Now that we’re well into 2021, you might be feeling a little off-track from those initial goals that you set back at the end of December 2020. Now is the perfect time to start a quarterly goal review, where you take time every three months to reflect on your accomplishments and plan for the quarter ahead. Monthly goal reviews can feel a little sudden, while annual goal reviews sometimes don’t allow for enough change or flexibility, so we think the quarter is the perfect period to reevaluate and enter the next few months feeling refreshed. You can also check out our Goal Setting Guide for further tips on setting SMART goals!
Review the past quarter
When you first embark on your quarterly goal review, you’ll want to take some time to review the past quarter. Think back to the past three months. If you’re reading this in March, you would reflect upon January, February, and March (so far). Ask yourself, how did you take steps towards accomplishing your goals in those months? What did you enjoy most about the process? What didn’t you enjoy? What was challenging and what did you learn from the experience? Use a journal or notepad to jot down your thoughts.
Evaluate your progress
Once you have a sense for how you felt about your progress over the last quarter, gather data or evidence to take note of what you’ve accomplished thus far. Maybe you’re working towards your goal of running a marathon, and you’ve already run a 5K in preparation. Take some time to congratulate yourself and celebrate! Even small wins are worth celebrating. And if you didn’t make progress on a goal? That’s okay too. Rework your timeline or your expectations to start making progress in the upcoming quarter. You might even realize that a goal that you set back in December isn’t fitting your values or it’s something that you’re just not interested in anymore. It’s completely acceptable to change your goals, but make sure that you’re editing your goals based on your best interests, not just because you don’t feel like doing something.
Prepare next quarter’s goals
Now shifting your focus to the next three months, ask yourself what you hope to accomplish. What tasks or steps will you need to implement into your daily routine? Use your planner to schedule the small steps into your daily routine so that you’re making real progress on your goals. This step might be difficult because it involves making real changes to your life, but start small and stay motivated. Be sure to reference our Goal Setting Guide for advice on setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely goals.
Track your progress
Stay motivated throughout this process by tracking your goals. Use a spreadsheet or planner to keep track of the days that you complete a small step towards your goal. For example, if your goal is to achieve a 4.0 GPA this semester, create a goal tracker for the days that you spend studying, asking for help, and communicating with your professor. Each day that you can check one of those tasks off is an awesome step towards accomplishing that goal!
When it comes to goals, it’s important to stay on track by checking in regularly, but not too often. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with constant reflections, but you also don’t want to forget about your goal by the end of the year. Stay motivated and flexible with our tips for your quarterly goal review.