I kind of laughed to myself when my reminder popped up on my phone that my Q3 personal review would be on 9/19. Laughing partly because I scheduled that at the beginning of the year not knowing how differently this year would have turned out from when I had initially planned it and also laughing because I realize this is not how most people operate.
I’ve worked in the corporate world for a quick 8 years and one thing that’s true about every job I’ve had to date is the emphasis on the quarter. At the start of the quarter, you are planning the weeks to come. At the end of the quarter it’s a mad dash to close a big deal or you’re scheduling quarterly business reviews with clients to review the work that was accomplished versus what was planned. It works well for my clients and my career, so earlier this year I decided I would try to apply it to my personal life/brand as well.
It’s something that I’d been doing informally for a few years, but this year I decided to get serious about who I want to be and where I want to go and making sure I have a clear path to get there.
I started 2020 planning in November 2019. Yes, I am that person. For my clients, I like to have my planning for the next year done by October/November so I decided to do the same thing for myself. I looked at my life in 3 categories and made goals and daily/weekly/monthly habits for each:
- Personal Brand/Business
- Wellness: emotional, spiritual, physical
I’ll dive into personal brand/business more specifically. Author, speaker, podcaster, content creator is the life goal here so I made quarterly goals for each of those areas.
Q1: Content Creator
Goal: Create and post content more consistently that aligns with my brand and attracts my target audience
Habits: Batching content, learning how to create graphics in Canva, showing up consistently (as myself) for my audience, overcoming my need for things to be perfect to be published.
And then we build from there.
Goal: Relaunch Rosé with Rae and consistently air 15-20 episodes for season 2
Habits: Listen to other podcasters I admire, outline guests/topics, create the necessary graphics and audio, have 3 episodes recorded and edited for go live, batch content or record at least 1 episode per week
And you just keep on building.
This is a jam packed year, I get how crazy this may seem so if “all” you do is launch a podcast in a year (or survive), that’s a big deal and worth celebrating, too.
Huge caveat here that I leave a lot of space for grace and for the grey areas of life. I would have never imagined back in January that a pandemic would be our reality so that’s caused the need to pause and shift and reprioritize, and that’s okay. That’s almost the beauty of planning things a little bit at a time because you give yourself space to take a step forward, pause and reflect and determine where the next step should be headed.
Q1 for me was all about content. I wanted to be more consistent with the content I was creating and the channels I was sharing it to. I had initially planned to launch a new website and blog consistently during this quarter as well but guess what. None of that happened. Q1 was busy and hard and right on the tail end when I felt like maybe I can turn things around for the last month of Q1 (March), coronavirus stepped on the scene. Needless to say, there was no Q1 spa day.
Some of my Q1 goals were pushed into Q2 and that’s totally okay. Some goals may not get done this year and that’s also okay. The idea is to take small steps in the right direction every day and maybe I don’t hit every single goal that I set out for at the beginning of the year, but am I closer than when it started? If the answer is yes, that’s a win.
The #1 Pro of Working in 1-3 Month Chunks:
You’ll notice I added the option of planning 1-3 months at a time because really any smaller chunk of the year will work, but I do quarterly because it’s already such a natural part of my work life. Imagine getting to the end of the year and never taking the time to reflect or pause or even just check in to make sure you’re on the right track. By taking it a chunk at a time AND setting up time with yourself to review the past few months, you’re giving yourself more space to grow because you actually know where you’re at compared to where you want to be.
There’s no formal worksheet or guide here so you’ll have to figure out what format will work best for you, but the idea is to simply check in with yourself, realign to your plan and purpose, and also don’t forget to celebrate how far you’ve come.
How to Check-in With Yourself:
What are your daily habits?
Are they aligning with your overall goals?
When do you feel the most like yourself?
Are you filling your day with moments like these?
Did you accomplish everything you set out to do?
If the answer is no, are you okay with that? Why?
After you’ve done your reflection and you’re proud of what you’ve been able to accomplish – don’t be afraid to celebrate yourself. I have quarterly massages and spa days scheduled for after my quarterly reviews to be able to treat myself for the hard work I’ve poured into myself. Some quarters you may not have gotten everything you wanted done but it was still a productive and growing season – celebrate. Some quarters you may know you could have tried harder or gone deeper – reflect and give yourself the chance to grow.
Now I’m curious what you think about personal quarterly planning and if you think it’s something you’d like to try?