With under six months left in the calendar year and without the noise and pressure of New Year’s Eve, the quiet and relaxed days of summer present an ideal opportunity to assess how our year’s gone so far, to visualize where we’d like “to be” by year end, and to implement any changes in course that are needed to get us there. After all, many of us participate in various types of mid-year reviews at work — which require us to take look back as well as forward. So, why not incorporate these types of self-assessments into our personal lives? And why not avail ourselves of the opportunity to do it now? With plenty of time still left in the year, July is the perfect month to re-visit resolutions and to assess if we’re on track to our desired destination.
Here are a few steps that you can take now to help you finish the year STRONG:
1. Utilize the season’s down time to reflect – Whether en route to vacation, out of office on a half-day or “summer Friday,” or while relaxing on a beach or mountain top, utilizing new-found time to review the year to date is an essential first step. With the benefit of hindsight of where we made progress and where we did not in the first part of the year, we now have the ability to replicate what worked and modify or adjust for what did not. This insight is priceless.
2. Leverage the quiet – Without the hustle, bustle and sheer noise of the holiday season when initial resolutions were likely made – we can embrace the opportunity of this less hectic season to hear ourselves think. As we do, we should listen for and honor our inner voice. Actively listening to ourselves can help tremendously in re-examination and re-prioritization of goals.
3. Take a candid look at sticking points – With the best of intentions, earlier in the year we may have resolved to fix what we have now come to realize is unfixable. It may be time to recognize areas where progress can simply not be made or not made in the fashion we envisioned. In some instances, it may also be time to compassionately detach and move on from a job or relationship in which we’ve felt stuck. Taking the time to recognize obstacles that cannot be overcome is an important first step to getting unstuck.
4. Visualize it – Seeing it makes it easier to achieve. Taking the opportunity to visualize exactly how we’d like look and feel by 12/31 (and perhaps even who we’d like to be with or not be with at the start of a new year) will be tremendously helpful. A specific vision of what we’d like to accomplish before the year ends can help motivate us to get there and the picture becomes all the more impactful when we incorporate into it how good we plan to feel.
5. Seek support if you need it – Engaging a coach like Akua Soadwa of Let’s Pursue You can be a wise and valuable investment this time of year to help you get crystal clear on your intentions and how you plan to utilize the next few months to finish the year strong. Plus, we may have more flexibility over the summer to get started or re-started on steps that must be taken or habits we wish to form. A coach or other support system can help us create specific and measurable goals and a plan to measure progress over the next few months to achieve them.
Mid-year assessments can be the perfect complement to resolutions made at the start of the year. There’s a value in checking in. Beyond this, a narrower timeframe can be extremely effective in encouraging us to re-assess, re-focus and re-commit if we happen to have fallen off track or if our objectives or perspectives have changed since our resolutions were first made. Think of it this way — if we thoughtfully make and keep our mid-year resolutions, we are all the more likely to be toasting a job well done as the clock strikes midnight on 12/31!
What steps do you plan to take this summer to help you finish the year where you’d like to be?