How To Set Quarterly Goals

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Obviously, I have planning for the future on my mind, as I am neck deep in it.

Quarterly goals are a different way to think of your personal goals. And it’s a good time frame – more than a month, less than a year. The year also naturally splits up into quarterly segments – that’s probably why it is so common among businesses. If you struggle with monthly and yearly goals, this may be a solution for you.

Warren Buffet’s 25-5 Story

You’ve probably heard this story before, so I’ll paraphrase it here. Warren Buffet tells his personal pilot Mike Flint to write down 25 things he wants to accomplish. Once that is done, Warren tells Mike to circle the 5 most important, which Mike does. Those 5 things become what Mike focuses on until their completion, to the exclusion of the other 20.

What Does Warren Buffet Have To Do With Quarterly Goals?

I use his 25-5 method to choose what I’m going to focus on each quarter. I generally choose 6 or 8 things, however, instead of the 5 – mostly because I despise odd numbers. It’s an OCD thing. And those are my quarterly goals. If I finish sooner, I get to pick a new one, which is also fun.

Also, Warren Buffet is super successful, so you could have worse mentors. If it works for Warren Buffet, it works for me. Emulation, baby!

Set Realistic Quarterly Goals

Don’t try to be a billionaire in a quarter, unless you are already on the cusp and have enough income coming in to make it happen. For the rest of us, set something you can achieve in a quarter – like an income goal to increase your earnings by x amount in a quarter or something like that. Don’t only make them SMART goals, which you’ve probably heard about a million times by now, but make them realistic for YOU!

Yes, you can technically write 3 novels in a quarter, if you type fast and have the mental stamina to do it. Most of us, however, might only be able to write one. So really plan it out, so that you know all the steps required, the time you have available, how much rest you need so that you don’t burn out, and whatever else you need.

Thinking like a business can work well for creatives. Many of us are already running our own businesses of some sort anyway – and quarters aren’t just for taxes. Even if you aren’t running a creative business, thinking like a business will get you further at times…and we all want to reach our goals. Planning for the future is hard enough as it is.

Have you ever set personal quarterly goals? How well did it work for you and why? If it didn’t, why not?

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