11-Sept-2023 by Allison McMillan

Read Time: Approx. 3 minutes

The September Mindset: Paving the Way for End-of-Year Success

People usually think about December/January as a time of reflection and new beginnings. It's the new year, new you, new goals, new things going on. The START of the year. And while January, to me, means starting new things, it frequently doesn't come with the same period of self-reflection outside of a trite "What new thing should I be doing now?"

September is what always gets me into a particularly reflective mood. It's not the end of the year but, it kicks off a period of reflection as new beginnings start. The transition of summer to fall is a meaningful one, often with more signs and symbols of changes than the end of the year. The pace changes for myself and for most folks around me. You can feel people coming out of summer mode, summer pace, and summer vibes to get back into focus in a more deliberate way. Kids start school, camps end, and the day-to-day looks different.

More specifically, for me personally, beyond atmospheric and schedule changes, to really trigger the SELF reflection piece, Jews also enter the month of Elul. Before the high holidays (most notably for folks Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur), we experience Elul, the last month before the new year but the focus of Elul is self-reflection. The Shofar is blown daily to remind us to do some reflection.

This transition and self-reflection time is a great opportunity for companies to reflect as well. Fall offsites focus on getting teams and individuals aligned to finish strong and NOW, not in December, is when planning, thoughts, and strategy conversations begin to take place for what 2024 will look like. Going into the end of the fiscal year, for many, what do they want to accomplish? Coming out of the summer, how are things going? And, most importantly, how are you self-reflecting to hold yourself accountable and make smart decisions about what YOU want the end of YOUR year to look like. If you're starting your planning conversations and thinking about how you are doing, what you're prioritizing and what you aren't prioritizing, here are some questions to think through:

  • How are you doing? But for real, how are you really doing?
  • What do you wish you had time for that you don't?
  • What is going well?
  • What do you wish was going better?
  • How is your team doing?
  • What do you invest in that will pay dividends in the future? for yourself and for your company?
  • How will you solve those problems today?

so... what are you reflecting on as a new quarter comes up and we creep closer to the end of the year?

Here's a helpful worksheet to help you think through current blockers, how you're solving them now, how you want to solve them (or even just brainstorm all the potential solutions!), and what sorts of resources you'd need to solve the problem. I'd encourage you to think through what resources you need to solve the problem in the most ideal way and then also what resources you need to solve the problem in the most realistic way. And then finally, what actions you'll take to find those resources that you need.

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