This has been quite the year. It is almost three-quarters done, which means there is one quarter left to go. Lots of organizations do annual reviews, and one of the inevitable side effects of doing annual reviews in November or December is that events that happen in the fourth quarter loom larger in people’s narratives than those that happen earlier in the year.
It’s sort of silly, but it’s also an opportunity. By focusing on a few doable goals in these last few months, it’s possible to end the year with a sense of progress. This is true professionally and personally. Survival is good (I hope to sleep through the night at least a few times by December 31…) but maybe there’s space for a little bit more.
For instance, if you’re capable of running 5-6 miles, in 90 days, you could run a (virtual) half-marathon by slowly scaling up your long run by 0.5-1 mile each week.
If you are reasonably handy in the kitchen, in 90 days you could master three new recipes — enough to bust a current dinner rut. (We are still enjoying our meal kits two nights a week. I have eaten a lot more cabbage and sambal oelek than I otherwise would have!)
You could participate in NaNoWriMo and write a 50,000 word novel draft in November. Maybe that novel will get written during quarantine! You could use the same amount of time to write a non-fiction book proposal too.
In 90 days, you could turn an acquaintance into a real friend through Shasta Nelson’s 3-step process of consistency, vulnerability, and positivity.
If you are thinking of going back to school, you might be able to apply and even start online classes in the next 90 days. (Or at least start in January.)
By consistently reaching out to former clients and brainstorming new ideas for current ones, you could end the year with a full pipeline of business.
By spending a few focused hours a week thinking about those big picture questions, you could come up with a brilliant new pivot, taking your career in a new direction.
You could get one big nagging project done: repainting the bathroom, organizing the guest/craft/storage/office room, drawing up a will. I finally established myself as a business entity recently (with my shiny new EIN) and got a business checking account and such. It felt good to stop kicking this forward and get it off my list.
Ninety days isn’t an eternity, but it’s not nothing either. It’s enough to do something substantial if the something is chosen well. In any case, I’m spending the next week or so hashing out my fourth quarter strategy, and seeing what I feel capable of taking on. If you’ve got exciting plans for the fourth quarter, let me know!
Photo: Taken last year on an early morning run, but we’re getting there again…