Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.
Spring is in the air, the birds are singing and the last final bits of snow are fading from view. The third month of the year is poised to become just a memory in only a handful of days and the first official day of spring is on the horizon.
How was your first quarter of the New Year? Did you reach the goals that you so courageously promised yourself on January one? Or are they already forgotten along side the winter weather? Were you disciplined or sidetracked? Are you ready for a Do-over?
The majority of the business world divides their year into four quarters, providing an opportunity for evaluations and measurement four times a year instead of only the start of the new year. Since I have been a business owner for decades, I tend to think in the four quarter mode myself and use it as a tool when assisting my clients with their goals.
I think it is a wonderful habit to adopt for everyone who wants to set goals and work toward continual improvement. Measuring one month against another is one thing, but when you measure quarters it is easy to start finding trends of behavior, profit or loss, and improvements or set backs. In our fast-moving society, a month can whisk by like a hummingbird, barely landing in one place long enough to know it was there. But…a Quarter, that’s enough time to get a handle on and make some very real assessments about how you are doing. It’s also short enough to make some changes before you loose the entire year.
So- January, February, March- our first quarter is ending. We can take a solid look back and see how we did.
April, May, June- our second quarter is beginning. We have a wonderful opportunity to begin again, re-assess our goals and challenges and map out a new strategy to get them taken care of.
My first quarter was a mixed bag. Some difficult family situations took precedence over business and friends for awhile and created a rocky start to the New Year. Slowly as those situation dissipated, I’ve been able to turn my attention full force back to creating growth and momentum in my business and have had very good success at that.
I achieved some specific goals and have more work to do in others. I would have to confess that if any one area had taken the back seat, it would be in the area of health and fitness. Time to re-evaluate that slice of the pie! The good thing about quarterly measurement is that it’s not too late to make a much needed correction. I can assess the short term damage and take action.
Some of the types of questions I use to make this evaluation are:
What area of my goals did I have the most success with and why? ( don’t forget to take the time to celebrate your victories!)
What have I been doing right and how do I know it is working?
What area of my life and/or goals got the short end of the stick? What happened to cause that shift away from the plan?
What can I do to cause a correction to take place?
Moving forward, what would I like to accomplish these next three months?
How will I measure my success?
What monthly, weekly and daily goals do I need to incorporate to reach my next quarter of success?
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and I find that the last two weeks of the quarter are a great time to begin thinking about the quarterly review. At the very least, you have a few more weeks to hustle up some improvement before the quarter ends, and at the most, you will have a plan of action in place and can hit the ground running like a fool on April first.
With a smile on your face. 🙂
What about you? How was your first quarter? What will you choose for your second one to be like?
Ack! My first quarter, I admit sheepishly, wasn’t all I wanted it to be. Very helter-skelter. I’ve been reading a lot of butt-kicking posts in the last week or so (must be something in the air), but I haven’t yet translated that into “okay, I’ve got to kick my own butt into gear!” Don’t know why. I almost feel like I didn’t have enough to push against. I’m mad at me, but… not mad enough at me.
Can I call it the low-motivation quarter?
As soon as I read “Are you ready for a Do-over?” I knew you were talking directly to me. Yes. I’ll take you up on that. How much to go back to all the energy I had in the first three weeks of the year and start from there?
Oh, golly, I suppose I’ll have to look within or some such. O-kay.
Thanks for this. And may your second quarter be bursting with energy and filled with positive steps and rockin’ progress.
Kelly’s last blog post..WIN a Prize & Wish MCE a Happy 300th
Stacey / Create a Balance says
This is a very useful exercise. My successes include getting back to the gym, hiring a personal trainer, beginning a weight training program, going on a paradise vacation, collaborating with several different bloggers, beginning my training for my life coach certification, and connecting with a marketing coach.
I planned to lead an online life balance retreat but no one signed up for my ecourse. I’m learning from this experience and am now working with a marketing coach to get a better sense of who my clients/customers are and how I can connect with them.
In the next three months I would like to lose 6 pounds, to continue my exercise program, to continue to collaborate with other bloggers, to start coaching, and to build my marketing plan. My coaches will hold my accountable for reaching my goals.
Great exercise. I can sense a post on my blog to dig deeper into my answers.
Stacey / Create a Balance’s last blog post..Authentic Happiness Series – Part One
Mark Lewis says
Wendi, I really like this idea and wrote additional thoughts about the process on my blog.
Mark Lewis’s last blog post..The Personal Quarterly Review
Honestly the beginning of the quarter was a blur for me, until the show I was working on finished. Once that happened things started kicking into gear, I found that I was slipping down a slippery slope with the whole depression thing and eventually came to the realization I needed meds again, once I got back on them, I started to soar. I’ve been going to the gym since February 16th and have since lost 10 pounds and have ridden my bike about a dozen times riding at least 3 miles each time and once getting up to 12. Things have slowed down in the last 5 days but I’m ramping things up and looking for continued success in the next quarter, I’m even looking to sign up for 2 bike rides next quarter.
It’s amazing how things start to snowball when you keep at something, I was completely shocked when I lost 5 pounds the first week and it has kept me motivated! I am looking forward to this year with much hope and anticipation. I’m sure I have learned a thing or two from you!!
Jenny’s last blog post..Not My Omega
Barbara Swafford says
Hi Wendi – What a great exercise. Being in business, the end of the quarter always reminds me of the reporting requirements we have, but I’ve never applied it to my own life.
My first quarter seems like a blur. Although our work slowed down due to the economy, I put more on my plate and started another blog, am in the middle of a site redesign, and have a list that doesn’t quit. I love being busy so I don’t mind, but do hope in quarter two, I’ll have more time to smell the roses.
Best wishes to you, too.
Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..What’s In A Name