You can feel it in the air: summertime is (almost) behind us. Bye endless sunsets, bye beach days; it’s time to go back to our trousers, closed shoes and routines — but not without a quick glance at the past months. If you’ve set goals for yourself at the beginning of the year, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with them, especially after living a more relaxed life throughout the summer. Worry not, Wambui has just what you need to get back on track: a mid-year review.
Most people want to make changes or improvements in their lives, and new year’s plans and resolutions are a very common habit. More often than not, the set goals are not accomplished by the end of the intended year, because they were too ambitious or too vague. Throughout my personal experiences, I have found that reviewing and reflecting on my goals mid-year helps greatly — and today, I want to share a few tips with you. Hopefully, these few leads can allow you to adjust and give you a better chance to accomplish the goals you set for yourself.
Adjustments can be broken down into baby steps, to achieve practical goals gradually through the journey. Some of these steps might spill over to the next year, or another specific step might be added to the list. For example, if someone wants to build a healthy lifestyle in 2022, cutting back on unhealthy fast food can be a start in the first half of the year, to then include better food choices and fitness in the second half of the year. Maybe by 2023, diet changes such as organic food consumption or a vegan lifestyle can be considered. Another common new year’s resolution is reading more books. But to simply say you want to ‘read more’ is a vague goal: it is better to start small with a few pages of a book every day, then increase the amount of pages, until finally reading a book a month is achievable.
It’s okay to fail
When doing the review, being realistic is important. Failure happens while making new year resolutions but adaptability to the situation helps to understand why the resolution was not a success. Failure is not a dead end: it is fixable, inevitable and can be redirected. If changes need to be made, you can analyse your progress throughout the past 6 months, and make adjustments accordingly.
Being specific with oneself is required: ask yourself questions like: “what was I doing specifically well? What was I not doing well to achieve my goals? How long did I maintain a habit before calling it quits?”
After answering these questions, you can come up with adjusted goals, e.g., “I will do ABC for D weeks and see how it works out for me, I will have E finished before F time, it will take me G months to finish my H project”.
Hack your routine
Habits are the main components of goals: maintaining a routine is key to setting a habit in place. Reviewing your habits over the first half of the year will help you improve your routine: what did you do easily? Is it possible to combine old and new habits? For example, instead of reaching for your phone first thing in the morning, keep a book open on top of it to start off the day. Instead of spending time picking your clothes for the day, lay them out ready for exercise and for work the night before; it will make your mornings easier.
The environment surrounding your daily activities has a huge impact on how you will do these activities. Knowledge of what improves your energy versus what and who drains it is important to note in the review. Obtain clarity on these elements and take note of some adjustments you could make to ensure happiness and a healthy environment moving forward.
Taking accountability means acknowledging your personal responsibility and honestly evaluating what worked, what didn’t and what can be done better. Handwriting down a reflection of the first six months about your feelings with honesty, in fairness and a reasonable amount of self-awareness will go a long way in finding out what went wrong.
Once reflection is complete, you can write down suggestions with practical goals. This can be done by categorising the various phases of your life into health and self (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social), life skills and career and self-development. If you want to travel, taking weekend trips to nearby towns or states by car or bus is a good start, without necessarily having to book a flight. If you want to save more money, be more intentional about saving schemes such as opening a retirement account or investing in assets. Pick specific hobbies that you actually enjoy and will stick to, instead of focusing on learning a new trade, which can become a stressful situation. Being happy with your life choices will help you achieve your goals with contentment and grace. Being organised while reviewing your goals will help to strategize better.
Good luck folks!😊