First Quarter Check In

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We’ve come to the end of the first quarter of the year, a traditional checkpoint for your goals.

How are you progressing with the goals you’ve set for this year? Are you building momentum, plodding steadily along or still at the starting blocks uncertain of how best to move ahead?

Wherever you find yourself, awareness of your current status is key.

Much like the marker on the map at the mall that says, “You are here”, knowing where you are, relative to your desired destination, provides a sense of clarity and perspective to proceed with focus. Otherwise, you may just be wandering aimlessly wasting time and possibly in the wrong direction.

If you did not make a plan to assess your progress towards your goals, pause and do so now. Some questions you may consider answering are: What do I want (your goal)? How is the path I am on helping me to achieve my goal? What/How much of it have I accomplished?

Stopping to check your progress at predetermined intervals, be it a calendar date such as quarterly or at a percentage or dollar value, for example, will give an indication of how much farther you need to go, in which direction, the required resources to get you there and the landmarks you are likely to pass en route.

This awareness may either bring you relief or stoke some anxiety. But it will certainly equip you to make informed choices.

When you find yourself on course towards achieving your goals, take a moment to celebrate the wins. This has an amazing ability to energize you to continue moving forward. Remember that encouragement sweetens labor, even self-encouragement!  So how do you celebrate? Give yourself permission to go out and do it!

Document the lessons learned. Create a journal that you may refer to for encouragement and enlightenment. Little practices like these create landmarks and points of reference for yourself and others.

If the results of your first quarter assessment suggest that your progress toward your goal is less impressive than you had planned, acknowledge that fact and immediately redirect your attention to the bigger picture. Guard your focus! Percolate a bit on and what it is you ideally want to accomplish.

Then seek to find an appropriate alternate course of action that may be best suited to move you forward. As you do, answer, what adjustments may be necessary to get the result(s) I want? What will it take to make those adjustments?

Where necessary, (which is most often) reach outside of yourself and ask for help from others who’ve been where you want to go. Mentors, advisors, and coaches can help to accelerate your progress and shave much time off your efforts to achieve your goal on your own. As you are learning from them be sure to bring value to the relationship, show interest and that you value their time and investment in you.

Caution: However disheartening the shortcomings of your progress may be, resist the allure to fixate on the negatives or to become depressed by them. This is a deadly trap you must intentionally avoid to keep on course with your goals and dreams. “For as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Negative thoughts and environments will suffocate your dreams. Resist them at all cost.

Your attitude is key to your success! Whatever you feed grows. Therefore, focus your attention and energy on thoughts and information and in company that will fuel your success!

Be mindful that every disappointment has an expiry date, for to everything there is a time and a season! Keep your goals visible before you. Assess your progress towards achieving them at predetermined intervals. Celebrate your wins. Promptly refocus on the bigger picture if and when you get derailed and whenever possible, align with those who’ve been where you want to go for ‘no man is an island’.


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