Goals are imperative for success. In order to accomplish your goals and stay focused it helps to break everything down into quarterly goals.
Quarterly goals are great because it allows you to be focused and constantly working toward a specific goal.
By establishing your yearly goals and then breaking them down into quarterly goals, you are visualizing the big picture and keeping yourself accountable every step of the way.
Here are 6 steps in creating effective quarterly goals.
1. List Everything You Want to Accomplish
The first step in accomplishing your quarterly goals is to know exactly what it is you want to achieve in a year.
While we might know in our minds the various things we want to accomplish, it’s a lot easier to get clear on your goals when you can visualize them. To do this, simply list them out.
If you have a lot of goals you want to accomplish, you might need to take more time to really figure this out.
If all your goals are bigger and take a lot of time to accomplish, you might want to consider cutting some out just so you can be sure to have a successful year.
Also, now that you have your list of yearly goals, write them out and place them where you can see them each day. That way you are constantly visualizing what you are working towards. It’s a nice way to stay motivated and focused.
Once you have your solid list of yearly goals, you can start to break them down into quarterly goals.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Setting Goals
2. Create an Itemized List
With your big list of goals created, the next step is to make an itemized list of everything you need to do in order to accomplish each goal.
For example, if your goal is to write a book in one year, your itemized list might look like this:
– Come up with book plot
– Establish main characters
– Establish supporting characters
– Outline the book
– Write 2,000 words a day
– Contact a publisher
– Find a book editor
– Complete first draft by summer
– Write a second and third draft
Once you make an itemized list for each of your goals, you will have a better understanding of just how much work you need to do in a year in order to completely accomplish your goal.
An itemized list also helps prepare you for the work you will have to do and the amount of time you should give yourself each quarter.
Related: 8 Easy Goals for the New Year
3. Break Your Goals Down
I prefer to think of quarterly goals as 4 mini goals that I need to accomplish each year.
Since the major goal of the year has already been established and an itemized list of assignments has been created, the quarterly goals are essentially just 4 deadlines to accomplish work along the way.
I’ve found that the best way to break down my goals for each quarter is to assign my itemized list a number from 1 – 4. #1 represents the first quarter, #2 the seconds quarter, #3 the third, and #4 the fourth.
In sticking with the book example, the itemized list broken down into quarterly goals would look like this:
#1 Come up with book plot
#1 Establish main characters
#1 Establish supporting characters
#1 Outline the book
#2 & 3 Write 2,000 words a day
#3 Contact a publisher
#2 Find a book editor
#3 Complete first draft by summer
#4 Write a second and third draft
If after assigning a quarter to your broken-down goals you realize you need to be more detailed, now is the time to add to your list. You’ll want to make sure you’ve listed everything before you move on.
4. Get Specific
Now that you know what you want to accomplish each month, it helps to break those quarterly goals down even more.
If your goal is to develop a book plot in the first quarter, you’ll need to know the topic of the book, how long you want it to be, approximately how many chapters you’ll have, how many characters you want, and so on.
It might seem redundant, but the more specific you can get, the better. This will only help you in the long run by staying focused and motivated.
Once you are able to get specific, you will have successfully developed your quarterly goal. But, don’t stop there.
5. Break Your Quarterly Goals into Monthly Goals
Quarterly goals are only as good as the monthly goals you set.
The reason monthly goals are so important is because it helps keep direction and focus for your quarterly goals.
When monthly goals are established, each month has purpose and clarity so that no time is wasted.
6. Establish Weekly Goals
Once your monthly goals are established, break them down into weekly goals or tasks.
Just like monthly goals, weekly goals help to keep you focused and moving in the right direction.
Additionally, with weekly goals, you can figure out exactly how you want to spend each day to ensure that your goal is met.
Quarterly goals help make big goals seem possible. With a bit of focus and hard work, a year of quarterly goals will lead to a successful year of accomplishment.
Best of luck!