One of my very first posts in this blog was at the summer solstice, and now here we are, and fall is already here. To me, this marks a time to make some space to check in on big-picture progress toward goals. I really just want to reiterate what I said in that previous post, because it bears repeating.
One of the most valuable things that highly successful people do for themselves is carve out time to think strategically. It is easy to get so busy that it feels like there isn’t enough time in the day to squeeze in one more thing, but the reality is that all of the frantic activity in the world isn’t going to get you anywhere if you don’t know where you are going or why, or if haven’t stopped to notice that you have long since wandered off the path toward your goal. At minimum, quarterly planning periods can help you by encouraging you to think through, articulate, and write down your goals and priorities. Doing so helps you make sure your day-to-day activities support your big-picture plans, and writing them down and knowing you will revisit them builds in accountability. Revisiting your goals gives you a chance to course-correct and recalibrate before you get too off-kilter.
High-level planning doesn’t just help in the goal-setting process, it can help you manage your career trajectory, stress levels, and overall quality of life. I would argue that this is not just a critical business activity, it’s an important activity for anyone who wants to lead a thoughtful, enjoyable life. We can become like the proverbial frog in a pot of boiling water if we aren’t careful, so busy adjusting to the moment to moment demands that we don’t realize we are about to be cooked. Over time, this periodic checking in promotes insight, as you gain the ability to mentally span the distance between the horizon and ground at your feet.