I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for New Years Resolutions. It gives me a buzz to think of the possibilities that the new year is going to bring. I know, I should get out more…
Anyway, by the time March rolls around I’m still kinda half-heartedly working toward my goals. Then April brings some cooler weather and all my focus turns toward surviving the Canberra winter. By the end of June I’m just peeking out from the top of my doona to see if it’s over yet.
But there is something very special about the end of June…
The first half of the year is over, and a NEW half is about to begin! The first day of July is like a BRAND NEW START! So find a nice spot to settle down for a little thinking time. Don’t have a nice spot at the moment? Go to that cluttered mess that’s supposed to be a nice spot, chuck everything in a box out of sight for now (don’t worry, we’ll come back to that later). Pour yourself something delicious, and crack those knuckles (actually, don’t do that bit – my grandma will rouse on you).
This is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the first half of the year and think about where you’re at now. Did you set any resolutions at the start of the year? Have you stuck to them so far? Have you changed your mind about them now?
July is the start of the financial year, so some like to focus on setting financial goals. But you can also take the opportunity to reset your general goals, or re-commit to the plan you had at the beginning of the year. Here’s how I do it:
Reflect on the first half of the year
Think about all that’s happened in the first half of the year:
Where were you on New Years’ Eve and how did you feel at the time?
What goals or intentions did you set?
How long did you stick to them?
Where are you now and how do you feel?
What have you achieved so far?
Think broadly about what you’ve achieved so far and note down anything that went really well. It doesn’t have to be specifically related to your goals – just anything great that happened.
Pull out your diary and calendar and flick through the last six months. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ve done that you forgot about.
What challenged you?
Your diary, calendar, or journal might jog your memory on the things that got in your way.
What stopped you from achieving the results you wanted?
Are those challenges still in your life? If so, is there some way around them?
Was it your own self that got in the way? Why?
How do you want to feel?
Focus on how you want to feel. Really – stop what you’re doing right now and imagine feeling that way. Picture yourself displaying that feeling. Now what’s it gonna take to feel that for real?
This is a BIG question. And the answer might seem impossible. But it also might be simple. If it feels really big and hard, then just break it down. What are the things that need to change, big and small?
Identify your goals
Working out how you want to feel should help to identify some important goals for you. Sometimes we have goals that are actually in conflict with how we want to feel. So if you have goals already, I want you to really think about how you’ll feel when you achieve them. Does it match what you identified in the previous section? If so, great! If not, well… you’ve got some thinking to do… and that’s for another post. Or contact me in the meantime if you find yourself in this predicament.
Note down your goals. What is the big thing you’re working toward?
How far do you think you can get toward that in the next six months? This is what you’re going to focus on now.
Where do you want to be at the end of this year? Be specific: on 31 December, what do you want to have achieved? It might be part of a goal or an entire goal. But be very specific.
Break it down
For each goal that you’ve identified, break it down to pieces and smaller time frames.
What are the baby steps involved in achieving this goal?
What will half-way look like?
What steps will you achieve in the first month?
What are your weekly tasks associated with achieving this goal?
How will you see you’re making progress?
Use your diary or calendar
If you use a diary or a calendar, use it to mark out your goals and your tasks. Even just writing your goal at the top of each month can help you focus on taking steps toward it. Whenever you go to schedule something else in, you’ll be reminded of what you’re working toward. When everything else gets so busy, being constantly reminded of your goals will help you to prioritise them or at least squeeze them in.
Set a review date
By now you should have finished that drink of something delicious (and possibly had another one… but I won’t judge). You’re feeling clear (-ish, depending on what you were drinking) and focused and ready to take on the second half of this year and turn it into something great. Take one second to remember how you felt earlier… a bit dull, a bit vague about life, a bit blah. You wanna feel that way again in a few months’ time, after all this work you’ve just put in? No. You don’t.
Set a note on your calendar or in your phone to do a review of your goals.
I recommend having a weekly check-in. This only needs to take 5-10 minutes and doesn’t have to be anything formal. But you need to be reminded to think about what you’re working toward and why, so set a reminder.
Then, at the end of each month have a bit more of a sesh. Maybe spend 30 minutes looking at the past month and planning out the next.
Every three months you should try to find time to go through this whole detailed process and reeeeaaaallly look hard at what’s been going on and what’s coming up.
Reset the year
Whether you’re working on something major or just a bunch of little changes in your life, you can start anytime. Don’t let winter and the mid-year blues hold you back. Use this time as your launch pad, your starting block, your fresh start. Set aside some time to work through the process above and let me know if it works for you.
Of course, if you want some more individualised and guided support, I would love for you to get in touch for a free initial consultation.