Maximizing The Benefits Of A 4th Quarter Check by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

Many professionals look at a fourth-quarter goals check as either a confirmation they are on track to meet their goals or a reminder that they are not achieving their milestones and the promise of meeting their goals is slipping through their fingers.

A better way to approach a fourth-quarter goal check is not as a black or white, pass or fail scenario, but rather as a way to reflect on what is working, adjust for what is not, and consider adding to some areas of your goals to move towards the possibility of stretch goals.

Evaluate Success

The first thing that most people look for is what is not working. This sets the tone for the rest of the exercise, resulting in a limited ability to how personal and professional growth has occurred throughout the year.

Start by looking at where in your goals you have met or exceeded your milestones to be on track for meeting your big goals at the end of the year. What is working in these areas? How can this information or insight help you to improve other areas where you are not seeing the same level of success?

Be sure to document your successes. Write them down and identify the specifics of the progress made to make this learning easily transferable to other goal areas.

Where/What Are the Obstacles?

In areas where you are not seeing growth or success or not meeting your KPIs, what are the specific obstacles, challenges, or blocks you face? Be clear as to why you are experiencing this challenge, and look for areas where you have the ability to make changes.

This is also a time to consider if you need additional resources to achieve your goals. If resources are an issue, who can you talk to about the problem? Who in your organization, network, or team could provide insight, information, or support in making changes to help you achieve your goals over the next few months?

Consider Upcoming Goals

Making small changes in the fourth quarter can help you to set yourself up for 2024. Having a clearer picture of what works, typical challenges, and how to overcome these challenges is a solid foundation for next year’s goal setting that is right around the corner.

For goals that are almost met, what would it feel like to stretch those goals? Give yourself a reasonable, achievable challenge to exceed your original goals in areas where you see steady progress and a clear path to meeting the levels you set at the beginning of the year.