top of page

Key Questions to Ask Yourself At the Start of a New Quarter


Illustration of a black man writing notes in a personal planner.

We've entered into a new quarter! For companies and investors, especially, the fiscal quarters are important as it is a time in which they use data from different quarters to make comparisons and evaluate trends.


Personally, I don't feel these quarters should be limited to large companies, investors, or small business owners. In actuality, I feel that we can all find value in regrouping every quarter when it comes to where we are going mentally, spiritually, and financially.


Question 1: What Happened this Past Quarter?

Before going into what we're doing for this quarter, it's best to reflect on what has already happened. Think about any and all major events that occurred that affected your work life and personal life, noting anything that could have had a positive (or negative) effect on the goals you have set for yourself. Keep in mind this isn't about putting ourselves down or wallowing in regret, but trying to get a clear understanding of how your mental and emotional state were effected throughout the quarter by day-to-day life.


Question 2: What is the Most Important Thing to Me Right Now?

Maybe you're someone who juggles a lot of responsibilities. When we wear more than one hat in our day-to-day life, it's easy for us to feel burnout or mix up our priorities. When we don't have a clear sense of what is the most important vs. what is the most urgent, we set ourselves up to expend energy where we shouldn't.

By taking time to regroup and think about what projects, tasks, duties, etc. are the most important/urgent, we make it far easier to plan and execute. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I get caught up in Analysis Paralysis--being stuck thinking about everything that needs to be done instead of taking time to actually do it.


A black-tile styled calendar hanging on a plain white wall over a home office setup.

Question 3: What Goals Did I Reach? Which Ones Did I Miss?

When we ask ourselves this, it's easy for us to start judging and self-deprecating over the things we "should have" accomplished or where we may have fallen short. Rather than falling into the trap of comparison and judgement, view this process as a simple checklist. Approach it with a simple "did I hit this goal: yes or no?"

When we've covered the easy part of answering yes or no, we can then move on to figuring out the "why". Sometimes it's as simple as whether or not we had the right practices and habits in place to make it happen in the first place. Other times it could be acknowledging that maybe you did have certain habits in place, but didn't do them consistently. There also times where we may have made an ambitious goal (i.e. something that may take more time to accomplish than what we initially gave ourselves), and didn't give ourselves realistic expectations. And, honestly, sometimes life just hits us. There are various reasons why we may miss a goal and it doesn't always point back to "I didn't do enough". Give yourself grace in this process. Also keep in mind that it's not about the actual goal itself, so much the habits that are put into place in pursuit of that goal.

Of course, don't forget to note any goals that you did accomplish. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging the accomplishments you made. But along with acknowledging them, we should be taking into account how we did it. Go over what practices and habits you had in place to reach that goal. Keep note of what things worked and what didn't, so you can keep up the good work for the next quarter.



A black woman writes notes in a notebook in front of an open Macbook.

Question 4: Overall, How Am I Feeling?

I don't mean to end this with a relatively open question, but it's definitely one worth asking. Something I used to do pretty frequently was Numbing. Numbing is a coping mechanism in which one avoids experiencing strong feelings. When we Numb ourselves, we make ourselves more susceptible to experiencing Apathy. We are actually falling apart mentally and emotionally but we occupy our time with numerous tasks and activities. Or in a more passive way, it can come about through binging tv shows and endless scrolling on our phones. Basically, anything that can distract ourselves (or exhaust ourselves) so we don't have to feel anything or think deeply on anything.

Take it from me, being Numb and Apathetic are not where you want to be. I've learned that I can only move past negative feelings when I address them head on. When you're thinking about how you're feeling now, and how you've been feeling throughout the quarter, be honest with yourself. How often did you feel discouraged? Hopeful? Angry? Peaceful? Depressed? Joyful?

After you've taken some time to reflect on how you've been feeling (and how often you've laid in those emotions), you can move on to the "why" of it all. What has been happening to make you feel this way? It may even be traced back to Question One in some cases. Maybe an event occurred that has you emotionally shaken. Maybe you've had a change in relationship/friendship. Maybe your whole perspective has changed on something that you are (or were) passionate about. Whatever it may be, feel free to write it down in a personal journal. As much as we like to deny it, our emotions can play a huge part in our everyday life. And we only make things harder for ourselves when we parade around trying to pretend like everything is fine, or Numb ourselves to the point where we aren't caring about much of anything anymore.


And of course, after we've taken some time to answer these questions the real fun begins in setting new goals (or making adjustments to continue with the goals we have already set).


Reader, I pray that this Second Quarter goes exactly the way it is supposed to for you. I hope you can look past any mistakes or mishaps and continue to keep going. Truthfully, I was pretty disappointed in myself about disrupting my posting streak for the Blog. This post is actually a whole week overdue and I broke my streak of posting every week. As disappointing as it was, I didn't want it to discourage me from continuing. Sometimes we can get so down on the dumps over something as arbitrary as missing one day of consistent effort. Don't ever let the inevitable bumps in the road make you lose sight of the big picture.


Thanks for reading,


--Raven


1 Comment


Guest
Apr 07

Great baby girl

Like
bottom of page