how to keep your new year’s resolutions going with quarterly reviews
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How is it already almost April? It feels like yesterday that the year was turning over and we were making the move to Chicago. Around this time of year, I like to check in with myself regarding my yearly goals: am I on track to hit them? Do I need to reevaluate some plans, or has my focus and what I want to accomplish changed? I do this by conducting quarterly reviews every three months!
It can sound like extra work or a report you don’t want to deal with, but it’s important to set aside time to check in with yourself. You’ll be able to see what’s working well and what isn’t – plus, it’s a great opportunity to review great memories over the past three months.
This year I’ve been using a Passion Planner as my monthly agenda – it has built-in reflection tools at the end of the month, so I’ve actually been doing it even more than ever. If reviewing every month feels like too much, quarterly reviews allow for more time between reflections.
Quarterly reviews have two parts: reflection and preparation. This is the process I go through when conducting my quarterly review!
Step 0: Preparation
The first thing I do when I sit down to conduct a quarterly review is pull up my posts and planner pages with my goals, so I can get really clear on exactly what I wanted to focus on this year. It could be harder to write your review without having these in front of you – there’s always some tiny goal I forget about.
You can get as fancy, creative, or professional as you want with these – I like to write mine out, but you could certainly type them up as well if that’s how you’re more comfortable. Maybe mindmapping works best for you – sometimes being able to literally connect the dots in your plan helps!
Step 1: Reflection
- Start by focusing on the positive. What went well in the past three months? What goals did you hit or great memories were made? Who are you thankful for? I like to outline all the good things I can think of, whether they relate specifically to my goals or not.
- What were the biggest challenges I faced? These can be environmentally related (outside forces preventing your progress) or personal. Deciding to lay in your bed in the morning instead of getting up because it’s cold out doesn’t count as an environmental force!
- What needs more attention? Are you focusing a lot of energy on one area that you could spread out a bit more evenly?
- If you have any numerical goals, like weight loss or debt payoff, check in on that. It helps to see the progress and keeps you motivated!
- What were the biggest lessons you learned in the last three months? What do you wish you’d done differently?
- If you use a planner, review it and assess how you’re spending time vs. what you say your priorities are. You might have a goal to read 10 books this year, but find you’re only reading for an hour every month.
Step 2: Preparation
- What can you do that will leave you feeling like you had a great quarter at the end of these three months? It can be something like finding a freelance job, or losing 20 pounds.
- What goals can you break out into tasks for the next month? Write them down along with deadlines to keep you on task.
- Where will I be at the end of this quarter? What steps do I need to take to get there?
- Review your recurring time commitments, like any clubs you’re in or recurring appointments you have. Is there anything that isn’t serving you anymore that you could cut out?
Take a few hours to really dedicate and focus on yourself. You’ll probably find that in three months, you’ve made a lot of progress on your goals, which can go a long way in keeping you encouraged to keep going!