October sees the start of the fourth quarter of the year.
In the business world, top companies kick-off “Q4” by gathering together their leadership teams to assess what’s gone right this year, what’s gone wrong, and what steps they can take to finish the year with strong forward momentum.
Preparing for a positive Q4 sprint could also help you end this ‘annus horribilis’ with a real sense of personal accomplishment.
Answer these three questions and put an action plan in place to achieve your most important goals and start laying the groundwork for a successful 2021 as well.
1 – What are my top goals for the last two months of 2020?
We’ve all had to deal with a myriad of challenges and changes in 2020. Those experiences probably had a profound impact on the goals you set for yourself way back in January.
Perhaps, due to the changes we’ve lived through, some goals aren’t very realistic right now.
The space between the things we want to do and the things we can do in this environment might feel overwhelming. But if you try to do too much in a short space of time, you’ll only scatter minimal progress across targets that you won’t be any closer to hitting.
Instead, reflect on how 2020 has affected you personally, professionally, emotionally, and physically.
Focus your attention on one or two practical goals that will give you the most fulfilment. File away any goals that don’t make the cut for your 2021 game plan.
2 – What can I do today?
Once you’ve broken down your list of goals, it’s time to break down those goals even further into actionable daily steps.
These little achievements will build-up to significant accomplishments over time if you’re diligent about crossing them off your to-do list.
I use my ‘Reminders’ on my iPhone, which allow me to build colour coded lists with a satisfying swipe left to complete.
3 – How will I hold myself accountable?
Effective goal setting creates a stepladder that builds on the previous day’s progress and keeps you moving closer to your ultimate goal. But some days getting up on that ladder is more straightforward than others.
Many people maintain motivation via short-term rewards.
For example, when you’ve decluttered the one room which you needed to do before starting your planned home extension, get away from the house for a bit, and treat yourself and your spouse to a nice dinner.
If you accomplish your daily job search tasks for four days in a row, give yourself a Friday afternoon off and go for a bike ride or play a round of golf, or watch a movie if wet!
Another strategy is to track your progress.
There are many online tools and apps you can use to check off daily tasks. It could also be fun to personalize a pen-and-paper journal that combines your to-do lists with reflections on your journey.
Finally, there’s no stronger accountability system than other people.
Knowing that your cycling buddies are waiting for you on the road will get you out of the house even when your bed is incredibly cosy.
And whatever you’re trying to get better at, you can find groups of likeminded strivers online who will inspire you to write more, cook healthier meals, sand down the rough edges, and learn the next three chords.
We would love to be part of the support system that helps you achieve your financial goals.
Let’s schedule a Q4 review and discuss where you want your financial plan to lead you by the end of the year and how we can help you achieve success in 2021 and beyond.
I’m off to start decluttering a room!