How to Perform a Personal Quarterly Review in 4 Easy Steps

How to Perform a Personal Quarterly Review in 4 Easy Steps

The first quarter of the year is over. How are your goals progressing?

Don’t panic if you’ve barely worked on them. It’s better to realize that now, with most of the year ahead of you, than when the end of the year starts rolling around.

Achieving your goals requires planning and purpose. That’s where quarterly goals and reviews come in. In this post, we’ll walk you through conducting a personal quarterly review, show you its benefits, and teach you how to set quarterly goals you’ll actually accomplish. Grab your notebook, and let’s get started.

Gather supplies

Why Do a Personal Quarterly Review?

You may be familiar with the term “quarterly review” from your job. It’s a ninety-day check-in that helps everyone in the company assess their goals and progress.

Doing the same thing in your personal life is a great idea, filled with benefits. Here are just three reasons why you should give quarterly reviews a try.

It Keeps You On Track

Even if you set goals you’re passionate about accomplishing, it’s easy to get bogged down in the mud of daily life. You look up in December and realize you didn’t make the progress you hoped toward your goals, leaving you feeling discouraged.

When you set and review quarterly goals, you can create a year-long plan that helps you accomplish your goals. Your goals will go from abstract ideas to concrete items you’re working towards daily.

It Helps You Accomplish More

It’s easy to underestimate how much you can get done in only three months. But if you set specific goals and work each day to accomplish them, you’ll find yourself hitting milestone after milestone.

You may even find you can set bigger goals for the next ninety days. But whether you stick with big or small goals, a quarterly review will show you exactly what steps you need to take each month to accomplish them.

It Helps You Set Realistic Goals

Learning how to set realistic goals takes time, especially if you’ve never done it before. You either create goals you accomplish in two days or barely make any progress toward in ninety. Neither option is preferable.

But after months of setting goals and learning your limits, you’ll figure out how to create the ideal size goals for you. You’ll be more productive each month because you’ll know how to work with your time and energy.

Review Step 1: Gather Supplies

Now it’s time to get started on your quarterly review. Step one is to gather your supplies.

  • Planner. Or whatever you use to make your goals. You can’t review them if you don’t have them on hand.
  • Calendar. It’ll also help to have your calendar on hand to review upcoming dates and events.
  • Writing materials. Either a pen and paper or your laptop.
  • 30-60 minutes. Block out your quarterly review time in your calendar like a meeting.
  • A quiet spot. Someplace free of distractions, allowing you to focus on reflection and planning.
  • A tasty drink. Make your time more enjoyable by making your favorite coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverage.

Review Step 2: Reflect

With your supplies gathered and a drink in hand, it’s time to dive into your review. First up, reflect on the past quarter and what you accomplished.

Check In On Your Goals

Don’t spend a lot of time on this. Simply review and write down whether you achieved each goal. Don’t beat yourself up or cast judgment. The point of this step is to see where you’re at. Later, we’ll look at how you can improve.

What Did You Accomplish?

It’s important to recognize accomplishments, big or small, in the last ninety days. Ignore the things you didn’t do and write down at least three things you did achieve, such as finishing a book or taking steps towards a big goal.

What Were Your Highlights of the Quarter?

These don’t have to be goal-related things. Just write down anything you loved about this quarter. An event you attended, a piece of art you made, an opportunity you had. It’ll be fun to look back on at the end of the year, and it’ll guide you in the next part of your review.

What Did You Struggle with the Most?

What things didn’t you accomplish? What areas gave you the most trouble? It’s not always pleasant reflecting on these things, but if you don’t figure out where you struggled, you won’t be able to make changes in the next quarter. Again, try not to judge yourself while you write down your struggles.

How Would You Rate Your Progress This Quarter?

Choose a rating system, then write down your rating for the quarter, your progress, and your overall mood. It’s okay if your rating isn’t high every month. You want to have productive quarters, but life happens. Sometimes, we can’t accomplish the things we set out to do. Acknowledge if the quarter was good or bad, and move on.


Review Step 3: Plan

You’ve reflected on the past quarter. The third step is planning your next ninety days, using your reflection to help you.

What Would You Like to Add Going Forward?

Look at your accomplishments, highlights, and struggles from last quarter. Is there anything you’d like to add to your goals or daily routine? Maybe you struggled with movement last quarter, so you added a daily walk. Or you enjoyed taking a ballet class, so you add weekly classes to your schedule.

What Would You Like to Drop?

Now consider the opposite. What things would you like to remove from your goals or daily tasks? Maybe you haven’t been enjoying that art project you started, so you decided to drop it. Or maybe your schedule isn’t working for you, so you need to remove a few things to leave more time for tasks you enjoy.

What’s Your Yop Goal for the Next Quarter?

If you could only do one thing in the next ninety days, what would it be? It’ll be your top priority, the goal others take a backseat to. You don’t have to set a single goal, but this is the thing you’re going to pour most of your energy into next quarter.

What’s Your Focus for the Next Quarter?

To go with the previous question, also consider what you’d like your focus to be during the next ninety days. Your focus is the broader concept you want to work on. While your main goal for the next quarter might be taking a daily walk, your focus could be prioritizing your health. This focus will guide your other goals and daily life.

Is There Anything You’d Like to Move to the Top of the Priority List?

Take a moment to think through your next ninety days and make sure you don’t need to move your priorities around (this is where your calendar comes in handy). Maybe you have a vacation in a few months, so saving and preparing for that needs to be a priority. Or maybe there’s a project deadline coming up that you need to prioritize.

Set goals

Review Step 4: Set New Quarterly Goals

You’re doing great at your review. All that’s left is to set the goals you want to accomplish next quarter.

Break Down Your Yearly Goals

Your yearly goals are big, so you need to break them down into manageable steps. Look at each yearly goal and ask yourself what steps you can take to accomplish it in the next ninety days. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, maybe this quarter, you focus on training for a half marathon.

Be Honest with Yourself

This goes back to what we said earlier. It’s easy to over or underestimate how much you can accomplish in three months. Be honest with yourself about how much time and energy you can commit to your quarterly goals. It’s better to aim a little lower than to end up disappointed in yourself. 

Limit the Goals You Set

Setting many goals for the next quarter is tempting, but it’s better to have no more than six. That’s enough to give you plenty to work on, but not so much that it gets overwhelming. Try to make one or two goals per category, such as fitness, personal, business, etc.

Stay On Top of Your Goals

Finally, periodically check in with your quarterly goals. Don’t let them fall by the wayside. That’s how you’ll end up missing your goals and feeling discouraged. Try checking in at least once a month to see what progress you’re making and make a plan for next month.

With quarterly goals and reviews, you’ll find you accomplish your goals faster and better each year. It’s worth the time, especially if you want to craft a more productive life.

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