Goal Setting

Maximize the Quarterly Preview: 5 Steps to Win the Next Quarter

Win the next quarter with a quarterly preview

Time is strange. It can move fast and slow at the same time—a month can feel like an entire year and (somehow) a single day. Last quarter is gone. You’ll blink and this next quarter will have disappeared. When it does, you might be left wishing you’d started with a plan.

The good news? Now is the perfect time to make one. Here’s how to begin.

Step 1: Make Space

Reflection is powerful. We know that. So why don’t we do more of it? Simply put, it takes intention. It takes time. And we’re usually moving too fast. We intend to start journaling, recalibrate our rituals, or complete our Weekly Preview. Then we don’t.

Here’s a simple lesson: What gets scheduled gets done. If you want the upcoming quarter to be better than the last, you’ll need to set aside a couple of hours to reflect, learn, and plan. Our process for that is called the Quarterly Preview.

Some people might decide to take a half-day or even a full day to complete their Quarterly Preview. That’s great! If you’re new to the process, you might prefer to start with something shorter. That’s great, too. Find whatever works for you.

And don’t just make space in your schedule. Pay attention to your physical space. It’s possible you’ll want your laptop for parts of the process, or you might decide to go tech-free. You’ll want to be undisturbed—which will take extra planning if you have a chaotic household. Pick a place that you’ll look forward to going to and that provides the focus you’ll need.

Step 2: Celebrate the Wins

Good news: The last quarter probably went better than you think it did. We have a tendency to fixate on what’s negative. But when you slow down and look for the wins, inevitably, you’ll find them.

So start a list. What went well last quarter? Don’t limit yourself to work. There are nine domains: body, mind, spirit, love, family, community, money, work, and hobbies. Look for wins in all of them. Use your calendar, photo app, Full Focus Planner, and task management system to help bring it all back if you need to.

Don’t skip this step. It helps you get in a mindset of abundance and possibility. That kind of thinking is important to learning from the past and planning the future.

Step 3: Unearth the Lessons

Life is the best teacher. But we rarely slow down to learn from it. Start by noticing. Ask: What worked? What didn’t? Don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, try to reflect like an impartial observer—or better, a friend.

You might say, “Keeping an irregular bedtime made my mornings more chaotic.” Or, “When I drive home in silence, it gives my mind space to process the day.”

Then, turn noticing into learning. Ask: What will I continue? What will I change?

For instance, “I want to be in bed by 10 p.m. every night.” Or, “I want to make a habit of driving home without music or a podcast.” By walking through this process, you’re turning information into intention. That’s how we learn and begin to change.

Step 4: Decide Your Priorities

At the outset of the year, you might have set some SMARTER goals. If so, you should have two to three goals assigned for the coming quarter. (If you haven’t set any goals, why not try to tackle one in the next 90 days? Be sure to put it in the SMARTER framework.)

A lot might have changed since the beginning of the year. Your plan might need to change. And now is the perfect time to recalibrate. So look at the goals you’d assigned to this quarter earlier in the year and decide:

Will you recommit, stepping forward into what you’d set out to accomplish?

Will you revise, keeping the goal mostly the same but making adjustments as necessary?

Will you remove a goal altogether, leaving margin for other priorities?

Or, will you replace a goal, choosing to delete or defer a goal you’d planned to pursue in favor of a new one?

What if you’re still working on a goal you hoped you’d finish by now? First, decide whether you want to keep going. (We believe in you.) Then, consider how you might revisethe goal. Moving the deadline is a great start. You might also consider how you could resource the goal to make progress. Asking for help is one of the best goal achievement strategies there is.

Whatever you decide, make sure you’re only working on two to three goals at one time. Focus is the key to productivity: Do less, better.

Step 5: Plan the Big Picture

Once you know what you’re setting out to do, look ahead at the major events and deadlines for the next three months. These are perfect to list in your Monthly Calendars and 12-Month View in your Full Focus Planner.

Don’t just get visibility into the events and deadlines that already exist. Consider anything you might want to add—especially as it relates to relaxation and self-care. Scheduling a retreat, massage, or gathering with friends is less likely to happen spontaneously. Take initiative now so it happens later!

That’s it. Make space to complete your Quarterly Preview. Celebrate the wins from the last three months. Unearth what life has been teaching you. Decide what you’ll focus on for the next 90 days. And make a plan to guide and fuel your success.

The next quarter will be what you make of it. Time to get to it.

One-Minute Tactical Takeaway: Schedule at least two hours to complete your Quarterly Preview before the end of the month. If you’re not a Full Focus Planner user, you can use the steps above as a guide.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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