October is a special time of year – time for pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween and enchanting walkways covered in golden leaves.
But sometimes October can also be a time of panic, frustration and and disappointment. It’s the start of the final quarter of the year and that means time is running out to achieve our goals and make progress on our projects.
Do no, I repeat, do not fall into the trap of thinking the year is over and it’s too late to have a successful year!
There’s still time and there’s still so much you can accomplish.
If you feel like you haven’t made much headway this year, follow these steps to get back on track with your goals and finish the year strong.
1. Identify your successes.
Make a list of all your accomplishments and successes – big and small. What’s gone well? What challenges have you overcome? What goals have you achieved and what things have you done even though they weren’t on your list of goal? This step is key to put you in a positive frame of mind and help you move forward with confidence and gratitude.
2. Reevaluate your goals.
Look at the goals you set. Are they still important to you? Are they what you truly want to focus on right now? Don’t be afraid to set goals aside if you find that now really isn’t the best time to be working on them.
3. Find the lessons.
Think about your year so far. What challenges have come up for you? What obstacles got in the way of you achieving your goals? What lessons can you learn? What do these experiences and how you handled them teach you or remind you about yourself. How can you apply these lessons moving forward?
4. Identify your strengths and support structures.
Write down all of your strengths, attributes and skills,and your support networks. Think about how you can draw on these to help you reach your goals.
5. Choose your priorities for the rest of the year.
Your time and energy are limited so you want to make sure you’re focusing on the things that are most important to you – the things that’ll have the greatest impact on your life, present and future. Choose up to 3 meaningful goals that you’d like to start making progress on now. These don’t need to be goals that are achievable by the end of the year. They can be big goals that will take time to reach, but they have to goals that are so important to you that you will feel happy and excited just by making progress toward them.
6. Choose 2 or 3 quick wins.
What are some smaller (simpler and possibly, but not necessarily, less significant) goals that you could easily achieve without too much time or effort? Pick 2 or 3 of these goals and make a commitment to achieving them asap. The less time they take, the better. Having a few quick wins will give you a great confidence and self-esteem boost.
7. Create a plan.
Now that you know what your priority goals and quick win goals are, you’ve got to make a plan on the steps you need to take to achieve those goals, when you will take each step, how you’ll track your progress and how you will stay accountable and avoid procrastination. Then, make sure to block off time in your calendar to work on your goals. Check out this post for a goal planning worksheet.
8. Take action and commit.
Start now. Take the first step. Do the first thing. Look at the quick-win goals you selected and go do it now! Make a commitment to yourself that you will work on your goals and follow your plan, even if it means taking micro steps and progressing at a snail’s pace, because these goals are important to you and you want to end the year on a high.
Remember: it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is – it’s always the right time to start working on the things that truly matter to you. You’ve got this!
More useful posts to help you get back on track: