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The Final Quarter

So it’s officially Fall. On a recent walk, I couldn’t help but notice a woman in the fluffiest, fuzziest jacket I’ve ever seen, followed by a man in gym shorts and a t-shirt. Where I live, this time of year is marked by the changing season—the leaves tumbling to the ground, the outfits being scarf-happy and fleece-lined, my personal hot chocolate consumption skyrocketing.

And the mornings getting later. The nights getting earlier. The weather getting colder. Next is October. Then November. And December. And while I trust you know your months, I felt it necessary to write out to illustrate this: There are three months left in the year. We’re in the Final Quarter.

Sure are a lot of things that can be broken into quarters. How many sports movies have I watched where the home team makes some miraculous comeback in the fourth quarter? As a distance runner and former track kid, how can’t I see a mile as anything more than four laps?

Each month when I write The Smile Project “Good News” email, I find myself wanting to begin with, “Wow! Another month! I’m continually shocked by the passage of time!” And that’s how I feel now, on the dawn of a new season with three months left to go in 2022.

So before I’m sitting on my floor on New Year’s Eve thinking about how I got here and how the year really flew by, I want to jump back to January 2022. At the beginning of the year, I was exchanging emails with my then-friend, now-partner about goals for the new year—back when that January 1 glow makes everything seem possible.

Rather than wait three months to reflect, this is your chance for a quick Final Quarter check-in. Looking through my email (and somehow past the awful attempts at flirting) I see a few things I can be proud of. I’ve definitely taken some meaningful steps toward some of these goals. And, I also see areas that I really want to re-focus on.

That’s not to say I have hard personal development deadlines of December 31, 11:59 PM (ET). But rather a reminder that this is something that matters… and I don’t want another three months to go by without giving it a fair try. And you shouldn’t either.

So there it is. Your Final Quarter reminder. There’s still time. Let’s do it.


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