When Does the 4th Quarter Begin?

I love starting new things, and I’ve discovered that planning quarterly suits this trait of my personality. Four times a year, I get to have a new beginning every three months. It’s an opportunity to look back and adjust for the next Quarter—a proven way to track long-term goals that you can check regularly.

It is more manageable to track the evolution of your long-term goals over 90 days than 365 days, especially in today’s world, where we are all looking for immediate gratification or fulfillment.

Not only that, but it is crucial to look at the big picture, your annual goals, or even your five-year vision regularly. By reviewing your last Quarter, you can identify the mistakes, efforts, and achievements that will further help you adjust or pivot your plan of action for the next Quarter. Also, if you get into the habit of reviewing each Quarter, it will not seem as big a task as looking at the whole 12 months (year). It might also help banish procrastination on big projects (big-picture). For me, my goals tend to get lost when I only look at the whole year.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Using annual planning to block out my quarters and focusing on shorter-term goals keeps me focused on what matters. In addition, plans, goals, and objectives are more specific and time-sensitive than those in an annual plan.


It is essential to include your outcome goals, upcoming quarter initiative, a recap of last Quarter and goals for the coming Quarter. Ensure to include project process, timelines, and accomplishments, which are the three most important metrics to track. Another critical element to your planning is self-care. Self-care usually does not make it on our list. Each Quarter, write a list of self-care goals to replenish yourself. It can be a wide range of things, from taking a nice long luxurious bath to meditation, to doing your favourite activities. Practice self-care regularly. It will improve your quality of life, and most of the time, it’s free!

“Goals are “dreams with” deadlines.” -Diana Scharf Hunt

Here is my list of ten self-care goals for the fourth Quarter:

  1. Read 20 minutes a day.
  2. Go outside in my backyard and take a deep breath.
  3. Get on my stationery for five minutes at lunchtime. I know it’s tiny, but this is a start to build up to 20 minutes)
  4. Go on weekly hikes with my family to enjoy the fall colours.
  5. Book a massage
  6. Take a shower every morning and dress up. I know this sounds obvious, but because of COVID, I’ve been working from home, and I’ve been going a day or two without taking a shower. I felt so much better and energized when I showered before sitting at my desk to start my workday. When you look good, you feel better inside.
  7. Meditate in the morning. I know it’s not easy, but it will improve your mental clarity once you get into the habit. I started with two minutes, and now, I’m up to five minutes.
  8. Listen to Audiobooks while walking my dog, Jackie. This gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. I will sometimes stop the audiobook from taking in and reflecting on what I heard.
  9. Write three things I’m grateful for every morning. I think of myself as a positive person, but humans are designed to look for the negative, including me. Cavemen passed negative thinking down to us since they were always on the lookout for danger to survive. So being grateful might be the thing that will rewire your brain.
  10. Reflect on my day by congratulating myself for what I’ve done well. Where do I stand with my goal? What was the highlight of my day? Reflection is the easiest self-care, and starting even with 2 minutes a day can work itself into a regular habit.

The idea here is to find something that makes you calm, connected and happy. Of course, this list might look boring to some. So, I challenge you to write ten self-care goals of your own.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins


To help you get started, here’s a list of things to include in your quarterly planning and then customize to your situation and needs:

  1. Outcome goals
  2. Upcoming initiatives
  3. Recap of Last Quarter
  4. Output goals
  5. Process/plan
  6. Due dates/timelines
  7. List of self-care
  8. Other

Setting SMART Goals is the best way to ensure goal setting and accomplishment success. I’ve recently discovered this great tool. GoalsOnTrack is a tool to help you keep your goals on track and achieve what you want in a more organized and efficient way.

GoalsOnTrack is a web-based system that allows you to set and track goals and subgoals, manage tasks, build habits, keep a goal journal, visualize your goals with a vision board, and keep your goals organized and motivate you to make progress daily.

I would love to hear about your 4th quarter planning and how you are preparing for your first Quarter in 2022.

If you would like guidance planning your next quarter or career development to create a life you love, I’m here to help.  

email:  info@joannesavoiemalone.com

text:  613-749-3210

4 thoughts on “When Does the 4th Quarter Begin?

  1. Hey there, 

    Actually, it has never occurred to me to plan things for quarters… I mean I am terrible at time management and was looking for ways how to improve it. 

    Really love the small goals you have listed there. 

    I do start (almost) every day with a cold shower, but I keep forgetting about the meditation. So Really every morning I should try to meditate? 

    Well, one step at a time so starting tomorrow I will meditate every day. Let’s see what happens next 🙂 

    Thanks a lot 

    1. Thank you for your comment.  Time management has always been a challenge for me as well, that’s why I keep looking for ways to master it.   In my research I realized that my goals were always too big, and I eventually lost sight of them.  Bite-size planning has been a great tool for me as I get bored easily and love to accomplish things.  For example, get in the habit of meditating even for 1 or 2 minutes at first.  I also like self-guided meditation, and you can find so many on YouTube.  You should also check out the GoalsOnTrack tool I refer to in my post by clicking on it.  I started using it, and it has been a game changer.  Best of luck with your meditation and let me know how it goes.

  2. Quarterly goal is a breath of fresh air. In the past I use to set goals once a year and just forget them. Old years night into new years is the time I would like about the past year and set you ones for the upcoming year. A lot fell through the cracks. Thanks for this wonderful article, it definitely makes more sense.

    1. That’s awesome Diana, I was in the same boat as you and now I lover quarterly planning :). Keep me posted!

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