Just like that, the end of the first quarter is upon us. For some, it was a strong start to the year after a few unpredictable ones. For others, it was another quarter of feeling like the plans went out the window from the start. But, the good news is wherever you fall on the spectrum, you’re about to get a fresh start. A new month and quarter are beginning in just under two weeks, which means this is the perfect time to start planning how to have a successful 2nd quarter.
1. Spend time analyzing the first quarter
Before you dive into setting big, lofty goals for the second quarter, it’s important to take time and review the results of your first quarter.
Here are some questions to help you reflect:
- Where did you make progress on your goals for the year?
- What went well? What did you achieve? Why were you able to experience those accomplishments?
- What went wrong? Where did you fail to meet your goals? What stopped you from accomplishing them?
- In hindsight, what would you have done differently if you were starting the first quarter over again?
Take a few minutes, or hours, and write down the answers to these questions. Studies have found taking the time to handwrite information helps activate different areas of your brain including memory recall.
Don’t rush through this activity. Instead, take time to dig in and look for the reasons why things were or weren’t successful. If you skip this activity, your 2nd quarter is likely to look a lot like your first 1st quarter.
2. Learn the lessons from the 1st quarter
Now that you’ve done your research and gathered your information from the 1st quarter, it’s time to learn the lessons that the quarter had to teach you. Look at the things that went well and the reasons they went well. What do you need to continue doing in the 2nd quarter? Were you more productive during your day because you started utilizing the SPEARity app daily? Then, you know it’s a good thing to continue if you want to keep improving throughout the year.
Did you miss important deadlines because your team wasn’t communicating properly? What tools, systems, or procedures need to be put in place to help avoid that same problem from happening in the 2nd quarter?
Spend time further reflecting on what you wrote down in step #1 so you don’t have to relearn the same lessons again in the 2nd quarter.
3. Realign your goals
The ‘R’ in SPEAR stands for “realign”. It’s an important part of the process. Now that you’ve taken the time to see what worked and what didn’t, it’s time to put that information to use. What specific changes are you going to make from what you learned above in order to hit your annual goals?
Did you already hit your annual goals? Did you partially complete them? Are you on pace? Were you faced with an unexpected situation and one or more of your goals need to be moved to another year completely? Are any of your goals no longer applicable and it’s time to take them off the table altogether?
Answering these questions allows you to start planning for a successful 2nd quarter.
4. Set SMART goals for the quarter
There’s a lot of information that already exists on setting SMART goals, so I’m not going to go into too much detail here. However, the goals you establish for the 2nd quarter need to be:
- Specific – What EXACTLY are you trying to accomplish? “Increase sales” is not specific.
- Measureable – What numbers are attached to your goal so you can easily track if you’re hitting it or not?
- Attainable – Only set goals that are possible to achieve.
- Relevant – Your goals need to make sense for your business and what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Time-bound – Set deadlines to keep you moving.
5. Improve your time management skills
Do you know how you spend your time? If you feel like you’re wasting your days or you’re working non-stop and accomplishing very little, you’re probably struggling with a time management problem. Get a jump start on the 2nd quarter by tracking how you spend your time for the rest of March. You can learn more about how to do that and download a simple time tracking sheet in last week’s blog post: Why Time Tracking is the First Step in Time Management.
6. Get the right help
Look back over the notes that you took about the 1st quarter and identify any areas where you could use help. Are there tasks you could delegate to someone else so you could put your attention on more important things? Could you hire someone with the special skill set that is missing from your team to fill the gap and ease everyone’s workload? Is it time to hire a business coach or consultant to help you identify and overcome obstacles?
Spend time looking at what your needs are in this area and create a plan to meet them for the 2nd quarter.
7. Celebrate your wins!
Don’t move on to the 2nd quarter without taking time to celebrate the wins from the 1st quarter. Look back over the list of things that went well in the 1st quarter. Allow yourself to feel good about the things you and your team accomplished, even if they were small wins. Then, write an email, get thank you cards, buy some pizza, and celebrate the wins with your team.
Employee morale is struggling in a lot of companies right now as the workload seems to be growing, there are gaps and holes from the Great Resignation and Reshuffling, and mental health is continuing to suffer across the world. It’s way too easy to hyper-focus on the struggles in an organization, so you have to be intentional about creating a positive culture. So, take time to celebrate.
If you could use help with goal setting, leadership development, and overcoming obstacles in your company’s growth, our SPEARity coaches would love to help. Explore today how a Spearity membership can help you take big strides moving forward.
Here’s to planning a great 2nd quarter!