As August begins, we’ve officially entered into the second half of this year. And, it will seem like the blink of an eye before we are exchanging holiday gifts, eating too much and making New Year resolutions. The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. With a little prioritizing and planning, there is still time to meet or beat your annual goals.
Mid-year is an excellent annual milestone to check in. This is done best when we take a pause to look…really look at where we are directing our time and talents and the results we are creating. A good process for self-reflection includes four steps. They are: Reflect, Re-evaluate, Recalibrate, Recommit. Use it to elevate your perspective and verify you are on track, moving forward and progressing toward the results that are most important to you.
As we begin to feel the sand slip through our hands and see life picking up speed, it is tempting to get busy being busy. But first, take some time to ensure you are headed in the right direction. Don’t mistake movement for achievement.
To ensure you are progressing in ways that matter most to you, consider each life dimension including Health, Intellectual, Financial, Career, Spiritual, Family and Social. Even if you have not focused or planned a goal for each area, you will gain valuable clarity by reflecting on these questions:
- What is working for me, right now?
- What accomplishments am I most proud of?
- What is my status in each area of life?(Health, Intellectual, Financial, Career, Spiritual, Family and Social)
Your priorities aren’t what you say they are; they are expressed by how you live. It is far to easy to fall into the trap of habit without examining the resulting risks or rewards. Challenge status quo—it may be uncomfortable but necessary to tap into your potential. Consider where you desire or require change or improvement by asking:
- What is demanding more time and attention than is truly important to me?
- What area(s) needs greater energy or attention?
- What do I really want to accomplish by the end of this year?
Give yourself permission to edit and shift your priorities. Since it is probably not realistic to work on every life dimension simultaneously, focus in areas of greatest importance then stay hyper focused there.
What gets measured gets done. Goals and renewed commitment are important but until you identify exactly what success looks like, you may miss it when it arrives. A lot of people and professionals miss defining metrics that matter. They reason, “I’ll know it when I see it!” which is really just a poor excuse for not setting clear ways to measure progress. Keep it simple by asking yourself:
- How will I measure or recognize success?
- What methods will I use?
“Motivation Gets You Going…and Habits Get You There”
—— Zig Zigler
Now is the time to double down on doing. Identify new or recommit to the steps and rituals that will lead you to the results you desire. If this feels overwhelming or nebulous, try this exercise. Take out a blank sheet of paper and do a thought download to list all of the incremental steps or actions needed to achieve your goal.
Don’t let your brain tell you that you don’t know how or that you need more information. Exercise your innate creativity to find options. Make reaching your goals a must. You are your only limit. It is a good idea to complete this exercise in two sessions on separate days. Your brain will work on options even though you may not be consciously thinking about it. The second pass at ideas is usually easier and yields the best results.
Commitment is sticking to what you said you’d do long after early excitement has left you. Add lift and sticking power to progress toward your goals by keeping your WHY top of mind. Recommit to your results by focusing on your reasons behind your goals for sustained enthusiasm and focus.
Time may continue to fly by, but ultimately you control the shadow your impact creates. A mid-year check in and checkup, provides a new view of the daily efforts and results they shape. This shift in perspective along with a willingness to trade routine and habit for what works better is how success is won.