Schedule a Quarterly Review of Your Annual Goals

There’s more to April than budding trees, longer daylight hours, and warming temperatures. At this point, you’ve logged a full quarter of the year. Those annual targets and goals you set back at the turn of the calendar are now 3 months closer to completion. Do you know what that means? It means now is a good time to evaluate how far you’ve come and what comes next. 

Yes, You Need a Quarterly Review

Sure, you set goals for the full year. Maybe it was a sales target or raising series A funding for your new venture. Maybe it was a target increase of new clients or hiring new staff. Maybe it was personal: a new skill you wanted to master, a hobby you wanted to try, or a big purchase you wanted to save for. Whatever it is, you gave yourself about 12 months to complete it. Great. However, successfully reaching your goals requires more than simply setting it and forgetting it until December. Now is the time to evaluate what’s working and what might need to change in order to get you to that finish line. 

What’s Working?

Twelve months is a long time to wait for a win. Getting through the first quarter is a great time to evaluate progress and celebrate the steps you’ve taken toward your goals. Recognizing the little wins and the forward movement can boost your motivation and reinvigorate you. By identifying what’s working, you may also decide to double down on those tactics in favor of approaches that are yielding a lower ROI. 

What’s Not Working? 

When you started working towards your goals in January, you were working with a set of assumptions that helped guide your plans about how to achieve them. Now that you’ve got a few months of progress under your belt, you have a better idea of what’s not working, or maybe what’s not working as well as you expected. Recognizing that now, instead of 9 months from now, gives you time to shift gears, adapt, and refocus your efforts on something that will move the ball down the field for you. 

Do You Need a New Destination?

Sometimes the destination we’re aiming for at the start of the year isn’t quite what we thought it’d be when we began this leg of our journey. In January, learning to build your own website seemed like a brilliant idea. You already have some of the basic skills needed to pull it off and a few simple courses should have gotten you on the right path to make it work. With a few months of online lessons under your belt, however, you’ve realized two things. First, it's going to take you more time to do this work on your own than you anticipated. Second, you really don’t enjoy coding HTML and designing websites. The truth is maybe this isn’t a goal worth pursuing. 

Maybe this is one of those tasks you need to delegate. This first quarter review of your goals means you can make that shift and save yourself a lot more time (and maybe money!) in spinning your wheels on a task that’s ultimately not worth your time. Make the change and rededicate your time and energy to the goals that are going to pay dividends as the year goes on.

Are Your Expectations Reasonable?

Just because you haven’t made as much progress as you expected to make in a three month span doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path. It may just mean that you need to adjust how high you set the bar or how long you’ve given yourself to hit the target. Sales are steadily increasing. You see modest expansion month to month as word of mouth and intentional marketing campaigns work together to raise brand awareness and spark interest. Yet, at this current pace of growth, you’re going to fall short of your original sales goals for the year. 

This first quarter milestone allows you to assess whether your goal was maybe too ambitious as a 12 month target – but perhaps is right on track for a longer term stretch. You might decide to adjust your goals. You might decide to experiment with additional marketing approaches to see if you can boost sales even more. Taking a good look at what’s working, what’s not, and how far you’ve come at this interval helps you tweak or pivot in a way that ultimately leads to success.