We’re about to roll into the last month of the 3rd quarter of 2021. If you’re feeling like the year has flown by, you’re not alone. This has been another year that has required us to be on our toes and ready to pivot as needed with changes that are often out of our control. Do you have your September goals set? Are you making progress toward your 3rd quarter goals? What about your goals for the year? These goal-setting tips can help you buckle down and reach your business and leadership goals.
1. Reflect and review on the past
Now I don’t mean to jump WAY back into the past. You simply want to take a few moments to think over how the first two months of the quarter went. What things went well for you and the company? What went wrong? Then, take it a step further and ask yourself, why did some things go well and others were a flop.
Taking the time to identify not only what was good and bad, but why they were good and bad helps you to see what to keep doing and what needs to change. It’s not easy to admit to yourself that you failed at something or screwed something up. But it’s important to learn to be ok with doing it. Because only when you do, can you truly start to see ways to improve so you don’t repeat the same outcomes again in the future.
So, as we work on setting goals to finish up the 3rd quarter strong, reflect on July and August. See where you stand on your quarter goals. Look at where you stand on the 2021 goals.
2. Identify the priorities
We’re down to 1 of the 3 months left in this quarter. That means it’s time to look over those 3rd quarter goals again. Now that you’ve reflected and reviewed where you currently stand on each of them, it’s time to make some decisions.
Are you killing it? Have you already hit your goals or you can easily hit them quickly in September? Then maybe you need to add to your 3rd quarter goals.
Are you on pace to hit your goals? Identify the key things that need to be done in order to make it happen in September. Layout the rest of the plan for how you’re going to get there.
Are you struggling? Maybe you set goals that were unrealistic for the quarter or maybe the situation and environment around you changed causing your ability to hit your goals to change. Whatever the reason is, look at how you can adjust your 3rd quarter goals so you can have realistic targets to focus on in September. If you continue to work towards goals that you know you can’t hit, you and your team may get easily discouraged.
Make sure that you and your team are clear on the priorities going into this last month of the quarter. This will allow you to spend your time on the areas that will make the biggest impact.
3. Look at the one big thing you’ve been putting off
Most of us have one or two things we know we should be doing but we’re not doing. There are a lot of reasons why we don’t take action in that area. We say it’s because we don’t know how, we don’t have the time, we don’t have the resources, and the list goes on and on. But I would challenge you to look at the real reason you haven’t taken action in that area. Many times it’s actually because of fear.
It might be true that you don’t know how, but fear stops you from taking the steps you need to in order to learn how to do it. You may feel that you’re too busy, but are there things you’re spending your time on that you don’t need to be? Checking email every hour, scrolling social media, cleaning your desk off again. We find ways to fill our time with other things when we’re afraid to take action in a different area. Then we feel too busy, but we’re really the ones making it that way.
So, identify what the thing is that you’ve been trying to ignore or put on the back burner and brainstorm a list of ways you can take action in that area. Then choose one thing that you can do before the end of September and make it happen. Progress is always better than
4. Tackle your calendar
With just one month left in the calendar, you need to prioritize your time carefully. Take a look at your calendar and schedule in time to complete the things you need to get done. This will eliminate the excuse that you don’t have time. Do this now, before every week is full.
Evaluate your schedule to see if there are any meetings you are attending that you don’t need to be or ways you can make them more efficient and productive. Are there ways you can make your day more productive? Many people prefer to keep their meetings or scheduled calls all on one or two days of the week. That leaves the other day for more focused work. Look for what works the best for you and then schedule your month to match.
5. Follow up with people
Think over the first two months of the quarter, what conversations did you have during that time that you need to follow up on? How can you add value to the people that you’ve engaged with throughout the 3rd quarter. What employees do you need to check in on to make sure things are going well? What clients should you be reaching out to this month?
Create a list of the people and things that need your attention and get them on your schedule.
6. Work smarter not harder
There are a lot of systems and software out there to help you automate the work you do on a regular basis. Take advantage of these opportunities. Evaluate what your budget can handle while keeping in mind that as you automate more of these tasks, it frees up your time to focus on the areas of your business that really need it.
You can also spend some time looking at what tasks you can delegate to someone else. Just make sure that if you delegate something, you set the person up for success. These tips from a previous post can help.
Get ready for the 4th quarter
Before we know it, we’re going to be starting the 4th quarter for 2021. Make sure you plan some time in September to plan out the last three months of the year. You don’t want to wait until October begins to get started. Our SPEARity APEx event is the perfect time to review the 3rd quarter and get ready for the 4th.
If you want some help tackling and succeeding in the 3rd quarter and beyond, contact SPEARity to see how our Milwaukee-based business coaches can help.