We’ve reached the end of the first quarter, and even though we’re only three months in, you may feel that you’ve already had a busy year. It’s tempting to keep going from one quarter to the next at your current pace. The reality is that when you don’t take some time to reflect and make adjustments, the rest of your year will be the same busy and exhausting experience.
Jonathan Mills said that “Successful people demonstrate their resilience through their dedication to making progress every day, even if that progress is marginal.” If you want the next quarter of your year to be better, you have to be willing to pause and review your previous quarter. Once you’ve done that, you can use the lessons to change your situation and move forward.
A quarter of a year, i.e. three months, is an ideal time frame to create a plan, review your progress, and make adjustments. The world’s moving at a rapid pace and things change often. When you create a plan that’s longer than three-to-six months, your plan becomes outdated and you might lose momentum. The more distant your goal seems, the less achievable it is. Creating plans that span three months at a time forces you to think about what’s realistic and achievable in the not-too-distant future.
If you’re eager to improve the next three months of your year, and the months thereafter, use the following three steps to help you to take action.
Make sense of your last three months by taking a step back and reflecting on everything that’s happened and what you want to change. Grab a notebook and pen to make notes and ask yourself three questions: What went well? What didn’t go well? What can you do differently?
2. Decide and commit
Now that you’ve reviewed your last three months and determined what you can do differently, it’s time to commit to what you will do differently. In order to see a difference in your next quarter, you need to commit to change by writing down the actions that you’ll take to improve things for yourself.
3. Take action
Now that you’ve made the commitment, it’s time to take action. Create a clear plan that shows what you’ll do, when you’ll do it, how you’ll get it done, and when you’ll achieve it. Then, you simply implement your plan over three months and repeat these three steps.
Remember, you can only make your next quarter better once you’ve taken the lessons from your previous quarter. As Frank Sonnenberg puts it, “Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned.”
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