Episode #32: 1st Quarter Review
In January, I shared a resource for your big picture 2020 goals. I asked you: What’s the one thing you planned to focus on this year? Let’s dive in and see how you’ve done in the first quarter.
For me, I chose the word “Being” for my focus word. All the things I chose for 2020 had to do with the word “Being”, so my focus word allowed me to pinpoint all of my goals into one easy reminder. I often help my clients find their word by working backwards in this way too, and then they can focus on their goals by focusing on this word.
What were the 3-7 things you wrote down that you wanted to do in the first quarter? I wanted to focus on profit first, so I really wanted to put my finances in order in the first quarter. I focused on expenses by creating some delays in my spending. I did some job costing to make sure that my prices were in line with my business.
I like to tackle these goals a little bit at a time so that the quarter’s goals aren’t overwhelming.
If you did your goals right, you don’t need to update them every quarter. The big picture thinking you did at the beginning of the year should help you prioritize what needs to be done and when.
When I schedule a goal, I’m more likely to do it. Looking back, if I didn’t accomplish a goal, then I have to ask myself, did I really want to do this? And why didn’t I accomplish this goal? If you struggled to accomplish some of your first quarter goals, then I’d love to book a strategy session with you to help you work through your goal setting.
Your Call to Action: Review your first quarter goals and ask yourself: What did I accomplish? What didn’t I accomplish? Why? Why did I accomplish it? How can you utilize those strategies to help you?
Hello and welcome to episode number thirty-two of the Strategy Corner, where our goal is to get you to take action. I’m your host, Michel Zink, the owner of Intentional Solutions Corp. On today’s episode, we’re doing our first quarter review. Back in January, the first episode, I shared a podcast about creating your 20/20 vision, and I included a sheet that you could fill out that had certain things on it to help you create your first quarter. And also like the big picture, 20/20 vision and also your first quarter goals. And so today we’re going to actually do a review of it and see how you did. Right. Because the whole objective is to set a goal, a milestone, and then utilize it at the end to see how you did so that you can learn the things that you need to continue doing and the things that you need to stop doing, and that you could also just utilize it to see how far you’ve come, because like they say, it doesn’t matter. The goal that you set is the person that you become to get there. So I really want us to focus on that and not take this too personal if we didn’t actually achieve the things that we wanted to in the first quarter.
So on the 20/20 vision sheet, there was a one thing. So where you could set like the one big thing and I talk about that as well in one of my December podcast, because I could you set up to actually fill out this 20/20 vision in January. So if you haven’t done that, if you haven’t listened to my podcast in December and if you haven’t filled out a 20/20 vision sheet, you can go and find those podcasts and actually do the work now for the second quarter. So you’re not missing out. You’re just gonna go ahead and get that updated so that you could do the review in the second quarter with me. But for now, for those of you who have done the 20/20 vision or did your own type of analysis, your own type of goal setting for the first quarter. Let’s go ahead and take some time and dove in and see where we’ve come from.
So, again, the one thing that’s where you decided based off of this year as a whole. What’s the one thing you’re gonna focus on? And for me, that was growing my business. So that was my one thing. Then underneath the one thing you had word of the year and the word of the year is just something, a word that you use that really aligns with where you want to go in 2020. So for me, my word of the year is “being”. So just a simple word “being”. And the reason why I chose this is because for me to grow my business, I need to be more about being, you know, being the person who meets new people, being the person who’s able to share what I do for a living and how I serve others in a calm and confident way. I need to be someone who sets her business up for success. So that includes making sure her numbers are in order. So all these things that I need to do in 2020 is all around being. And it just reminds me that for when I’m at a whack or I’m just feeling not 100 percent what would being be in this moment.
So for clients, I’ve helped them to create words of the year. And what usually happens is we go ahead and we look at the big picture like the big things that they want to actually achieve for the year. So goals for the year. And then we back into a word. So we look at where you want to go and then we see a word that really is fitting. And again, as I tell my clients to just pick a word that you that really aligns with where you want to go. Because when you it’s not if it’s when you’re feeling like you can’t go any further, when you’re feeling discouraged and down, you can go to this word and just say in that moment, OK, what would blank do right now? What would what would the word healthy do right now? What would the word love do right now? And it just helps you refocus and figure out what your next step is.
Underneath that 20/20 vision sheet, there is goals for the year, and these are your big projects that need to get done. And again, you can go back and fill it out if you’d like, or if you already have it filled out, you just keep that there. You just, that’s your like long term at the end of the year, that’s something in the horizon. You can look at it every quarter and see if you need to update it. But if he did it right, those are things that you’re looking to do and you wouldn’t even update them every quarter. You might update them once, maybe twice. And maybe you did such a great job that you’ll never update them, because that’s exactly the big picture things that need to happen to create an amazing year.
And then we get down to our goals for the first quarter. So on here I had future date, March 31st 2020. If you’re listening to this podcast, the day it’s released, you’re listening to it on April 2nd. Or just a few days after the last day of the month in March. And on there I had goals, three to seven activities. So this is what we’re going to take some time to just kind of review and see how we did. So what were the three to seven things that you wrote down that you wanted to accomplish in the first quarter? For me, I had get my accounting in order – CEO style living profit first, reviewing financials monthly, following key metrics and being open and honest about the numbers. So I don’t know if any of you don’t know that the people listening know me personally. But I have an accounting and finance background and so I’m used to working and company’s books. So working in my books, it’s just getting a little bit more open and honest with yourself and making sure that you are reviewing them. And seeing where you’re really spending money. Because as everyone knows, you need to not only increase your revenue but decrease your expenses. And I utilize a book called Profit First because it is a book for, you know, solo entrepreneurs. It’s also first just small businesses to kind of help you get your books on track. So I utilize profit first.
In this quarter, I did go through the process of figuring out my profit, figuring out my expenses and really putting my books in order and making sure that I don’t spend things that I don’t but don’t spend money on things I don’t need. So, for example, one thing that I incorporated this quarter was that if I want to buy something for myself, for the business. So let’s say someone mentions like a really cool journal that they love and it’s not for clients, it’s for myself. So what I do now is I give myself 24 hours before I can buy it. Because I notice last year when I did on my review work to get myself set up for 2020, that I spent a lot of money on Amazon and just ordering it in the moment. And so this quarter I decided I wanted to go ahead and focus on those expenses. So for me, I am living and I got my accounting in order. But this is something that I set for our goal for the first quarter. But I’m gonna continue on and on and doing this. It’s just the initial setup things I needed to tweak and in that actually did some job costing to make sure that all my costs were aligned and my pricing and things of that nature.
So it was a really productive month or excuse me, quarter doing that. And it took me several months to get it all in order because I like to tackle my quarterly goals little bit at a time. So what I try to do is, you know, maybe an hour, a week or a half an hour a week, and that way little by little. Because, again, these are something that should take three months. That’s something you need to get done in a month. So these aren’t things that are easy and you can get done in a couple hours. These are things that takes time. So what I love about doing a little bit at a time is you get to work and then you get to step back and think about, OK, what do I need to do next week in order to achieve and kind of bite away at this bigger project? So that was one of the things that I said I want to do for so for my situation, I actually achieved that and I am living more of the profit first lifestyle.
Another thing that I had on here was develop my keynote speech. So have a base so I can utilize and change out four different topics. So with this one, I didn’t achieve that in my first quarter. And the reason why is because I never got asked to do a speech. And I realized that I didn’t need to plan ahead of time. I have things that are like my core programs and the things that I utilize in the work I do with clients through EOS, process development and executive coaching. And what I realized was that I didn’t need to plan ahead of time for this, that I can actually, you know, look at the things that I’m an expert on, the things that I’m really good at. And I could utilize those things in a speech tomorrow if I needed to. Right. And then I also realized that it really depends on the person who’s going to ask me to speak. What do they want me to talk about? So I decided that I didn’t want to go ahead and accomplish that goal for the quarter, but that I would just wait and see when someone wanted me to speak. At that time, I’d go ahead and put something together.
So for me, what’s interesting, if I was doing an analysis or a look back, I would say that, you know, what’s great about this one is that you think sometimes that you need to do certain things in order to get ahead or to gain clients. But sometimes when we get to where we want, we actually don’t do those exact things. We do other things. So in this case, I really focused on developing my programs in the first quarter and I did have a goal for that developing complete key programs. And that’s something that I really worked on. I saw that if I have these programs, I can actually utilize the programs as well, like the key learnings and those to create speeches if I needed to. So if I were you and I didn’t accomplish something, I would ask myself, well, based on where I am now, did I even need to accomplish it? Because maybe you put a goal down that after three months really wasn’t that important. Right? We all do that. And so what’s great about knowing that is when you go to set your next quarter goals, you can ask yourself, OK, do I really want to accomplish? Do I really think in three months that I want to accomplish this particular goal? And just ask yourself again to kind of just get it? Yes, definitely want to. Also, if you had a goal where you wanted to complete like for me, I wanted to complete some paperwork for my attorney, and I’d been actually wanting to do this for a while. And so on my first quarter goals in 2020, I did accomplish that. But it’s actually was on my goals for the fourth quarter of 2019 and I didn’t get to it. And the reason why when I looked back, the reason why didn’t get to it was because I didn’t schedule it.
So one thing that I’ve incorporated this quarter is every week when I look at my calendar and see the things that have scheduled, I made sure that I had at least a half an hour for each goal that I was looking to actually work on this quarter scheduled in my calendar, because when I schedule it, I do it. But I realize that with the lawyer paperwork the last quarter, it was something I wanted to do, but I just didn’t put the time into it and I didn’t schedule it, so it didn’t get done. So for me alerting when I look back as to why I didn’t accomplish something, it was because I didn’t make it a priority and I didn’t schedule it. So when you look at your list, maybe there’s some things that you just didn’t achieve because you didn’t write it down, because you just didn’t take time aside to actually work on it. And that’s a really great lesson to learn and a really great thing to bring forward with you in the next three months to know that the things that are most important you need to write down and you need to schedule.
Another thing to look out to is did you have seven activities or more written down, seven goals or more? Sometimes we over estimate the number of goals that we can have for a quarter. We either make them too big like I win lose 20 pounds in three months or they are too many. Like I want to create programs, I want to create a speech. I wanna do this. I want to do that. Then all these things that are just unrealistic because these are goals above and beyond your day to day activities. So you have a job, you have a life. And these are things that you’re doing above and beyond. So a lot of times we just are overzealous in the moment. We think, you know, January, we can get all this stuff done. But then when we get to the end of March, we realize, well, that was unrealistic because we had spring break. We had getting back into the new year, we had birthdays, whatever the case may be. It helps you to make sure that the next quarter you’re more realistic with your ambitions and really ask yourself if it’s something that really aligns with the big picture goals for the year. And if it doesn’t align, then maybe you can put it on the back or maybe it’s something that you just shouldn’t be focusing on right now. Because that’s another thing, even though my word for 2020 is being, I’m also trying to be working on constraint. And one thing I learned was when I was creating my programs initially, I had four programs that I created. And when I met with a coach to review my programs, she was like, the first two you’re really excited about the other two you’re not really excited about. And so it was great about that was I realized, well, wait a minute, I’m creating the programs and wouldn’t I rather create programs that I’m really excited about than the ones who that I’m not that excited about.
So using constraint is also a great thing when you’re looking at setting your three to seven activities. I had five activities I wanted to go ahead and create for the first quarter. And I end up, I ended up doing three out of the five. So I realized the other two actually didn’t work, didn’t even align with what I wanted to achieve after I actually achieved the first three. So the great thing was, is that week after week, I wasn’t seeing how I could put time towards these two activities that I thought were important at beginning of the year. And so at the end of the quarter, I just realize, well, those things just weren’t really as important. And I did schedule time for the other things. So I just realized that these other two things were just me being overzealous or just again thinking in January they’re important, but then realizing I was always moving from my process, I was always moving through my one thing, which is growing my business. I realized they weren’t as important as I thought they were. And that’s OK. That’s how we learn and grow. That’s how we see what we should be doing next quarter and what we shouldn’t be doing. Again, the more we can look at this as just facts, these are the things that happened. These are things that didn’t. Why did they happen? Why didn’t they happen again? Maybe you overscheduled yourself. Maybe you never even put these things on your calendar to actually accomplish. So that’s why they didn’t get done. Maybe you had something really major happen in your life that held you back from accomplishing these things. That’s okay. We still have plenty of the year left where you can actually redo and do the same things next quarter, if you didn’t accomplish this quarter.
The big thing is to not make it personal, to not beat yourself up if you didn’t get to where you wanted to be because we still have plenty more time. We still have three fourths of the year to go. And we don’t need to give up. We don’t need to beat ourselves up. And we don’t need to give up because that’s not helping anybody. What we need to do is brush ourselves up, realize where our opportunities are for the next quarter, realize where we could make changes and then go for it. Just start. Keep going and creating and developing and building the dream life and business you’re looking for.
So what are your calls to action? You have two this week. The first one is to review your goals for the first quarter and really ask yourself, what did I actually accomplish? What didn’t I accomplish? Why did I accomplish it? Why didn’t I accomplish it? Then also see too, like for the ones that you did accomplish. Why did you accomplish it? Because you want to utilize those strategies that you did for the ones you accomplished on ones that you’re going to create for the next quarter. So like I said, one of the things that I incorporated was realizing that every week I wanted to go ahead and at least have a half an hour set for each of my goals that I had for the quarter, because I knew that if I did that, I would get them accomplished. So for me, I incorporated scheduling, knowing that’s one of the keys to my success is by having things scheduled. So I did that. So what are the things that you learned? How did you actually become successful in the things that you did become successful in? And what are some things that you just need to leave behind? What are things that maybe you didn’t do or things you did that didn’t work out that you just want to leave behind in the first quarter and you want to change it up for the second quarter?
So that’s the first thing. Do a review of what you did, what you set for the first quarter, and then go ahead and print out another 2020 vision worksheet, which will be located in the first January episode, you can reprint that. Or if you already have the 2020 vision from the first quarter, just go ahead and add on to that for your second quarter and put on there the new future date and then list your goals, the three to seven activities that you actually want to go ahead and accomplish in the second quarter. And remember to go on the short side, if you’re not sure where to go, because the more you write down, the better chance you’re not going to actually accomplish any of them because it’s gonna become overwhelming. And when you become overwhelmed, your brain says, let’s just not do any of this. So then you accomplish nothing. So I would recommend you stay on the short side, and especially if you didn’t accomplish much in the first quarter, we want to get your brain excited about writing down goals and actually accomplishing them. So take it easy on yourself. Do three, write them really well. Make them smart, right, where they’re specific, they’re measurable, they’re attainable, they’re relevant and they’re timely. And then have fun playing with and creating all of those goals over the next three months. So those are the two things that you need to do.
So, again, you’re going to review their goals for the first quarter and you’re going to set your next goals for the second quarter and then you’re going to have fun accomplishing those. OK. Until next time, please go to i-Tunes, Stitcher, Google Play and subscribe to the Strategy Corner. You can also go to my website, Intentional Solutions Corp. dot com and sign up for my weekly blog post, which also includes a link to the latest podcast. You as well could sign up for a complimentary conversation where you can indicate that you would like a gifted strategy session. And you and I could get on a phone or on a virtual call. And we could talk about your second quarter vision if you’d like to do that or the strategy for your year. So just go ahead and click on that on my website. I’d be happy to get on a call with you and to walk you through how to create a strategy.
Until next time, remember: through action and growth, progression happens. Let’s take action together. Thank you and create an amazing week.