Yesterday was my son’s last day of school before starting the summer holidays. Yep, seems like only yesterday the boy was born, and now here is his all finished Junior Kindergarten already. My, how time flies. Anyhow, it made me realize that it’s already the end of June! Half the year has flown by, which means now is the perfect time for a mid-year review.
My Mid-Year Review: Taking Stock
I’ve mentioned in a previous article that one of the best ways of keeping yourself on track with respect to your goals is to periodically take the time to review things, and the mid-point of the year is a wonderful time to sit down and regain your perspective on things. I find the best way to do this effectively is to find a quiet time where I can be uninterrupted while I sit and think and mull things over. Alternatively, if you can find a place away from your usual work zone, that helps too – the change of scenery can be a great help in focusing your mind.
The 6 Step Mid-Year Review Process
I actually had the house to myself last night, so I took advantage of the peace and quiet to conduct my review, and I thought I’d share my six step process with you – hopefully it will give you some ideas for your own mid-year review!
Step 1: What were your goals?
The first thing I like to do is flip back through my files and look at my original goals for the year. Six months ago, what was it that I really wanted to accomplish this year? By this point in the year, I’m usually pretty tired, and sometimes frustrated by my perceived lack of progress, but looking back through those goal statements is often enough to re-energize me and remind me of all the awesome things I had planned.
Step 2: Has anything changed?
This is a really important step for me. In looking back at my original goals, I sometimes find that my thoughts/desires regarding that goal have changed in the intervening months. Let’s face it – life happens, and when it does, it can have an impact on what your priorities are. For me, some of the goals that I had set for the year are no longer on my priority list. I may get back to them next year, but for now, they’ve been moved to the back-burner. And that’s OK. I like to think that clarifying my priorities for the remainder of the year will allow me to focus more of my energy on getting those things done and getting them done really well.
Step 3: What have you actually done?
This is the step where you get to be your own cheerleader! It’s so easy to get disheartened over the weeks and months and to think that you’re just not getting anywhere with your goals, especially when they are really big ones that are going to take some time to happen. But if you make it a point to actually think back and make a list of everything you’ve already done, all the little steps you’ve taken over the last six months to get yourself closer to that goal, you’ll probably be shocked by how much you’ve actually done! In my case, it’s so easy to get stuck on how little progress I’ve made towards the book I’m trying to write. But in my review, I realized just how freaking much else I’ve managed to pull together in a comparatively short time. I have a freaking awesome blog (if I do say so myself), I have an active presence in several major social media networks, and even if I didn’t get that particular book written, I did manage to get my first book out!
Step 4: What do you still want to do?
My next step is to make a list of what I still want to do with the rest of the year. Kind of like a new, revamped, set of goals. This is the list of statements that will keep me focused and energized for the next six months, and the structure for the roadmap that will keep my going in the direction I want to go. In my case, I want to get back to my regular blog posting schedule (which, understandably, has kind of fallen apart since my father died) and I want to finish my second book and the course that will go along with it. I also want to put together a podcast (stay tuned for further info as I get closer to making that happen!) for the site, and will be focusing more on extending my presence in those social media sites that are directing the most traffic to my site. Outside of my business goals, my fitness and health related goals really kind of languished for the first half of the year, so I will be making it a point to focus more on those goals during the second half of the year, starting with a return to my yoga class (yay!) and making the time to meditate (which I haven’t been lately, and let me tell you, I do notice a difference).
Step 5: Create your action plan
My next step is to create an action plan for how I plan to achieve my revised goals. I like to start with a prioritized list of goals, and then create lists of steps I need to take to make them happen. I will then break that list down even further until I have concrete, actionable goals, and I will pick some to do today, even if it’s only something small. But I make sure to take whatever action I can on a daily basis. With my yoga goal, for example, the goal is to “Start doing yoga again”, and my list includes the following: “get back to regular yoga classes”, which is further broken down into: “look up pricing”, “check summer class schedules” and “buy pass” — small, actionable steps! I’ll be getting the first two steps done today, and possibly even the third one.
Step 6: Schedule your next review
My final step is to decide on my next review date. I find having a regular schedule for reviews helps to keep me focused and on track, because having that defined timeframe is like having a deadline that I need to meet. It really is a motivational tool that spurs me on and makes me want to accomplish even more before that next review happens. I’ll be doing my next review in time for the third quarter, at the end of September – it’ll give me a burst of energy to sprint for the end-of-year finish line!