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  • BSideBecca

5 Ways You Can Make Your 2023 4th Quarter Count

Updated: Aug 31, 2023


We're heading quickly toward the 4th quarter of the year - and everyone knows the 4th quarter is the most exciting to watch! So, as your 4th Quarter "Coach," here are some ways you can make your 2023 4th quarter count!


goals written on a typewriter

Background:

I've always done goals. It's the way I was raised by my dad. It is the language I most relate to when it comes to planning my life - which breaks down into how I plan my weeks and days. Even in the middle of times where I've had to be more reactionary in how I spend my time, I've still written out and tried to complete goals. I don't always reach them, but I always have them to motivate me to keep going.

A couple years ago, the book The 12 Week Year helped re-energize me in the area of making and completing goals in life by encouraging us to break the year into 12 week chunks. It's much easier to keep a goal if the end is in sight! And in a year, we have four chances to reach our goals - or try again if we miss the mark (rather than what most of us do, which is quit in January and give up the entire year.)

Another book that helped me in this is The Comfort Crisis, where author Michael Easter writes: "Once we've done something over and over, our mind zones out of whatever old thing it's doing. In newness we are forced into presence and focus. This is because we can't anticipate what to expect and how to respond, breaking the trance that leads to life in fast forward. Newness can even slow down our sense of time. This explains why time seemed slower when we were kids. Everything was new then and we were constantly learning...'But as each passing year converts some of this experience into automatic routine that we hardly note at all, the days and the weeks smooth themselves out in recollection to contentless units, and the years grow hollow and collapse.'"


Hollow years?? Collapse of our precious gift of life? First of all, how dare we waste the time God has gifted us, and secondly, how SAD. These paragraphs have not left my mind since I read them, and it lights a fire under me to keep going, keep reaching, keep TRYING. Which, if you're following along here, is my whole point of this blog.


5 Ways You Can Make Your 2023 4th Quarter Count:

  1. Write 5 goals you want to accomplish in your 4th Quarter: This might mean revisiting your huge vision you had for yourself in January - any of those goals still doable? Do them! Not sure where to start? An easy way to do this is break it into categories of: Spiritual, Intellectual, Physical, Emotional (Relational) and Fun. Those are broad categories, so you can fit pretty much anything into them. Got some ideas? Great! Make those goals ones you can measure and check off a list! Now get to it!

  2. Open Your Eyes to What's Around You: It's easy to scroll Instagram and decide all the good places to visit or eat at or hike at are somewhere else, and not near you. And while travel is good, it's not always feasible. So take a look at what's around you! Make a list of 5 new places you want to visit that are right in your own city. Need ideas for this? I find most of my ideas by following local park systems (state parks, national park, county parks), outdoor venues, etc. on social media. Sheesh, I could have attended a "make s'mores and celebrate Smokey the Bear's birthday" a couple weeks ago. I mean, if that's not an exciting free option for something new, I don't know what is. ha.

  3. Embrace the Season: My daughter asked me if we could go all in on fall. Well, if this wasn't the best question ever! I love fall, BUT I sometimes get so many ideas of what fall is, that I don't actually make a lot of them happen! (Except apple crisp. I can always make apple crisp happen.) So we figured embracing the season will help her enjoy the aesthetic of being a college student and will help me enjoy the sometimes monotonous feeling of being at home. Remember that paragraph above about the time just melting into one lump and our years being basically forgettable because nothing happened?? Ugh. Let's make it happen! Let's embrace the newness of the season! Football games (go to a local game and support the kids from your church who play on the team, in the band, or cheering!), walks in the chilly wind with the leaves scattering, a new playlist of fall-inspired music (mine is linked below!), and don't forget to make that apple crisp! Adding in events to look forward to help brighten the weeks.

  4. Track Those Habits: Much has been written on this topic, and with good reason! We all have those things in mind we should do (drink water, take our vitamins, workout, do our laundry, etc.) but somehow keep forgetting or putting off. That's why I like a good habit tracking system. For me, it's a simple writing down three things a week (until they become such a part of my routine, I don't have to remind myself anymore...) and checking them off a day at a time. This month I've been working on a morning routine that includes vitamins, drinking water, medication, reading my Bible and working out. Add a new habit or two that align with those goals you made in point 1!

  5. Follow Through on Loving Your Neighbor: When I think about resisting having my life meld into one big hollow shell, one way to combat that is to reach out to others. Make it a goal to write an email to someone to encourage them, write a snail mail letter, volunteer in the kids' ministry at your church - I 100% guarantee they are looking for volunteers as their fall ministries start up! - volunteer at a local organization that stretches you in good ways of meeting others, using your gifts and making your time count. Hospitality fits as well - invite the neighbor for a backyard firepit chat, invite people over for dinner, offer to babysit for a mom who needs help, make food and drop off on a friend's porch. Reach out! Act on that thought you've had and make it happen.

I, for one, want to resist that settling for routine, mundane lives that become a hollow shell of what we imagined for ourselves. So I want to encourage you to make an effort this 4th quarter to push yourself to try something new, embrace the season, track some new habits and follow through on loving your neighbor. Now, get up, get into the game and make every apple crisp count.


___________________

resources:

The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self by Michael Easter. (While I liked this book, let me put a caveat on it that the language is PG-13 and he consistently bases opinions on evolution.)

The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington - Helpful in thinking of goals as 12 week chunks, which encourages you to keep going, keep trying and keep revisiting goals every quarter of the year.

My fall playlist: fall feels

Daily Grind Planner - a four month (12 week) planner that has you set 10 goals, and then helps you track each "needle mover" step to accomplishing them.




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