At the beginning of 2018 (or likely the end of 2017), you created goals for the year. They may have been financial or not, personal or business and likely a combination of all of these.

As we enter into the final quarter of the year, how are you doing with those goals? If you’re like most business owners, they have probably changed over the year–new challenges and opportunities came up and you may have even shifted your business a bit.

But I know that right now you have your eyes on next year already. You’re thinking about all the things you can accomplish–the launches, the new products and services, the growth, the mindset development.

Before you get too far into your next-level planning, pause a moment and look at where you are right now. It’s hard to start a new year fresh if you don’t feel great about how you’re finishing the current year. Don’t let your guard down; instead, let’s finish the year strong.

 

Remind yourself of your strategic objectives

Last fall, I wrote about how to plan your year with a strategic map. This idea holds true today, and if you identified your strategic objectives as you set your goals this year, it’s time to revisit them.

If you haven’t followed through with the objectives you identified, ask yourself why. Sometimes we fall victim to shiny objects and forget about our own path for fear of missing out on something. Other times we find that what we thought we needed in our business wasn’t that important after all. If you’re looking for growth in your business, you may need to focus on operations or your financials. If you’ve been in business a while and are ready to change things up, product development and innovation may be your key focus.

Know what those strategic objectives are and where you need to focus the rest of the year so you can feel really good about the progress you’ve made.

Revisit your goals

Sometimes we set goals with rose-colored glasses on. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big but if you haven’t been laser-focused, you may be setting yourself up for failure. And that’s not good for your ego or your mindset.

Look at how close you are to your goals right now. If your goal was to hit six figures this year but you’re only halfway there, chances are it’s not attainable (unless you have a big launch on the horizon). Give yourself grace for the progress you’ve made and adjust your Q4 goal to a stretch goal that’s doable. You’ll still make forward momentum and you’ll feel really good about it at the same time.

Have a plan for the holidays

I swear, mid-October until mid-January is a crazy time for everyone. And if you own a business, you’re pushing to meet those goals as well as your family’s needs.

First, have a plan. Second, give yourself some grace. No one will notice if the fall decorations aren’t perfect and no one will care that you bought this year’s pies. The important thing is that you spend time with your family and put away the laptop for a few days. The kids grow up fast and quality time with them is better than making sure that you do that Facebook live or that your Instagram feed is perfectly curated.

Seriously. Put it away, sister!

Know where you’re going to start next year

Part of finishing the year off strong is knowing how you’re going to start next year. I know that back-to-school season feels like a new page, but a new year is even better for a fresh start. Get ready for the new year right by looking back on this year and planning ahead for next.

And when in doubt? Grab an accountability buddy and bounce ideas off of one another. You’ll have built-in support to finish the year strong and get you on track for next year.

A sure-fire way to make sure you’re staying in alignment with what’s most important to you as you revisit your strategic objectives and goals is to have your mission, vision and values handy. Don’t have them written out? Now’s a great time!

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