How to Set Quarterly Goals: My System for Massive Success

Setting quarterly goals is a powerful system for massive success in life and business. Doing so shifts and aligns your daily actions to be conducive to achieving all your goals. Remember, a map only works if you know exactly where you want to go. Learn how to effectively set quarterly goals in this week’s episode!

Tune in or read the blog version below!

Prefer to read? Here’s the blog version…

Hello, my loves. I am recording this episode from Rote Island, Indonesia and I’m just buzzing with excitement because we just extended our stay for two more months!

We absolutely love it here. Surfing every day, integrating with the local community. Meeting the most incredible expats. We found a beautiful two bedroom villa and I just love having my routine.

This concept of slow matting really aligns with the chapter I am in right now and my business is in, and I’m really grateful to have this freedom-based life and business where I’m able to extend anywhere in the world when I want to. 

Today we are going to go through How to Set Quarterly Goals and my system for massive success in life and business.

A map only works if you know if exactly where you want to go.

Your life goals, whatever your ultimate dreams and aspirations are, they are like destinations and quarterly targets are like the directions on how to get exactly where you want to be in life.

Personally, I’ve tried so many goal setting systems and techniques, but I’ve seen the most success with what I’m about to share with you today, so let’s get started. 

What are quarterly goals?

Quarterly goals are objectives that span a three month period.

  • Quarter One (Q1): January through March
  • Quarter Two (Q2): April through June
  • Quarter Three (Q3): July through September
  • Quarter Four (Q4): October through December

I used to work in financial planning and analysis for Burberry and Chrysler and this is what we had to do.

I also operated on a quarterly reporting schedule for Bank of America, and so all of these giant corporations have this structure.

Why not your own business and your own life?

Why set quarterly goals?

1. It is short enough to not lose focus.

You can take daily actions and know exactly what to focus on without feeling overwhelmed or without feeling like you have no idea how to get to your goals.

2. It is long enough to see noticeable change.

Even though it’s relatively shorter than annual goals, it’s still enough time for you to make massive moves in a three month period.

A quarterly goal cycle breaks down your annual goals and resolutions into digestible actionable steps and it forces you to be very, very intentional with how you spend your time and your days.

3. You get consistent momentum throughout the year.

Have you ever wondered why gyms are so busy in January and then everyone kind of like fizzles out by April?

It’s because people set these New Year’s resolutions, which are resolutions for the full year, but because it seems like such a lofty goal to reach by the end of the year, they think they have so much time.

The motivation and the perseverance isn’t there through all 12 months.

What if you started January four times a year? What if you started with all of that excitement, that clarity, that momentum four times a year you would be so much more productive.

What are good quarterly goals?

What are good quarterly goals? When I set my own, I use the S.M.A.R.T technique.

S – Specific

You want to be super clear on what it is that you want to achieve. Nothing vague, nothing like start my business. Which business are you going to start? What do you mean by start? Do you mean getting your website online? Do you mean getting your first client?

If you want to grow your business or work on your business, say exactly what you are going to do, what you are going to achieve. Be specific in defining what you mean by “growing” or “scaling” your business. 

M – Measurable

You want key performance indicators.

Lots of times I will almost draw like progress boxes. So every time I hit a milestone, I’ll kind of like check off the boxes.

You want it to be super measurable. Use numbers!

A – Achievable

Make sure that you have a very high chance of achieving what you set out to do in the next three months.

You don’t want to over promise or stress yourself out, especially if you have other obligations.

What’s amazing about quarterly goal setting is you get to assess the next three months, how busy are you, how much time do you have? What is your main focus?

R – Relevant

Make sure your quarterly goals are relevant to your overall annual mission and your life goals. They shouldn’t just take up your time for the sake of it. They shouldn’t just be what you think you should do. They should be relevant to your life. 

T – Time Bound

Naturally we’re giving ourself 90 days, but you can even break it down further month by month, week by week and then day by day.

What are you going to achieve by the end of the week, by the end of each month to ultimately get to your goals.

How to set quarterly goals?

Next, let’s talk about how to set and track quarterly goals.

If you’ve been following my page, my podcast for a while now, you’ll know that for the past seven years I’ve been using a Passion Planner.

A passion planner is a life coach in a journal, and what it does is at the beginning of the year, you write down in your lifetime, in three years, in one year, in three months, what exactly you want to achieve and you start with the lifetime.

What it then does is breaks it down into yearly and then three months, so quarterly increments and you make sure your day to day adds up to your quarterly goals.

Using a Passion Planner was the main reason I started setting quarterly goals because it naturally gives you a three month view into how you’re going to execute for the next three months to get you to your lifetime goals.

But if you don’t have a Passion Planner, set a reminder on your calendar at the end of December, March, June and September.

Set a reminder, create an inspiring space, clear out your calendar for an hour and just vision board, vision board what your destination is because that is how we’re going to use the map to then get there. if you don’t know where it is you want to go.

Ultimately in your life, you’re not going to find any value in setting quarterly goals because you’re basically just spending your days the way you think is comfortable or without any real intention behind it.

I’m old school and I love pen and paper when doing this. So grab a pen and paper or if you prefer something digital, that’s also fine, but know where your destination is. if you can’t think of a lifetime goal, maybe just an annual goal for now.

Write anything and everything that comes to mind that lights you up inside. Don’t be dragged down by your inner mean girl or your limiting beliefs. If every single thing you write down on that sheet of paper came true, what would you want to call in for your life and what would you like to see in the next year?

And from there we are going to be breaking them down into quarterly goals and through this whole process, we want to make sure these goals are all smart, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. And ultimately your short term goals should align with your long-term vision.

Each quarter should be bringing you one step closer to your destination. I’ll give you some quarterly goals, examples in the categories of business, personal and financial. You can of course add in whatever you see fit, like spiritual or relationships or whatever it is.

Quarterly Goals Examples

Business Goals & Corresponding Actions

Annual Goal: Grow your email list by 1,000 subscribers

Quarterly Goal: Grow your email list by 250 subscribers

Actions to Reach Goal:

  • Sign up for an Email List Manager (I use and recommend ActiveCampaign)
  • Create a free opt-in offer aligned with paid services to get more targeted email list subscribers
  • Run Facebook or Google Ads to get people to sign up
  • At $3 USD cost per lead, invest $750 in the quarter to grow list by 250 subscribers
  • Take an email list growth course if you don’t know how to do this

Do you see how if you have specific goals, you can also define the specific actions?

Personal Goals & Corresponding Actions

Annual Goal: Lose 10 pounds

Quarterly Goal: Lose 2.5 pounds

Actions to Reach Goal:

  • Sign up for a gym membership
  • Go to the gym three times a week
  • Hire a personal trainer
  • Take a fitness or nutrition course

There are so many different action items that go hand in hand with your quarterly and then your annual goal.

Another example, what I am planning right now is I want to travel to Japan for my birthday next month. It is super specific.

I know exactly what the dates are and I know exactly what the steps are or what the steps should be to get me there.

Financial Goals & Corresponding Actions

Annual Goal: Save $4,000

Quarterly Goal: Save $1,000, or $333 monthly, or $80+ weekly

Actions to Reach Goal:

  • Eat out fewer nights a week
  • Sell your products and services to make more money
  • Set up recurring transfers to savings account

What I absolutely love about this whole process is you really get to revisit how much you’ve achieved multiple times throughout the year, and you can reassess at the end of every quarter in life and business.

Things are changing all the time and you really have to be adaptable and resilient.

It allows you to reassess the goals and what your main focuses are depending on how your life and business change so that it is the most relevant at all times.

How To Achieve Your Goals

Create a Fool Proof Plan

The first is to create a plan and to stick to it.

A lot of people who come to me, they think they know how to get there, but they actually don’t. You wanna make sure the plan you are following is going to get you there.

If you’ve never gotten there before, it might take trial and error, right? You could be doing everything in your plan, but if it’s a faulty plan, you’re not going to get to your destination.

Ask yourself, is your plan going to work? Do you need to learn from someone or do you need to learn something in order to get you there?

Take Consistent Action

The plan is one thing, but nothing is going to change if you don’t take action and if you don’t change your daily habits.

What works very, very well for me is to have my calendar and my Passion Planner and my workspace all aligned so that no matter where I look, I know exactly what to focus on for the day.

Set Reminders

Set reminders, write post-it notes everywhere. You don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel every day.

You want to start exactly where you left off.

Whatever system works for you so that you remember exactly what action items you have to take and what your goals are, it’s really helpful to have them front of mind.

Either have them as your phone background or your desktop wallpaper. The more you think about it, the more you look at them, the more you are attracting your dreams into your current reality.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode, it would mean so much if you could leave a review on Apple Podcasts. This helps us spread The Wanderlover mission to those who need a dose of inspiration today.

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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Hi, I’m Danielle

My mission is to help you design a location-independent lifestyle through online entrepreneurship, to achieve time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom.

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