It happened again! The year has flown by, and the 4th quarter is here. Hopefully, you’ve been knocking your goals out of the park all year long. But if you’re like a lot of leaders, this is the time of year when it starts to hit that the year is almost over, and you have a long way to go in meeting your goals.
Maybe you set goals and never created a plan to help you achieve them. Maybe you didn’t stick to working your plan like you knew you needed to so you could hit your goals. Or maybe unforeseen obstacles popped up throughout the year, and you’ve struggled to make the necessary adjustments to get back on track. It happens, but the good news is that you still have an entire quarter to make progress.
If you want to finish the fourth quarter strong in business (and life), these tips can help.
1. Look at your goals and adjust your plan if necessary
One of the key mistakes leaders make when setting goals is not keeping their eyes on their goals all throughout the year. Setting goals is not like cooking in a crockpot. You’re not supposed to “set it and forget it.”
Your plan and tasks need to be goal-driven throughout the year. That’s how you consistently move the needle forward.
We’ve got one quarter left to work toward our 2023 goals. If you haven’t been staying on top of tracking your goals, it’s time to make a change.
Dig through your files, search your computer, or do whatever you need to so you can find where you wrote your goals down because it’s time to review them.
It’s time to take a good, honest look at the goals you set and the plan you put in place. Be honest with yourself if those goals are unattainable at this point of the year. If they are, don’t waste time shaming yourself for failing—start realigning.
I’ve heard Darren, CEO of SPEARity, share more than once with audiences that it’s OK to lower the bar. This might be something you struggle with because it goes against what society tells us. We’re always supposed to be pushing for more.
The idea of lowering our goals can be a hard one to swallow, but there are times when it’s necessary.
If your goals are no longer realistic, they are no longer SMART goals. That means it’s time to realign your goals so they are achievable.
Now, if you have been killing it this year, then adjusting your goal might mean raising the bar instead of lowering it. That’s OK, too.
The purpose of reviewing your goals right now is so you can make any necessary adjustments to have a plan to work throughout Q4.
2. Set designated “planning time” on your calendar
It’s important that you have time every week and month during the quarter to set up your SPEAR and create a plan that you can work on during the week.
If you aren’t already using the SPEARity app, I highly recommend that you check it out. You can learn more about it at the following links:
- SPEARity app
- 3 Ways the SPEARIty App Has Improved My Productivity
- Break Down and Achieve Goals with the SPEARity App
But I’ll let you in on a secret—it’s not a magical app. You don’t simply enter your information, and things automatically happen. You have to take the time to use it as part of your daily plan. This allows you to see where you really need to focus and to track how your tasks are helping you work towards your goals.
So, whether you use the app or have a different system in place, make sure that you take time today to schedule planning time on your calendar. It could be 5 minutes each morning or an hour at the start of each week. Find what works for you, and then do it.
Remember the quote from Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Make your planning time a priority so you can keep your eyes on the goal and make adjustments each week throughout the quarter.
3. Set and focus on priorities (AKA the most important things)
I’m a New Year’s Resolution/Goal Setter. I love to spend the end of one year making exciting plans for what the next year will bring. It’s an activity that my husband and I do with our three daughters. We set goals as a family, and then each of us sets our own goals for things we want to accomplish or try for the first time.
It’s exciting for me because it feels that anything is possible. There’s an entire year to make it happen.
But once the fourth quarter rolls around, that’s not necessarily the case. It’s time to narrow my focus to the things that will make the biggest impact on my life and business.
It’s unrealistic to think I can accomplish the same thing in one quarter that I had originally planned to do in an entire year. With limited time left on the clock, it’s time to narrow my focus to the most important things.
Look at where your attention needs to be in your business right now to make the biggest impact before the start of 2024.
4. Remember that anything can still happen
I spent the first 30ish years of my life in Michigan, born and raised. That means I grew up watching the Detroit Lions. And as much as I don’t really want to be a Lions fan, it’s somehow hard not to want the home team to win. That’s a tough place to be when your home team is the Lions.
Here’s one thing I’ve learned from being a semi-Lions fan. Anything is possible in the 4th quarter. As a Lions fan, this isn’t the best news. But if you’re the opposing team, it’s fantastic news. It means that no matter how much the Lions are beating you going into the fourth quarter, you can still win.
Anything can happen because the game isn’t over.
It’s the same in business. While it might feel like the year is coming to an end, and the holidays are right around the corner, you still have an entire quarter of the year left to work on accomplishing your goals. Anything is possible, so stay focused.
Are you ready to make the most of your 4th quarter? Working with a business coach or leadership development coach can make all the difference in helping you reach your business goals. Contact a SPEARity coach today to discuss your options. We are SPEARity, a local Milwaukee business coaching firm that specializes in executive coaching and leadership development training.