The First Quarter Check In by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

Time flies when you’re having fun, and the first quarter of the New Year has flown! Can you believe that you’re already one quarter of the way through 2017?

The end of the first quarter means it’s time to check up on the goals you set at the beginning of the year. By this point, you should be able to see measurable progress toward the results you desire.

Take the time to really sit down and go over each goal, as well as how you’ve progressed toward meeting these. If results are where you would expect these to be, take the time to celebrate.

However, if you haven’t made as much progress as you had hoped, it’s time for some evaluation. Measure the difference between where you hoped to be at this point in the year and where you are. List the obstacles that got in your way, along with solutions for how you will overcome those obstacles in the remainder of the year.

Each year is divided into perfect quarters, but progression toward our goals rarely follows this exact pattern. If you’re behind, you have time to catch up, and there may even be reasons why you would expect to be less than one quarter of the way to your goal at this point. If that’s the case, you know you must be prepared to pick up the pace for the rest of the year.

If appropriate, remember to share the progress with your team members who contribute to the goal. Keeping them informed of where you are, and offering suggestions on how to move forward as needed to make the goals can keep the momentum going throughout the year. Have them share their ideas and the obstacles they see, along with how they’ll be prepared to overcome these. It’s easy to lose sight of yearly goals if you aren’t regularly documenting progress and talking about how to keep moving forward.

Monitoring progress is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you meet your goals. Never lose sight of the progress you’ve made, and never fail to plan for what lies ahead.