Smart Goals for Quarterly Goal Setting
Quarterly Goal Setting works in 3 month blocks, and is useful for when you’re just beginning to get a handle on either business or personal goals – working with a whole year can be a little overwhelming. Or, for when you have been doing this Goal Setting thing for a while, but you just want to grab a little tighter focus and work through your plans in a smart, step by step kinda way.
As I write this, we’re moving from February to March, which is the end of the first quarter of this year. Personally, I plan in Long Term (5 years, currently), Medium Term (1 year), and Short Term (Quarterly) goal setting blocks.
You can begin this way if you already have long or medium term plans, or spend some time and sketch them out. This is useful for being able to sort of work backwards, and break things down into what needs happen in the short term to achieve them. This can also help to get it in your brain that this stuff is achievable, as the leap from here to there can seem HUGE, at times.
If you just want to do something today though, you can just begin now with setting some quarterly goal setting. All my goals are broken down into categories that make sense for my life, and I encourage you to do the same. For reference, my categories are:
- Mastery (skills development and education)
When it gets to your quarterly goal setting within each category that makes sense for you, make sure each goal is as actionable and specific as possible. Ideally, you will define the specific steps to take, who is responsible (eg, any collaborations etc.), what tools are needed or available to be used, and a very particular deadline.
Time Frames for Your Quarterly Goal Setting
- January to March
- April to June
- July to September
- October to December.
Within these time blocks, the process works in cycles.
Begin with a Review – what has been working for you so far? What hasn’t? Is it worth figuring out how to make those things work better, or is it time to focus on and develop the things you know to be effective? What has been holding you back? Do you have tools or resources available that you’re not making use of?
The answers to these questions can be written in Your Bullet Journal, or just thought about. But we all know which will be more useful… spoiler alert, it’s the one where you physically write things down and have them on file for future reference.
Next you can Dream – what do you really want? Which category/categories do your dreams fit into? What would you pursue if you had unlimited time and money? What does your ideal day look like? If someone was watching the film (movie) of your life, what actions would they be thinking were the most obvious, and willing you to take?
Now you make a Plan – write out some goals, and don’t forget to make them Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely – SMART. This will give you a clearer sense at the end of the quarter of whether or not you’ve hit them, or not.
Congratulations! You now have a Plan based off your quarterly goal setting. Each week, you can look at these goals to see where you are, where you want or need to be, and what the next obvious step to take is. It also helps to pick out the top 3 goals you want to progress this week, and then work them down into daily action steps.
End with a Review too. As you near the end of a Quarterly goal setting period, you get to look back and see what’s working and what’s not. Some useful things to consider include any habits you want to start/remove, milestones, obstacles, ways to overcome obstacles (plan to succeed), and a reward for hitting your goals!