“A person of average intelligence is capable of learning useful life lessons through the act of self-examination.” – Kilroy J. Oldster
It’s early October as the fourth quarter begins, so does my week-long personal review of the third quarter. My quarterly reviews are invaluable in keeping me current. It’s these times of reflection where I practice most of my quality think time.
My Quarterly Reviews Help Me Understand Myself.
My quarterly reviews help me avoid the tendency to review past experiences without intentionally assessing them against my life purpose. If I celebrate my successes without understanding how and why I succeeded, I will lack the understanding necessary to repeat them.
My wins and losses are of no value to me unless I learn from them. Many people are reluctant to review their failures because of the pain they attach to those experiences. Others seem to accept their wins and losses as if they were somehow “written in the stars.” To which I reply, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves…” (From Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar). Carl G. Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.”
My current third quarter review is when I plan my first quarter of the new year.
My fourth quarter review takes place the first week of January, at which time I review and assess the previous year and monitor how well prepared I am to hit the ground running on my first quarter objectives.
I use my quarterly reviews to focus on four essential areas; these are not original to me; I use them because they are simple and work for me.
1. My Relationships
Relationships are the measure of a person. Family relationships come first; who we are at home is who we are. Most friends will come and go over our lifetime, but our family relationships are intimate and intergenerationally maintained. Family is your support system. If you take care of your family, those relationships will take care of you.
I review the quality of my friendships and work relationships as well. I look at both what value I contribute to those relationships and the value I receive. Keep in mind that some relationships are for a season, moving forward some may be reassigned as acquaintances (nothing personal). I believe that we are known and are influenced by the friends we keep.
2. My Responsibilities
Jim Rohn said, “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”
It surprises me how many people know what they’re responsible for, yet they don’t know who they are. Knowing who you are and what your gifts and talents are, point you to your life purpose. Knowing your purpose enables you to assume responsibilities with passion and a sense of direction.
My quarterly reviews use my life purpose as the criteria for success. I align my responsibilities with my overall purpose in life, where I find they are not, I delegate them. Life is too short and much too valuable to assume responsibilities that move me away from my purpose.
3. My Routines
Routines are vital since they are how you spend your time. Focusing your efforts in areas where you’re most effective opens doors to opportunities that bring you closer to your quarterly and yearly objectives. My reviews pay close attention to my daily routines. John C. Maxwell says, “The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda.” What we do each day has consequences.
4. My Return on Investments
Reflecting on my investments in time and people will show whether or not I’m growing. What are the outcomes of your daily decisions last quarter? Those outcomes have an impact on your yearly progress. Investing time and money that brings us no closer to reaching our objectives are opportunities lost. Over time our daily decisions will either reward us or hurt us with interest.
“Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and redecided tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you.” – John C. Maxwell