The start of a new year is a chance to be ambitious and set big goals for the first quarter. Sometimes, things don’t go as expected and those goals go uncompleted.
A disappointing quarter can be discouraging, but it’s important to reflect on what didn’t work and develop a plan to move forward. That’s why we asked 12 Forbes Coaches Council members what advice they would give businesses that want to pick themselves up and get back on track for a successful next quarter. Below they shared their best strategies for bouncing back in Q2.
We often don’t meet our goals because we aren’t in sync with ourselves. Our gut may know one thing, while our heart wants something else. To complicate matters, our head may be stuck in limited thinking. To meet your goals, ask these three questions to increase your Gut Intelligence (GQ) and get in sync with yourself: What does my gut know? What does my heart want? And how might I reach my goals? – Susan K. Wehrley, BIZremedies
2. Plan Quarterly ‘Reset Sessions’
Every individual and company struggles to balance long-term gains with short-term urgency. To foil this challenge, plan at the beginning of each year four “reset sessions,” one before each new quarter, and keep these meetings sacred. With an agenda around leveraging momentum and course-correcting delays, you’ll remember why your big goals are important and rekindle enthusiasm. – Dodie Jacobi, Dodiodo Inc.
Some goals get so out of whack in the first quarter that bigger goals never materialize. This can be avoided by advice I got from one of my state’s top startup company consultants. After blathering about all my goals for the quarter and all the things I intended to do she listened intently and asked, “Can you just get one success, one win?” I just needed one good win to start the fire. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
4. Study The Trends
Now is a great time to conduct market analysis! Are there any new trends or threats that are impacting your industry? Often, plans need to be adjusted to adapt to or disrupt our industry to see growth in our numbers. Instead of taking it personally, look to see what internal and external factors are at play to pivot and move forward for the next quarter. – Kyshira Moffett, The KSM Group
5. Breathe And Begin Again
As with anything meaningful in life, when we come up short, we take a breath, we exhale and we begin anew. We begin again with more experience, more knowledge, more data. If we take action and improve incrementally each day, we build a new “habit” muscle, gain resilience and will be exponentially better at this new skill, new goal, new adventure. “I will attain as long as I stay in the game!” – Debbie Ince, Executive Talent Finders, Inc
6. Break It Down And Celebrate Your Small Wins
It’s not uncommon to either put the big plan to the side for the comfort of the routine or get discouraged and give up. Successful leaders know that breaking down a big task into “chunks” makes it less daunting. Each chunk is manageable and doable. The next key is to celebrate small wins to give yourself and everyone else reassurance of progress and possibility! – David W Garrison, GarrisonGrowth
7. Reassess The Goals
In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven environment, what makes sense in January may be obsolete by April. Gather the team together and reassess whether the original goals are still viable and, if so, what is the source of the waning engagement in achieving them? Be open for adjustments and even complete pivots based on new insight and information. – Tonya Echols, Vigere
8. Look Forward, Not Backward
Spend 10% of your time analyzing what went wrong last quarter and 90% of your time planning the next quarter. Avoid finding fault and assigning blame. Instead, look for process issues to clean up. Ask, “What have we learned this quarter that we can apply to next quarter?” Looking backward, not forward, is the biggest mistake to avoid. Future goals are not found in the rear view mirror. – Gary Bradt, Bradt Leadership, Inc.
9. Gather Your Team And Brainstorm
If you detect that motivation is lagging, meet with your team right away—they’re feeling it too, and not addressing the elephant in the room risks unfounded rumors and interpersonal conflict. Welcome open conversation, respectfully share emotions and celebrate wins. Following with a facilitated box-breaking brainstorm exercise can spark creativity, motivation and lift spirits to start again. – Mark Batson Baril, Resologics
10. Keep Your Eye On Your Destination
The way to a successful next quarter is to make the current “reality” less important than where you’re still headed. It’s kind of like taking a trip with a specific destination and understanding that while you’re not at your destination yet, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to get there. You make where you are all right, while you still know where you’re headed. – Christine Meyer, Christine Meyer Coaching
11. Systemize And Strategize
Often when goals are unmet it is due to failure to create systems and strategies that assist in getting there efficiently and intelligently. When you create functioning systems for driving revenue or other business processes, you are more likely to succeed. Additionally, strategy determines the methodology you will take to achieve your goals. Big goals require smart strategy, tactics and systems. – Lori A. Manns, Quality Media Consultant Group LLC
12. Unpromise The Goal, Then Promise A New Goal
Goals come with a commitment to them. In a way, it’s a promise to yourself and your team. When the writing is on the wall and the goal won’t be reached, it’s time to “unpromise” this goal, figure out what happened, then move on to the next promise. Elite performance is much easier to attain when you have closure on your failures. – Scott Swedberg, The Job Sauce
Founder & President of Executive Talent Finders