Quarterly Reviews | How to use them to your advantage
I had a conversation with one of my mentoring clients that really stuck with me. She has so many great ideas. Her mind is racing in 17 different directions. She’s wondering what her next step should be. Does this sound familiar? I used to be the exact same way!
There are two things I do to help calm down my racing mind and to focus on what’s most important:
1. I use Google Docs, and one file is titled 2018 Ideas. Simple enough, huh? The truth is I know I can’t successfully execute more than two new ideas really well in one year. Ideas come to me all the time. I used to get an idea and then dive into executing that idea without really thinking through each and every step. For example, I used to host a local workshop series in my studio called “Zimmerman Inspiration Series.” I thought it would be a wonderful way to make a little cash during the off season while offering people in Arkansas some of the workshops we see available in the bigger cities. What I didn’t take into consideration is that when promoting a calligraphy class or a painting class, I didn’t have the audience for that. I spent so much time trying to get those classes filled that in one case, I spent more time than I would have had I taken on a wedding, and I lost money. The series as a whole was a small financial success, but when I compared the time I was spending on each workshop to the money that was coming in the door, it was a no-brainer to discontinue the workshop series. Today, when a new idea comes to me, instead of immediately going into execution mode, I simply open up my 2018 Ideas document, type out the idea and go about my day. As you know, every November I block off the entire month to plan for the upcoming year. It’s during this time that I look at my idea document and choose no more than two ideas to execute in the upcoming year. For example, my two goals to achieve in 2018 were to launch a new website for my educational business including a resource hub for floral designers AND to be able to serve my newsletter list well with weekly content.
2. I schedule time for quarterly reviews. In November, I also go through my planner and block off 90 minutes for the first Monday in April, July, October, and January. The first Monday in April, I review Quarter one (January, February, March) and so on. When that day comes, my computer is closed, my email is turned off, my phone is on silent, and I sit there with my worksheet and do a quarterly review. I ask myself what went well, what didn’t go well, and if anything bad happened, how can I make sure it never happens again? It may be as simple as realizing something in my contract wasn’t as clear as it should be, so I need to reword it.
I’ve included the exact worksheets I use for you to download below! It’s just a good reminder for me to see how I’m doing towards my goals and to keep track of data. Then, this quarterly review page goes into a binder. It’s always fun at the end of the year during that November annual planning month to see the progress made in just one year.
We all get so busy in the present and have a hard time carving out time to focus on anything other than short-term needs, but having a plan to stop and reflect on your long-term goals is so important to your future success.