4th Quarter

We’re a month into the NFL & NCAA football seasons, and once again America’s hearts and minds have been captured by the dramatic story lines (however controversial) that seem to be constantly evolving and spinning further out of control with each passing day.

However, there is one aspect of football that is as old as the game itself, and will never change or fade (barring some bizarre fundamental shift to the game): The Fourth Quarter.

The final period of each football game played seems to drive an increased sense of intensity and focus into the players, coaches, and fans of a given team. During each game the biggest of plays, the brightest of stars, and the most memorable moments in history show up for the fourth quarter. Similarly, the highest performers in business, athletics, and life in general seem to show up and perform when the clock is winding down and the game is on the line.

Now, when you get a chance, flip over to your calendar app or whatever scheduling tool you might use. Notice the date: 10/1/14, right? You know what that means, people. It’s already here. The 4th quarter has arrived.

If you’re anything like me, you could look back at your “2014 Goals & Objectives” and find a decent list of open items waiting to be accomplished. Your goals may be related to your business, career, health, family, or something entirely unrelated to these. It doesn’t really matter. We’ve all got the same time on the clock, and we all have the same opportunity to perform. So, If you’re looking for a game plan to accomplish goals in these final three months, look no further. These steps are simple in theory, but will take a focused strategy and flawless execution to succeed:

  1. Reflect: Take time to review where you’ve been to this point in the year, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’ve failed to accomplish. Let this be a time that invokes gratefulness for the circumstances, events, and trials that you’ve experienced, and take the time to communicate that gratefulness to the people who have helped you through.
  2. Re-Prioritize (planning): More than likely, your reflection brought to light some things that you have not accomplished, but still want to accomplish in the 4th quarter. That’s great! Now take that list and prioritize it in terms of importance and a realistic ability to succeed. Now, success doesn’t mean you have to fully accomplish whatever task/goal/idea you want to prioritize. However, it does mean that you will do whatever necessary to devote the time and effort towards this idea. If you cannot make that commitment, then the item is not worthy of being on your checklist for the rest of the year.
  3. Execute: Get it done. This is where you need to spend the majority of your time over the next three months. Prioritizing and planning is great, but you probably spent a good bit of time planning at the beginning of the year, and you still haven’t accomplished your goals. Make extra time to hustle on your idea or activity. Want to run a marathon? Get up earlier and make time to train. The same can be said for increasing sales, spending more time with family, or simply doing a better job with your current employment. The main issue is: go. Additionally, get someone else to execute alongside of you. In sports, we see teams that function as a unit out-perform more talented squads regularly. Your objective is no different. Find a partner or mentor who will help you accomplish your objectives, and keep you accountable to giving your entire effort to the task at hand.

That’s it people. Short and sweet. The reality is, I don’t have time to think of many more steps because of the amount of ground I’ve got to make up over the next 3 months. My objectives that remain outstanding? Run a marathon, finish 8 more books, plan a european vacation with my wife, and bench press an additional 50 lbs. more than what I am currently maxing. (NOTE: most of the objectives I’ve completed this year are related to work and career, which is fine. Now, I can spend some remaining time on hobbies and health).

What are your remaining objectives? Let me know in the comments section below!

For more of my thoughts and learnings on marketing, leadership, digital transformation, and life check out www.adamvazquez.com

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