The coming and going of Labor Day represents a variety of annual milestones. It tells me that the summer season of pool parties and beach days are about to quickly wind down, my white pants will soon be out of fashion, and Oct. 1st is around the corner. What's the big deal about Oct. 1st? Well, it is the commencement of the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter is an incredibly busy and often stressful time of year for business operations. We have one last calendar quarter to showcase our earnings, accomplish or perhaps outperform our projected numbers, and then prepare budgets for the year ahead based on the current year-to-date performance. By the way, I hate budget season.
I have to create or approve budgets for nearly a dozen commercial properties and the majority of our forecasting is a function of looking in the rearview mirror. Sometimes, that mirror is a glamorous and exciting window filled with positive performance and a pat on the back. Other times the images cause me to slump my shoulders, hang my head, and simply let out a sigh hoping that the year ahead will be better. By now, you have probably figured out that I work in commercial real estate, and if you have read a headline or two in the last five years then you can probably guess which rearview mirror images have appeared most frequently. Needless to say, I am in need of a serious spa day come the end of December to relieve the tension in my shoulders.
This past weekend, I was reflecting on the stream of consciousness that the fourth quarter brings and I also began reflecting on my personal progress through the year thus far. I started writing these articles nearly a year ago and around the holiday season had initiated a conversation about establishing goals and working through your own 30 Day Challenge to create new habits. Admittedly, I didn't even finish writing the 30 Day Challenge series, so I was pretty terrified to attempt to measure my success in other goal-setting areas of my life.
There are so many life events that happen throughout the year and it is easy to get pulled off course. The common conversation in the fall tends to be about how the summer flew by, that the holidays are around the corner, and the next thing you know, it will be 2013. I am guilty of this mentality and can be found eagerly nodding my head in agreement with such statements in conversation, but today I am going to ask you to slow down, take a breath, and check in with yourself.
The 30 Day Challenge presented the opportunity to focus on improving your physical, spiritual, and personal well-being. What goals did you set? What habits were you hoping to build? What sort of things did you start to make time for and then slowly find yourself losing the dedication toward your own self-improvement?
In simply rereading my posts from December 2011 and January 2012, I will be the first to admit that the fourth quarter check-in is entirely necessary for me to start steering this ship back on course. I will be bringing back the 30 Day Challenge, so that I can finish what I started and I encourage you to do the same! The year isn't over yet and as my soccer coaches over the years used to yell throughout the fourth quarter of each game, "C'mon girls and finish strong!!"
Images courtesy of Paymentsystemscorp.com, Ironman.mrkemp.ca
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