Q1 goal setting - how to plan your first quarter in 2022
What are Q1 goals?
Your first quarter (Q1) goals are what you set out to achieve within the first 3 months of the year, January, February and March which is 90 days to be exact. This is the initial part of a larger goal setting technique known as quarterly year planning, which helps you organize and timeblock your objectives for the year. Q1 goals can be focused on business aspirations or personal development.
Why should you set Q1 goals?
The first quarter of the year is one of the most important, as it is a time to clarify your goals and ambitions as well as building momentum for the year ahead. By focusing on your Q1 goals, you make the rest of your long term plan more digestible and less daunting, making it easier to achieve your yearly goals.
How to plan for your Q1 goals.
Setting up your goals is quite big task, so to save you some time, we’ve created a free downloadable worksheet that you can go through as you’re answering the following questions.
Step 1: reflect on last year.
Before you even start preparing your goals for this year, you need to reflect on last year. Think about what went well, what you learnt and what needs improving for your life to be the way that you desire.
You might have hit the target of going to the gym every day, maybe you read some new books and gained a few new skills and don’t forget the mistakes that you made and where you can improve on them.
You could even use the wheel of life self assessment tool, which helps you understand where you are in each individual aspect of life.
It’s all about putting last year to rest and starting the new year fresh.
Step 2: set your intentions for this year.
Setting your intentions is all about clarifying which direction you want your life to head in. Yes, this is the first quarter goal but, it helps to look at the bigger picture of the year and your life in general.
A great way to do this is by naming your year “what do you mean by naming your year?” I hear you ask…
Give this year a title, one word that represents how you want your year to be. For example, abundant, calm or adventurous.
Now that you know the over arcing aspiration of the year, have a brain dump about all the things that will go into achieving this lifestyle, don’t hold back. Let your mind be free and your pen to flow.
Step 3: choose what you want to focus on.
After your brain dumb you should have some kind of idea on what it is that you want to achieve this year, now it’s time to choose what you want to focus on specifically in this first quarter.
This will be your main focus for three months, It could be something like starting a business. Losing a certain amount of weight or working on your mental health and well being.
By doing this, you narrow down your focus from a sometimes daunting ambition, into a more achievable goal that keeps you on track.
Step 4: break it down into smaller steps.
Having one main focus for the 3 months is a great way to turn your yearly ambitions into goals, however they can still be illusive of how to actually achieve them. It’s all well and good knowing what you need to focus on but, how do you actually put that into action?... you break it down!
Think of projects that will push you towards your main focus, you will want about 3 projects to put your attention into but, it should be known that you don’t have to work on only one per month, you can work on all of them at the same time, it just depends on how you like to work.
Let’s use starting a business as your focus for example, your 3 projects could be creating a valuable product that people would buy, building a website to showcase your product and then learning how to use social media marketing to get happy customers.
After you’ve done this you might want to write down some small actionable steps for each project for you to follow on a day to day basis.
For example if your main focus was to lose weight and your project was to improve your diet, some actionable steps could be using a food journal, buying healthier foods and planning your meals in advance.
Step 5: track your progress.
It’s good to keep track of your progress along the way so that you know that you are making progress in the right direction, so if you’re using our worksheet, keep it somewhere visible.
On your projects and actionable steps you might want to draw some little check boxes next to your tasks as a way of knowing what you have already accomplished and what you still need to work on.
In the last few days of the quarter or just after you might want to do a small reflection on how things went and prepare to make Q2 just as good as the first!