work life

Is September the New January?

Is September the New January?

Have you heard versions of this?

September is the new January!

Fall is a fresh start!

It makes perfect sense to me because, let’s be honest here, January is all about intention and often no action. Sure, we have big dreams. We set big goals. But, who wants to work on their beach body when there’s a foot of snow outside? Or dive into huge work projects when you know you have a whole year ahead of you?

September reminds us that the year is coming to a close. That we have a smidge over one quarter of the calendar left to accomplish all those things we wanted to do. It’s a perfect time to check in on those goals, reflect on what’s working, and change what isn’t.

Here’s my fail-proof, 5-step strategy for a successful Q4 that answers the question:

Is September the new January?

Nope! It’s much, much better!

  1. Assess. Pull out those goals you set at the beginning of the year. Tick off the ones you’ve accomplished, and review the ones you haven’t. Flip through your journal and daily agenda. What projects have you wanted to tackle all year that you just haven’t gotten to? What projects did you not plan for but did accomplish anyway? This isn’t the time to judge yourself (that comes later-ha!) but rather to note what you’ve done and what you still want to do.
  2. Celebrate! Does that sound strange to you? I think we self-directed folks tend to move the bar on ourselves constantly. Achieve one goal? Move onto the next! Get that one? Next! Now that you have a list in front of you of all you have accomplished so far, raise that glass and toast your wins! Better yet: Make it a habit! Celebrate your victories before you move the target on yourself!
  3. Plan. Go back to the list of things you haven’t yet finished for the year. Do those goals and projects still excite you? Are they things that will continue to grow you and your business? If not, maybe it’s time to let them go. (And that’s OK!) If they do, or if something had simply fallen off your radar, now’s the time to plan their completion. I like to start a new page in my notebook for each project. If you’re a digital planner, go for a tool like Trello. List out every tiny action that you need to complete, and–here’s the most important piece–assign a deadline to each minuscule step! Then, add each of those deadlines to your calendar. As the saying goes, Failing to plan is planning to fail!
  4. Execute. Now, do those tasks! And do ’em by their deadlines! No excuses. Just get it done. You’ll feel like such a badass if you can cross everything off by the end of the year.
  5. Repeat. Assess, celebrate, plan, and execute on repeat. Set a weekly date with yourself to go through these steps. Make it nonnegotiable. Put it in your calendar. A weekly session keeps you focused and on track, which ultimately means that you won’t need a September or January to reset!

How often do you revisit your goals and plans? Are you a big New Year’s goal setter? Or a September goal getter? Something in between?

Here’s to a fun, productive, and profitable Q4!

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