If you’ve ever been to a football game, you’ll notice that players, fans, coaches, and even your fellow arm-chair quarterbacks at home, all hold up four fingers as the third quarter comes to a close. Whether the game is close or not, there is a certain electricity that fills that arena in anticipation for the fourth quarter. So, why is the fourth quarter so special?

When you’re an athlete, the true grit of every workout begins when you want to quit. As a businessperson, it’s about going the extra mile to set yourself up for success. Both align with a mantra that says “we’ve worked so hard to get here, let’s finish strong.”

The last quarter of the year is filled with deadlines, dinners, family, friends, travel and holidays around every corner. Apologies in advance if that shot your anxiety through the roof, but don’t worry - we’ve got your back! 

As the year comes to a close, here are the three ways that you can keep your team focused, engaged, and dedicated to finishing the year off strong. (And if you are in need of some tips for self-care during the holidays, click here). 

 

Be Realistic

As the daylight hours and thermometer readings are shrinking, we inevitably feel a shift in energy. Whether we’re riding on the adrenaline of sweater weather or depressed by the gray winter weather, there’s a need to adjust. That being said, the key to ending the year on a high note is to be realistic about what that looks like. 

Set your target goals for years end and work backwards to build a realistic plan. This overview will highlight any potential conflicts that could pop up. As an example, you might discover that a project you’re contributing to requires multiple teammates collaborating. If the other team members involved have significant PTO during this end-of-year stretch, then you might need to reallocate resources. 

Transparency is your new best friend in this situation. It will act as an ally and help you get to all the events you need to attend, while crushing it at work and keeping stress as low as possible. 

To quote the great Mike Tyson, “everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth.” The 4th quarter may be mayhem, but a realistic plan can help you to roll with the punches and keep your cool.

 

Slow down

When we have competing priorities, our brain space can become cloudy, which increases the likelihood of mistakes and things falling through the cracks. It happens to all of us, but it’s never fun to feel as though you’re letting teammates or loved ones down. The best way to avoid that clouded brain space is to slow down, realign, and set appropriate expectations of yourself and others.

As a supportive teammate or manager, you have an opportunity here. Call out the elephant in the room and have conversations about what’s holding your teammate’s attention. You’ll be amazed at how just taking a moment to exercise some empathy can open up a feeling of trust and improve communication amongst teammates. Taking the time to sharpen your saw before cutting down the proverbial tree will save you energy and time in the long run. 

 

Commit to Balance

It’s no secret that January is the busiest time of year for the fitness industry, as droves of New Year’s Resolution-ers look to restore balance after spending their final months of the previous year stressed at work and maybe eating some cookies at a few holiday parties. We totally get it, but fortunately, we can avoid ending the year on a frazzled note by committing to balance through consistent physical activity. 

The key? Invite a friend, plan it ahead and even break it apart into microbursts of activity if that works better for you. Traveling a lot during Q4? Check out our tips for keeping active on-the-go here. Knowing that the fourth quarter can be one of the least active stretches of the year, take the extra step to make wellness appointments with yourself and build them into your overall plan as a team. Be proactive about your physical health, and your mental health will thank you later. 

 

Amidst the end-of-year chaos, you have an opportunity to be in control and close out the year strong. Be specific about where you want to focus your attention and effort, but be realistic with your goals and expectations. Balancing all the demands of the year end can be overwhelming, but advocating for the success and wellness your team deserves, so you can finish the year off strong, is totally worth it. We’ll be there for you every step of the way. 

Looking to keep your teams’ wellness a priority? Sign up for Peerfit and redefine your team's wellness! 

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