“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.” Dan Gilbert.
Most of us seem to appreciate the value of reflection, and yet so few of us book enough time in our calendar to reflect on our own experience or progress. Thoughtful examination of your world on a regular basis will only ever improve your position. This is true not only in respect of your goals, but your life as a whole.
Each new quarter provides a perfect opportunity to do such a review, and there are 5 questions that will help give you valuable perspective and insights, and help you make any changes you might wish. See it as an ongoing process: an experiment with the most interesting of subjects, yourself.
So first, calenderise an uninterrupted meeting with yourself (of no less than one hour) the first week of January, April, July and October, to do your own quarterly review.
Now, find a spot you will be uninterrupted for an hour or so, grab a pen and paper and answer the following 5 questions.
The 5 questions to ask every quarter:
Looking back over the past three months…
- What has gone well?
- Highlights, key accomplishments, and experience you enjoyed the most (it is useful to get your calendar out for this)
What has not gone as well as you hoped?
- Challenges, hurdles, and what’s been difficult
- What (else) have you learned?
- Observations, changes, developments
- What (if anything) is missing?
- What else is important to you, or anything of note that has not yet come up
- What do you now need, or want, to change?
- What could you now do more of or less of, or start or stop doing (to improve your experience over the next 3 months). For this question it’s worth reviewing all your answers so far, and then brainstorming any changes you could make.
Process and reflect on your answers
At the end of your review you should have lots of insights and plenty of changes you could now make. Choose your top 3 priorities (be realistic), and then either calendarise them, or create new routines that ensure you make the changes you want. It’s always easier to start small and build on your success.
Get clarity on your next quarter goals
The above process will help you adapt and improve your experience based on your reflections. You also need to get clarity on your next quarter goals: your strategic priorities based on your longer term goals. This is a separate process and for that you may find this article useful.
Enjoy – and if you have any questions about the above, please get in touch.
3 point review:
- The first week of every new quarter, do a quarterly review answering the 5 questions above.
- Make changes (new habits, behaviours or routines) based on your answers and what is important to you.
- Then get clarity on your goals for the next quarter, based on your longer term goals and goals for the year.