I swear I am still riding high from last week’s episode all about using a MAP Book to run your life. I got SO many messages last week about how much mamas are needing a customized system just like this and 31 moms signed up to receive the free notebook system set-up guide, which I am so flipping excited about!
If you missed Episode 4, it may be worth it to check that episode out first so you can understand where we’re setting this reflection up.
Today’s episode is actually going to piggyback on the MAPBook episode a little bit. Today, I am going to walk you through my end-of-quarter reflection or my quarterly review – showing you how I reflect on the previous quarter and how I plan the next three months. Because you all know, I love a good plan!
Let’s get into it. What is a quarterly review? Now remember, I come from a teaching background so this idea of quarters was all new to me when I entered the business world. I promise, don’t be intimidated by it. It’s just the idea that the year is split into four chunks – each chunk being 3 months long. I totally get how the term “quarterly review” can sound like a terrifying, business thing, so go ahead and let that preconception go too!
A quarterly review is a system that I use at the end of each quarter to reflect on how the quarter went, assess if I met my goals and make plans for the quarter ahead.
I do a quarterly plan for a few reasons. First, it helps me with my annual goal-setting. In my notebook, I reserve the last two page in the notebook for my quarterly review. At the end of the year, I grab all of my notebooks. I can see a HUGE comprehensive list of all the big and small accomplishments I accomplished over the year. And seriously, some of these last few years have been bonkers. I look back and actually ask myself: “Wait, was that really this year? It feels like 10 years ago!”
Another reason I do a quarterly reflection is it forces me to pause and acknowledge how much I accomplished in 3 months. As a busy mom and small business owner, it’s so easy to put my head down, stay in the grind, check off goals and keep trucking. But this review forces me to recognize and celebrate what I accomplished. Three months can actually be a very long time!
I also do this review because it helps to motivate me for the quarter ahead. When I surprise myself with my accomplishment list, I get a mental high that I bring into thinking about the next three months. I read 22 books. Heck yeah! I’m going to push myself to 25 next quarter.
And finally, doing a quarterly review helps me to be proactive about the quarter ahead and see what’s coming. Whenever I plan for the fourth quarter – the busiest time of year for my photography business – I take a deep breath and dive into reality. It helps me to acknowledge the transition from lazy summer to crazy fall. Then I can hit the ground running with planning ways to help myself ahead of time. This is so much better than waiting until I’m in the thick of it and need a life preserver.
OK, so that was 4 reasons WHY I do the quarterly review, now let’s get into what the process actually looks like. At the beginning of the year, I put “Quarterly Reflection” on my Google calendar on the last work day of each quarter. I set aside 2 hours, even though it usually only takes me 1.
Then, as I mentioned earlier, I set aside two pages in the back of my MAP Book for easy reference. On the left page, I write “What am I excited about accomplishing this quarter?”. On the right page, I write: “What am I looking forward to accomplishing in the next quarter?”
To start the actual reflection process, I grab my calendar and go through big events, writing down anything that feels like an accomplishment. Then, I go through my goals for my business. After that, I check in on my personal goals. One of my personal goal every year is a Goodreads Reading Challenge. So I hop on over to my Goodreads account to see how many books I’ve read thus far, and add that to my accomplishment list (yes, even if it didn’t hit the goal I set).
I’m going to be sharing my Quarter One reflection in my IG stories this week, but I write down everything. When we were in quarantine in 2020, I would write down “Survived three months of homeschooling” and “Deep cleaned the bathroom”. Mama, don’t let yourself down! If you deep cleaned that bathroom, you better believe it needs to go on that list! I write down when I do things for myself, like hiring a cleaning lady to help with the deep cleaning or when I get a massage. These things count and you should be proud you’re doing them.
This is also a good point to go back to any annual goals that you set and see how you are progressing on them. If you’re like “Oops, forgot about those!”, this is a great excuse to revisit and tweak as necessary. Remind yourself where you wanted to go this year!
Finally, once you’ve exhausted your accomplishment list it’s time to think about the quarter ahead. Again, I follow the same process, but being proactive. So I look at the next three months on my calendar and write down anything I am excited about or looking forward to. It can be an event or a challenge or a goal or a vacation. I write down how many books I want to read in the next quarter, what family goals we’re going to work on, how much income I want to bring in, what financial milestones I want to hit, etc.
And guys, that’s it! Like I mentioned, it usually takes me about an hour from start to finish, but I set aside 2, just in case I get lost in the rabbit hole that is my annual goals. Some quarters, I go back and overhaul my annual goals based on what the quarter brought (again 2020, anyone?). Other times, it’s just little tweaks and this process is quick and easy!
Next week’s episode, number 6, is going to be 5 reasons why you want systems, not goals. I’m going to dig really deep into the systems I use and why I use them. I will be referencing two books in this episode heavily, if you want to request them from your local library: Atomic Habits by James Clear and 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell!
OK, friends, It’s about that time: LET’S MAKE A PLAN!
First, be sure to check out episode 4, all about your MAP Book if you’re interested in learning more about the personal organizational system that I swear by. Remember, there is a free set-up guide for you here.
Next, be sure to subscribe to the “Let’s Make a Plan” podcast here so you don’t miss next week’s episode all about systems!
Finally, if you are new around here and haven’t already, hop on over to my Facebook group or follow me on Instagram. On my IG stories this week, I’ll be giving you some unfiltered access to one of my quarterly reviews for 2022 – how is the year going by so fast?
Thank you so much for being here, mama! Get back to doing your thing, rocking your world and remember – keep growing! Little eyes are watching.
If so, be sure to share it with a friend – this helps busy moms like you to find me!
And finally, you can also check out these related episodes that I think you’ll be obsessed with: