June 27, 2022
A New Cycle Begins
Cycles exist all around us. From lunar cycles, to cycles in nature and even menstrual cycles. But how often do we pause and connect with these cycles?
As we enter the second half of the seasonal cycle (this coming Saturday, July 2nd, marks the midpoint of 2022!), we can use this as an opportunity to connect with our own cycles of life and conduct a mid-year inquiry and reflection.
Some people conduct a mild overview at the end of each year or at the beginning of the new year, but even fewer take time in the middle of the year to re-assess. Goals and intentions are benefited by being re-visited again and again so I wanted to share my process with you and I hope it helps re-inspire you, as it always does for me, as we head into the final six months of the year. Take a few, deep breaths and set time to turn inward. Have a pen and journal ready. Ask yourself these questions:
What were your goals or intentions for 2022? If you didn’t set any specific goals or intentions for this year, are there goals or broader intentions you would like to set now that you can focus on for the rest of the year?
- How are you progressing? Check-in with each goal or intention and assess where you currently stand. This is not a judgement or a time to berate yourself. This is simply an honest review of where each goal or intention stands right now. The biggest mistake people make is giving up on a goal or intention if it hasn’t already been fully achieved or if only minimal progress has been made. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you’ve made strides, even small strides, celebrate and acknowledge them. There are still six months to go this year. A lot can be achieved in that time. Don’t give up now.
- Do these same goals/intentions still make sense or do they need to be adjusted? It’s ok to adjust your goals or intentions. Maybe there were unexpected things that arose this year which altered your energy, intentions, and schedule. Maybe you either aimed too high or too low at the outset. How can you refine the goal or intention? Is the same goal or intention still achievable this year? If not, can you set a new goal or intention? If the original goal feels like a distant possibility is there a way to re-set the goal in a way that is more achievable but also still stretches you?
- Is the goal or intention actually something that you want or is it just something you think you “should” pursue? This is a biggie. Be honest. If it’s not true to you, cross it off your list and free yourself.
- If it’s something that you actually want to pursue, what will it take for you to accomplish it? What is your plan? How will you achieve it? Put the exact steps in your calendar. Mark the days and times you will set aside to put energy toward your goal or intention.
- What are your non-negotiables? There are things in life, no matter how big our dreams, that cannot be sacrificed – your health (physical, mental, spiritual), your relationships, etc…Recommit to your personal well-being. These take top priority. The professional should never overtake the personal. Get clear. What, in the end, is most important to you?
- Lastly, how do you want to feel as you pursue your dreams? Following a dream is fun and exciting. If it feels miserable, stressful, and aggravating, something needs to change. How are you committed to feeling as you approach the steps necessary to achieve your goals or manifest your intentions?
For the rest of the year, each month, review the previous month’s progress, write down your successes, and acknowledge the strides that you made that you didn’t necessarily expect or plan for. Celebrate ALL of your wins, no matter how small. Acknowledge where you were overzealous and going into the next month, take your upcoming schedule into account and set an action plan keeping your overall goals and intentions in mind.
I keep my goals grounded and realistic meaning, I set about five new goals each month, not 100. They challenge me but are also in the realm of possibility. I don’t always achieve them all. And, above all, I make sure that my monthly goals are in alignment with my long-term intentions and my core values.
I encourage you to repeat this process monthly and continue to refine what it means to you to live a life of passion and purpose. And, depending on your goals, my hope is that we can share an upcoming retreat so that I can personally help support you as you journey forth.
Below are some recommended practices to support you in your mid-year reflection: