Take Advantage Of A 4th Quarter Evaluation by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

The fourth quarter of the year is always one of the most demanding, with the annual performance review just around the corner. With most people setting their professional and personal goals in the first quarter of the year, this is the perfect time to review those goals and make any necessary adjustments.

One of the most effective ways to have a great fourth quarter is to clearly understand your objectives and KPIs. This could include changing goals to meet the realities of the economy, changes in consumer habits, or other factors that may not have been known or anticipated when the goals were developed at the beginning of the year.

Celebrating and Adding New Goals

It is very likely that some goals may have been met at this point. This is a time to celebrate and recognize your achievement in meeting the goals in advance of the planned schedule. Sometimes, recognizing that a goal is met helps you to reallocate your time, energy, and resources into focusing on goals that are not met. This is true for both individuals as well as teams.

This is a great time to look at new short-term goals or to add a stretch goal. Stretch goals are designed to create a goal that is above the expected standards. They are designed to be challenging, and adding to a goal that is already met provides additional inspiration and motivation to work towards a level of top performance.

While stretch goals should be designed to be high-effort goals, they shouldn’t be impossible to achieve. It is a balance between pushing yourself and setting a goal that becomes impossible to meet and frustrating to consider. When setting a stretch goal, think of stepping outside of your comfort zone or creating a goal that challenges how you currently complete a task. Stretch goals are great for those who thrive on challenges and enjoy trying new, innovative, and creative things.

A Review

Evaluating yourself before the start of the fourth quarter is also an opportunity to see if you are working on all of the goals you set in the past three quarters. Are there areas where you are falling behind? Do some aspects of the current goals need to change? Do you need to have additional resources, support, or time to complete your goals?

The fourth quarter often seems to pass very quickly. Checking to see that you are in alignment with your short and long-term goals for this year takes a small amount of time but also helps you to address any areas where you may need to focus.