It’s Fourth Quarter...There’s Still Time
Fall is here. This is my absolute favorite time of year. I grew up in Cincinnati and fall is beautiful there—I have the fondest memories of falling into piles of leaves after hours of raking, performing at halftime at high school football games and drinking hot chocolate from a Styrofoam cup in the bleachers. The leaves changed to the most beautiful colors. The air became a bit frosty but there were still many warm days as well. I loved fall, but there was also a little sadness at the impending cold weather, shorter days, dark nights, and inevitable snowfall. It always made me a little sad.
Now that I live in South Georgia, fall is beautiful in a different way. I am happy with the cooler weather, changing leaves, an abundance of hay bales and—of course—pumpkin spice flavored everything. Ohio can keep the snow!
The changing colors of fall can also be a catalyst for personal and professional reflection. For me and my business, this is the time of year I take time to assess whether I am achieving my goals. I don’t wait until December to check in with my goals and see if I can be satisfied with what the year brought. I don’t set a New Year’s resolution in hopes that I will do better next year. There is still time—this year—to achieve more. Even though the holiday season can be hectic, it’s still a good time to implement new habits to carry into the new year.
This applies to goals and milestones in our personal lives, careers, or businesses. Use November and December to assess where you are and work to finish the year strong.
Are you on track to hit your goals for the year? If so, great! Maybe it’s time to raise the bar a little. Stretch yourself, your family or your work team and see what else you can achieve before the New Year ball drops.
If you find you’re going to fall short of your goals, don’t despair. It’s okay to be honest and acknowledge that you may not have achieved all you hoped. Adjust your goals so you can finish the year with some forward momentum. Then take that momentum and carry it into your battle plan for 2022.
With just two months left in the year, narrow your attention to the activities that will bring you the most results in the short term. If you run a local business, consider running some promotions or partnering with other businesses to have a holiday open house. If you’ve gotten complacent with your fitness regimen, carve out some time to hit the gym and rebuild a routine. There’s no time like the present to begin.
Be sure to set aside some time to understand why you missed the mark and how you will overcome this shortfall next year. Here’s a few prompts to get you started:
- Did you do what you said you were going to do?
- Did you keep goals in mind every week of every month of the year?
- What obstacles got in the way (Pandemic anyone?)
Take your answers to these questions and use them as you plan for next year. Set weekly goals with tasks to be completed each day that will move you toward success by year’s end. To keep yourself accountable, be sure to document them, whether you use an analog planner or a web app.
We’ve all had a challenging year. It will feel much better come New Year’s Eve if we can feel some sense of accomplishment about the positive things achieved in 2021.