business world.
They are helpful for tracking finances, marketing plans, personnel targets, and much more.
The year is divided up into four quarters as follows:
- Quarter 1 (Q1) – January, February, March
- Quarter 2 (Q2) – April, May, June
- Quarter 3 (Q3) – July, August, September
- Quarter 4 (Q4) – October, November, December
Reviews are held the month after a quarter has ended.
So, if you were to review everything that happened in say, Q2, you’d prepare all your notes, reports, and documents, and hold your meeting in April.
Quarterly reviews can be helpful when it comes to your personal goals because they force you to take a bird’s eye view of where you are, and where you’re going.
No longer are you wandering aimlessly throughout the year; you’ve got specific goal posts in the road ahead.
Ready to set up your quarterly reviews? Let’s get started.
Choose a goal or project you’d like to work on.
This could be your New Year’s Resolution or any personal project, such as: putting together that ’65 Mustang that’s in pieces in your garage, downsizing your home, eating more fruits and vegetables, losing weight, saving money for retirement or your dream vacation, or staying on top of your Zumba classes.
Write down the details of your goal or project.
A goal has to have specific details with quantifiable outcomes so you’ll know when you’ve reached your goal.
That being said, answer the following questions on a piece or paper or in a word processing document:
- What is your main goal?
- What specific steps will you take to get there?
- How will you know when you’ve reached your goal?
Make mini-goals for each quarter.
Now that you have your larger, end goal in sight, make mini-goals for each quarter.
These are smaller, bite-sized goals for you to reach every month or so.
Write down no more than three goals for each quarter.
Schedule quarterly reviews into your calendar.
Your quarterly reviews will take place after every quarter in early April, July, October, and January, respectively. Schedule at least an hour for your review.
Remember, this time is reserved especially for you and your dreams. Treat this time as if it were gold; avoid canceling or double-booking your appointment.
Work on your project.
Store your quarterly review notes in a safe place. Continuing working on the day-to-day tasks for your project.
Be sure to refer to your goals for guidance, and direction, as necessary.
Hold your review.
Make sure you have your quarterly review notes on hand. Then, make sure to record your answers to these questions:
- Did I achieve my goal or goals or this quarter? If yes: Did I reach my goal on time or in advance? What helped me reach my goals? If no: What do I think kept me from achieving my goal? What happened during this quarter?
- What can I do next quarter to get myself back on track?
- What are my goals for next quarter?
- Do I need to make an adjustment to my overall goal?
- How am I doing overall?
When you’re finished, don’t forget to store your quarterly review notes in a safe place until your next review.
Here’s some ideas to help keep you motivated (and honest) during your quarterly reviews:
Set up a special ritual. Do something special for yourself at each review. You could go out to your favorite restaurant or cafe, or stay at home on your coach with your favorite hot beverage, play an inspirational song, or write in your favorite notebook and pen.
Hold your review with a friend. There’s power in numbers! See where you’ve been, make plans, and provide support and motivation for one another.
Keep yourself honest. Thinking about skipping a review session? Having a mini-penalty in place can keep you on track. This “penalty” is an action you must take if you don’t have your review. You could pay a friend a “penalty fee,” make a donation to a cause you are against, and so on.
How about you? Do you have any personal projects that you’d love to finish this year? If so, what are they? How will you use quarterly reviews to help you reach your goals? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!