The Pilcrow

A WordPress developer's thoughts on professional and personal development. Written by Karin Taliga

Quarterly review: what will you focus on in the next 90 days?

March 1st turned out to be on a Friday this year. This makes it an interesting date from a routine perspective.

Both my quarterly review, monthly review and weekly review align to fall on the same date. How on earth does one deal with that? Block out one huge focus sitting and try to go from the top to the bottom in one go?

No.

That’s just a recipe for disaster.

I have made my checklists so that they by and large are not dependent on doing them all at once. I spread the items out during the week, so that by the end of it I will have touched the places I want to.

There are dependencies though. Since my monthly review pulls items from the quarterly, I need to do that first. And the same goes for monthly vs weekly. So I still want to go from bigger picture to granular detail.

But other things are not really time dependent. It doesn’t matter if I do them this week or even in the beginning of the next, so I spread them out here and there when I get to them.

What’s your character’s journey?

One thing I do is to think about the next quarter from a character development perspective. This is part of an exercise I got from Steve Pavlina last year. It involves writing your character journey, your story for the next 90 days.

Think of yourself as a character in a movie. Look at your life from outside. If you were writing that movie script, how would you like your character to evolve? What would you like it to experience? What does the next stage in your life look like?

I combine this with journaling and writing to my intuition, and finish off by distilling it into a theme or focus for the quarter.

My theme of the next 90 days:
let things germinate

Now is the time to stop driving and let things evolve. I have landed pretty well after a time of many large life changes, but in order for anything to take root it has to germinate first. Just like seeds.

It’s funny with seeds. They can have such a special demands on the circumstances through which they start to grow.

Some can live dormant in the soil for 30 years or more, just waiting for that wildfire to happen that it needs to start sprouting. Some require you to put them in the freezer for a while to give them a sense of winter before they will come alive.

Others, like dandelion, will take root anywhere in all kind of impossible places. I have never seen dandelion seeds being sold on the market. There’s no need for that.

When I write to my intuition, I often get the same message over and over again: be more patient. Letting things germinate is all about practising patience.

One image I’ve received is that of a racing horse just before the start of a race. Nose to the barrier, prancing about, huge built up energy just waiting to be released as soon as the gates open.

My mind is that horse.

There’s so much I want to do, so many things that inspire me. I have been incapacitated for so long and now that I’m well again I just want to go, go, go!

My “built up energy” though is only the speed that my mind wants to go in, not the actual energy of my body. My mind is running too fast, leaving my body without time or chance of catching up.

I project myself out into the ether, and I have to wait for my body to catch up. I don’t like going at the speed of my body, I want everything now.

So the lesson of the sprouting seeds is a good one for me. You can’t hurry the seed. It will start when it will start, and some take longer than others.

In Sweden, there’s an old saying that parsley needs to go to hell and back before sprouting. This is because it takes 4 weeks for it to germinate. You put it in the soil, water it, and wait and wait and wait. Just when you’re about to give up and think that the seeds are dead, the first little green leaves (called cotyledon) starts to rise from the surface.

When you buy a seed packet, they usually write the germination time so you know what to expect. They also write the ideal conditions of planting and nurturing, and expected time to harvest.

But life’s projects don’t come in neat little packets, specifying all the expected effects of your actions and how long it will take to get the results. We do things, and wait for the feedback or the results to show up.

Sometimes feedback is instant, but many times it is not. And some things are so complex that we don’t even know if what we receive is the result of our own actions or others’.

I don’t know what kind of seeds I have sown, and I don’t know how long it will take before I find out. All I know is that I shouldn’t rush things and instead see where life takes me.

Patience is hard though. It’s definitely something I need to practice.

Luckily I can find inspiration through sowing actual real seeds in the ground, because these next 90 days is also spring time.

Time for sowing and letting things germinate.

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