Q4 Rising – Are you ready for year end?

red and brown box with letter Q and number 4 with word rising

Over the summer I challenged you to keep your motivation up while you were living out your summer.   As we head out to vacation often we check out for a while on work goals for the year. I encouraged you to ramp up work activity for the second half of the summer through Labor Day. Breaking news – we are only three weeks away from the beginning of fourth quarter, and three months away from year-end close.   So it may be time to put down the stats on your fantasy football team and pick up the goal sheet you made at the beginning of the year.

I suspect you are doing really well in some areas and may be behind in others. Don’t despair – it is just time to break it down and figure out what areas you need to concentrate on.

Here is a goals scorecard that can help you. Take a little time to evaluate how you are doing.

Goal 1 Not Started Let’s Talk!! In Progress Complete

Not Started – so what happens if you haven’t started on something yet? First things first – you need to ask yourself why. Have other goals been taking more time than originally planned to achieve? Or are you just not sure how to get started? Either way – I suggest asking for help. Talk to your supervisor to get a boost with this one.

Let’s talk – these goals have been started but are in serious jeopardy.   Why is this being derailed? Are you working hard on a project but the results are not what you expected? Are you working in a team and the team isn’t working well? Once again – it is time to reach out. But before you do – some soul searching may be needed here. I believe you may already know why this goal isn’t working out. Is it a few simple actions that will right this goal? If so – take them this week. If it is more complicated then you need to admit that you are struggling. Reach out to your team members and your supervisor with honesty and sincerity.   Together you may be able to get these goals back on track.

In Progress – congratulations, it sounds like you are on your way.   A couple of things to note. How can you make sure that this goal crosses the finishes line? Outline the three or four actions that will help to wrap things up. Create a Gantt chart to keep this on track. Remember, not much happens the last two weeks of the year. Your goal chart should end on December 15.

Complete – again congratulations are in order. It must feel good to have accomplished these goals. Check with your supervisor and review its progress! You may be surprised, there may be a few things you need to polish!

Good luck with the rest of the year! Write to me and let me know how it is going!

Summer is slipping by…are you keeping up with your work?


IMG_1415During the summer it is difficult to stay motivated. After Memorial Day, coworkers with families begin to disappear. Both parents ands kids are anxious to escape the routine of school and all of their extra curricular activiites. From June to midJuly, work productivity can slow way down. New employees, who may not have yet accumulated significant vacation time are left behind. The buzz in the office slows down and motivation to keep up the pace disappears. Summer feels like a good time to slip out early and enjoy friends, family and fun. So what’s the worry?

The summer teaser can turn into trauma if you find yourself way behind on meeting goals for the year when up north, the leaves start to fall.  From September to December, the year feels unbelievably short. Hard to count December as a full work month since many people are out once again enjoying the holidays. It becomes a short work month. Projects and deliveries are hard to accomplish after Halloween because frankly, you just run out of time to properly wrap things up.

The best thing to do is to recognize the potential for a work slow down midyear with a little extra effort in the Spring. But if you find yourself after the baseball All-Star break concerned about how the year is passing you by – from a work perspective, it is time to begin climbing out of the hole now, instead of waiting till Labor Day. Think of your summer as a valley. If activity at work declines from Memorial Day to Independence Day, then through each week in July and August, increase your productivity by 10-15% through Labor Day, so you can be at your best during early Fall. You won’t be cheating your summer fun, but you will start climbing back into the full swing of things and be positioned to hit your targets for year end goals.

Stand out during the goal setting process – Step 2


Most companies have a form or a system where employees memorialize their goals.   Sometimes the system or format itself provides so much structure that devising goals becomes more about documentation than ties to actual performance.  Completing your goals is another task you can check off of your list! The act of goal setting provides many opportunities for networking and visibility that most people rarely take advantage of.  The author of this blog is also guilty of this!  View your goals as a contract, between you and your supervisor, another department, or your “customer” which can be an internal or an external customer.  Take the opportunity to share your goal “contract”, and ask for feedback on whether or not the goal and the activities documented will provide value.  By including your peers or your customers in the goal setting process, they will automatically be more vested in helping you achieve those goals, especially if they know they will benefit.

Stand Out During The Goal Setting Process – Step 1


It’s time to finalize your work goals for the year.  Goals usually follow a formal job description or are set by taking a look at what was done last year.  The boss will usually set goals aligned with their own.  When goal setting becomes routine, it is one of the first traps that leads to job dissatisfaction and boredom.  Most of us want to stray from the routine, and create a challenge in our year that we can passionately pursue.  This year, approach goals with the mindset of changing the conversation between you and your peers, your supervisor and even the executive staff.  This is an opportunity for you to control your own destiny. I suggest including goals that are beyond your normal scope.   People are not usually promoted because they excel at what they do. Instead, they move up because they have added scope and have shown growth and interest in continuing development.  Regardless of where your goals end up, your supervisor will recognize that you have interests beyond your immediate role, and even if there isn’t an immediate opening, the momentum may begin to shift to a different role in the future.