No matter how skilled we may be at developing solid rhythms, we all know what it's like for life to get a little bit "off track."
Whatever has thrown us off, we could all benefit from one key tip: set three focus goals for the rest of the quarter.
How exactly do quarterly goals help to get us back on track?
Imagine writing down your three main goals first thing in the morning, and then connecting with your motivating "why" for each one. You've just set up an accountability mechanism for yourself. You'll start to become acutely aware of when you're spending your time on non-essential things.
Then you'll have a choice. Will you waste your discretionary time on every little distraction that comes your way? Or will you invest your time? In those quiet moments while the kids are still eating lunch, you could be making imperfect progress towards the completion of your essential focus goals. In that afternoon slump, you could be resting and recharging for your goals through meditation, prayer, journaling, playing, or exercise.
Studies show that we're on average spending 8+ years of our lives just watching TV, and 6+ years of our lives on social media. But you don't have to let 6-14 of the most productive, amazing years of your life slip away while you're binging screens.
That's a pretty motivating thought, isn't it?
Here are three things to keep in mind when it comes to setting quarterly goals:
Make your 3 focus goals realistic. What are three things you can realistically do in the rest of this quarter? What do we mean by realistically? Well, if you had the goal to start your 5am habit when you're just 6 weeks postpartum, you probably should reconsider and bench that during a season that needs rest. Chart out goals that are contextualized for the season you are in.
- Make your 3 focus goals exciting. What things will REALLY move the needle forward in your life? What goals will really feel like they were worth the effort to craft an intentional lifestyle around making them happen? They don't have to be exciting to anyone else but you. For instance, two of Shelby's seasonal goals have to do with major home organization projects. Someone else might feel their eyes cross in boredom at the very thought of that. But Shelby has visualized what her life would be like if she mastered those areas of home organization. Her "why" for getting her digital and physical information organized is to replace the hours of time and frustration she spends every week hunting for files with writing peacefully with a cup of coffee in hand. Her "why" for getting her healthy kitchen streamlined is to cultivate an atmosphere of feasting and plenty at the family table.
- Make your 3 focus goals easy to remember. The aim here is that these three overarching goals for the rest of your quarter will pop into your mind the moment you sit down to waste time on the mindless scroll. So you've got to make them super memorable. If your goal is to save $336.67 for a trip to the beach, round that puppy up to $340. Then when the thought, "save $340 by the end of the quarter" pops into your mind, you can take a few minutes to do some budgeting instead of spacing out and scrolling Facebook. If you have a benchmark for your business, make it really concrete so you know how you're doing (i.e. instead of, "replace 3 days worth of income per week,"—bc, honestly, who can do financial math like that on the fly?!—say, "enroll 20 new students"). Then when you pull up Instagram, you can spend the next 20 minutes engaging with your ideal customer instead of stalking the cousin of that friend from high school.
Writing down your quarterly goals with bite-sized action steps below them on a weekly basis is a game-changer. (The flex space on our week spread is an amazing place to do this.) And our day spread has a research-based section for writing down your seasonal goals every single morning, and then connecting them to your "why."
World Class leaders and influencers constantly trace their abilities to successfully execute high-level intentions to their daily ritual of revisiting their goals. This is pro-level stuff, guys.
A key to change is knowing what you want to do with those 6-14 amazing years you have hiding in the nooks and crannies of your day.
Envision your potential. Keep top of mind three quarterly goals that align with your core calling. Adopt a progress-over-perfection mindset about it all.
...then pull out that planner and make space to thrive.