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Are You Ready For The Q4 Speed-Up?

It’s here!  October.  The last remaining quarter of 2019.  I find that both a scary and exciting prospect all at the same time, and I’ve felt that enough times to know that the year speeds up from here.  Soon, there will be Christmas decorations and carols in the supermarket.  We’ll be barrelling towards work shutdown and the breathless December holiday that promises to refresh and never really seems to… and then there will be 2020…

2020.  The year that seems like it’s been coming for both forever and a moment.  But, the whole point is that we have 3 months left of THIS year – and that’s a long time to throw away without pausing to think.

Perhaps you have your biggest quarter yet ahead of you.  Perhaps you’ve made a big move or change in life and don’t have structured work lying ahead for the remainder of the year.  Perhaps you’re part of a process that’s mapped out and repetitive, so you know exactly what’s coming and all you have to do is survive it.

The problem with not pausing at this stage, is that the remainder of the year will slip or slide away without joy.  Without confidence.  Without mindfulness.  Without intention.  Before we let that happen, let’s refresh ourselves on those three vital Q4 questions, and add a forth in for good measure.  These are questions you can ask yourself regardless of what you’re up to right now or what your forward-moving intentions are.  They’re questions that you can ask in all areas of your life – your professional, personal and financial lives.

Here we go:

1. What are our 3 biggest goals for 2020?

Look up.  Regardless of what’s on your mind and whatever you’re deep in the middle of right now, look up and look forward.  Ask yourself what’s most important for you to achieve next year?  What do you WANT to achieve next year?  If you could achieve ANYTHING next year, what would it be?  Grab an A4 piece of paper, divide it into 3 categories (Professional, Personal and Financial) and jot down the 3 most important goals for next year in each column.

Just the process of calling them to mind and writing them down is powerful.  What’s even more powerful is setting some time to mentally walk around in those goals and figure out what steps you need to take to make them happen.  They’re not here yet….you have time.  And at this distance, you can imagine what could be before the pressure hits and 2020 arrives.  So be a little light hearted about it.  Have a giggle.  What’s possible?

2. What are our 3 essential goals for the remainder of 2019?

Forget momentarily how the year has gone so far.  Disengage from all the hiccups, hurdles and goal-post-moving.  Shake yourself, recalibrate and take a fresh look at what remains of the year right now.  By the time Q4 rolls around, many of our annual goals are too broad or outdated to apply to the short-term nature of a fourth quarter sprint.  Make a list of 3 essential goals for the remainder of this year.  What MUST be achieved to make this year powerful?  Are there any foundation-laying goals that must be put in place in order for the Q1 goals you detailed in #1 to build on top of?  Make a list.  And then if it’s not on the list, it’s not a priority as this last 3 months catapults itself by.

3. How can we put ourselves in front of people and serve?

Whether Q4 is a quiet one for you where your fried brain can get a little relief, or whether Q4 is your busiest period of the year…refocus for a minute on the fact that whatever we do relies on the input of and relationship with others.  Our recharge and our fulfilment also lies predominantly in our relationship with others.  No matter what your industry, business is ultimately about human relationship.  Relationship with your team.  Relationship with your client.  Your customer. 

Regardless of what your input or relationship has been this year, the end of Q4 presents a unique opportunity to put yourself in front of your people in a way that isn’t a sales call.  Whether it’s social, or just a card or an email…  there are a myriad of ways and reasons to make yourself present with your team, your family, your friends, your clients (past, present, future) and to thank you them, acknowledge them, and serve them.  If you’re in business, give out some free info.  On any level, make or invite contact.  Give ear to how you can serve for 2020.  Most importantly of all, communicate in a way that underlines your values and why you do what you do – because THAT, after all, is why people connect with you and come back.  Plan it now.

4. What gives you joy?

In the hustle and bustle of making the year work; of balancing all the responsibilities – real, imagined and self-imposed; not only do we get bogged down and start to run out of energy, but we forget to recharge our energy and to make sure that we’re not just tucking another year under our belts and ticking the “survived” box.  What makes you joyful?  When was the last time you felt truly joyful?  That you laughed from your belly and shared that energy with other people?  Whatever it is for you that gives you a sense of energy, happiness, centeredness and joy?  Resolve to put more of that into NOW.  Not next month.  Not next year.  But now.  Without joy, our lives pass us by in a haze of processes that get us closer to a planned end goal, and we often forget to live in the moment.  Joy isn’t something I see much of around me, and it’s something I’m determined to redefine and recapture.  Mostly, my joy comes from moments spent with my 13-year old son who reminds me to live in the moment.  My officially-in-a-size-12-shoe son, who now comfortably drapes his arm around my shoulder.  If that’s not a reminder to live in the moment, I’m not sure what is!

Pause.  Ask the right questions.  Harness Q4.  Finish strong.

by Christen Killick

October 7th, 2019

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