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4th Quarter Goal Setting Tips

It’s hard to believe that October is here, but yup, we have a little over 90 days before 2019 arrives. Depending on how you view things and plan your life, you could be excited or terrified that we’ve reached the 4th quarter, but know that there’s still time to crush some of your goals if you take a moment to reassess and plan for the rest of the year.

I gave up New Year Resolutions years ago, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have any plans for how I move through this world. If anything, not using the start of a new year as a crutch to procrastinate on getting sh*t done has allowed me to be a lot more focused with how I spend my time (and my money). Living a life with more intention is the goal, and while things aren’t perfect, I can definitely see growth in all areas a little better .when I plan accordingly and set realistic goals for myself.

If you’ve been stuck on how to reach some of your goals before the year is up, here are a few tips to help:

Get clear on what’s really important
A lot of times we make super long goal lists or huge vision boards only to be disappointed when we can’t do all of the things. First things first, let’s take a moment to break down what we have listed (and unaccomplished) and decide what’s achievable now vs. later. Everything that we do typically fall into a category of work, family, finances, etc. so look at your list of goals (whether it’s 3 or 30), create your major categories, and then list each goal under the most relevant section.

Prioritize within each area of your life
Making a list isn’t the same as prioritizing-you’re literally just writing down what you want to do. Once you have your categories defined and your goals listed, it’s time to see what is actually achievable before the year is out vs. something that’s important to you, but you can wait to complete it. Only you know what is most important in your life, but take a moment to prioritize your goals so that you can actually knock some out before the year ends.

Get real about what you have time to do
I know, I know, we want to save the world and everyone in it at the same time, but that’s just not humanly possible. You are ONE person, and it’s OK to have to slow down and reassess what you actually have time to do. You may have wanted to take a 6 weeks cooking class, do 90 straight days of yoga and save $5,000 before the year is up, but if you’re working 2 jobs, have kids that are active or have been eating out and shopping every day since May, that’s probably not gonna happen. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it just means that you may have set your goals at a standard that’s a little bit too high for you to achieve at this point and need to make a few adjustments. Something a little more realistic might be a Saturday morning cooking class while the kids are at practice, yoga 2-3 times a week, and saving $500 before the year is out ($42 a week). Self-sabotage is a real thing, and sometimes we subconsciously put ourselves in a position to fail by trying to overachieve something. You might need to get to the root of why you do this so that you can approach your goals more realistically and have better accountability.

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Create an action plan
Now that you have a better idea of the goals that you want to achieve this last quarter, now is the time to make an action plan. Without action, setting goals is meaningless. Sure, you’ll have an impressive list to share with your friends and colleagues, but you won’t actually achieve anything, so also developing a plan of action is imperative to this process. A way to do this is with three-level goal setting. Basically, once you know what you want to achieve for the quarter:

  • decide what you want to achieve for the month
  • break down what you need to do by the week,
  • commit to daily tasks to help you get to your bigger picture.

For example, if I want to reach that $500 quarterly savings goal (and I’m starting at $0), I know that I would need to see where I can cut expenses/save so that I can put $167 towards the goal each month. That’s about $42 a week ($6 a day), so this means that if I eat out all the time or go for coffee twice a day, I need to shave off $6 somewhere. This could be with me making my own coffee or lunch a few days a week, or if I’m a seriously lousy cook (so I have to buy my meals), I skip out on a dessert one day or get a $6 sandwich + chips instead of the $12 salad. Do what makes sense for your life. I’m not going to tell you to buy food to cook if it’s only going to waste away in your fridge (I’ve done this before and been pissed about it); you will have to sacrifice a bit, but how you do it is going to be different for each person. Just know that breaking these goals down and setting daily, weekly, and monthly benchmarks will enable you to regularly check on your progress in case you get sidetracked.

Get an accountability partner
If all else fails, partner with a friend, family member, coach, or colleague to help you be accountable for reaching your goals. There’s nothing like setting expectations for yourself and having someone follow up with you to make sure you get it done. They don’t have to be a drill sergeant or be someone that makes your feel bad if you fall off the wagon, but they do need to be someone that you can trust and be honest with in case you fall short. Know what areas you are weak in so that you can ask for help when needed. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

The year may be headed to a close but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make any strides towards achieving all of your goals. By making a few simple changes to how you approach them, it will help you end the 4th quarter strong!


How do you want to finish off this year? What steps are you taking to make it happen?

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