Think back to New Year’s Day this year. Do you remember how you felt that day? Were you excited? Or a little hung over perhaps? Did you feel the potential that the day represents?
January 1st is a powerful representative of hope. It comes around every year without fail, marking a new beginning, the opportunity for change or growth and anything else that aligns with a fresh start.
Many of us make New Year’s goals and plans for the following year, which will help us to achieve overarching long-term changes. Be it career, health or finance, New Year’s is the time to start in a new direction.
MID-YEAR CHECK IN
So now it’s June. We’re half way through the year. How are those goals coming along? Have you thought about them much? What about your vision for the year? How is this year measuring up so far?
Every year around this time, I sit down and reassess my goals. I have 3-5 goals annually that may be business or personal. I also do a Wheel Of Life exercise and re-visit my vision for the year. More on this shortly, but first: goals.
Research shows that achieving goals can boost personal happiness and increase happiness. The flip side is that research also shows that habits and behaviours dictate the success of goal setting. That means that determination alone won’t allow you to achieve your goals.
A year is a long time and it’s easy to get sidetracked, so sitting down and dedicating some time to year means that when December hits, you won’t feel like a failure for not achieving your plans.
So, when June rolls around, I do my mid-year audit, which looks something like this:
- Goal assessment
- Vision check
- Wheel of Life exercise
My first task is to I ask myself the following set of questions:
How have I progressed with my goals?
Am I on track to achieving what I wanted? Have I changed my mind completely about this goal or realized there’s a better way to go about achieving this goal?
Have I achieved any of my goals?
Maybe you’re a superstar who ticked off a goal in the first half of the year. If so, you should be really proud of yourself.
It also might be time to replace that goal with something else that you want to keep you motivated.
Why haven’t I progressed as far as I would like with my goals?
If you have gone completely off track even just aren’t as far along as you would like, mid-year is a great time to catch yourself. You may just need to implementing different habits, or changing up your actions completely.
You might need a new set of actions, a refined set of actions, or a total pivot to a new method to achieve this goal.
Are these still my goals for the year?
Guess what! You can change your mind. If these goals aren’t in line with you vision for the year anymore, or if things have changed, you can change your goals. If it’s not working for you anymore, put it to bed and start something else.
VISION FOR THE YEAR
At the beginning of every year I set my vision for the year. Usually it’s a word and a vision of what I want my year to look and feel like.
First I want to make sure that any new goals, or new actions for those goals still fit with my vision for the year.
I also want to have a good think about the first half of year and decide whether it’s embodied my word and vision. It’s easy to become distracted and so now it the time to reign yourself in and reset.
WHEEL OF LIFE
The wheel of life exercise is a really great way to get an overview of the major categories of life: finances, business and career, physical environment, fun and recreation, personal growth, romance and sex, family and friends etc.
I do this exercise at the start of each year and I’ll do it again during my mid-year audit. It’s a great place to see whether you’re putting all of your focus in one or two areas and neglecting others and an opportunity to even your life up.
For example, maybe your health is right on track at the start of the year. The New Year motivated you to exercise more, eat healthier, drink less and that may drop off a little as the year goes on. If this isn’t in line with your vision for the year, then now is the time to reset your intention and get back to your healthy goals.
IT’S TIME FOR ACTION
So, you’ve done your mid-year audit. You’ve identified which goals are on track and which are off the rails. You’ve refocused everything to align with your vision and you’ve established which aspects of life are out of whack according to your wheel of life.
It’s time for action.
Decide what you need to do to get yourself where you want to be. If you’re not totally sure, you can do a little investigation first to establish what you have to work on.
The first place I start is with my diary. I colour-code my diary, so if I look back over the last six months and see it’s out of balance, maybe too much social or too much business, then I can easily see why my studies haven’t come as far as what I’ve wanted. The action here is easy. Less party, more study. I block out 3 nights a week for study for the rest of the year.
Maybe you need to call your gym and find out how often you’ve been going. You reckon it’s about 4 times per week, but your gym informs you it’s actually 2. No wonder you don’t feel ready for your marathon! So you set a reminder in your phone to pack your gym bag four nights a week and start a new savings account for a whole set of new gym gear once you’ve been going 4 times weekly for 3 months.
You don’t need to wait for the New Year to roll around again to reset your intention and start fresh on your goals. Get it done now.