Summer’s over, kids are back in school, hockey programs are starting, and we’re only 3 months away from closing out another year on our business goals and projects. How on earth did that happen?
But before we resign ourselves to a season filled with regret, we still have time, my friends! September is a great time to take in the fresh school supplies and recommit to our yearly goals. We still have 90 days to finish the year strong!
This period is critical, especially in the meetings and events industry, where plans for the following year are already underway. Before you frantically scramble to work on your goals, order yourself a calorie-laden pumpkin spiced latte and try the following:
Take stock of your achievements
Before setting your sights on the future, take a moment to acknowledge your accomplishments thus far. This exercise isn’t just about self-congratulation; it’s about understanding your capabilities and rekindling the drive to do even better. They say “never overestimate what you can accomplish in a day, or underestimate what you can accomplish in a year.” You’ve likely stacked up lots of complete goals and projects, whether they were written in your plan or not!
After celebrating, extend yourself some grace.
Maintain a growth mindset
View setbacks as opportunities for learning. Even if you haven’t achieved all of your previous goals, you’ve undoubtedly learned something valuable that can inform your future efforts. You’ve likely grown in areas you didn’t articulate in your plan, and those new skills could be put to work to help you round out the year.
Then, get ready to hit the reset button.
SMART goals: A refresher
SMART, an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely, is an effective goal-setting framework that can help guide your recommitment.
Consider each metric for each goal, you set out to do last January and then…
Re-evaluate your goals
Are the goals you set at the start of the year still relevant? Are they challenging enough? Use this time to re-evaluate and make necessary adjustments. Your evolving aspirations may require new targets. For example, if virtual events are becoming a larger part of your business, a revised goal might be, “I will host three successful virtual events by year-end.”
Then simplify your journey.
Break it down
If your goals seem overwhelming, divide them into smaller, manageable steps. Each achievement, no matter how small, is progress. This strategy can be particularly helpful for large-scale objectives, like planning an industry conference.
If some of your goals and projects never got off the ground because they were too large, breaking it up into smaller chunks may make getting started a bit easier.
And maybe rally the troops.
Sharing your revised goals with trusted colleagues can offer a renewed sense of accountability. Regular check-ins can keep you on track and provide much-needed motivation during challenging times. Consider finding an accountability partner, a mentor, a friend-tor or another like-minded individual who can serve as a sounding board and partner as you wrap up the year.
Don’t forget, be true to yourself and your mission.
Rekindle your ‘why’
Remind yourself why these goals matter to you. Understanding the deeper purpose behind your targets can reignite your motivation. If you’re striving to establish a robust online presence for your event, remember that this can lead to broader reach and increased attendance.
And finally, be mindful of the sprint that is left.
Self-care is key
Don’t let the pursuit of professional goals compromise your well-being. Prioritize self-care and ensure that you’re mentally and physically prepared for the challenges ahead.
Remember, it’s never too late to recommit to your goals. Use this final quarter as a springboard for success in the coming year. Leverage the SMART framework, assess your progress, make necessary adjustments, and continue to strive for excellence in your role as a meeting partner.
To your success,
P.S. Looking forward to 2024, consider holding a business plan retreat. It’s a great opportunity to lay a strong foundation for the year ahead. More details on organizing your retreat will be shared in November. Keep an eye out!
Leanne Calderwood, CMP, is a branding and LinkedIn trainer for the meetings, events, and hospitality industry. She believes our industry is built on experiences, and that experience should start with our professionals. She serves hospitality professionals and teams through her online courses and consulting services to help guide #eventprofs out of the shadows and into the spotlight using their branding strengths and stories. When she’s not talking shop, you can find Leanne drinking tea, making jam, and gardening at her home in Kelowna, B.C. with her husband, two teenage sons, and her dog, Farls Barkley. You can learn more about Leanne over on her blog at www.leannecalderwood.com.