June 24, 2019
Mid Year Reflection
It’s summer and we are officially halfway through 2019. I recently returned home to Los Angeles after many incredible weeks of travel. I taught mindfulness in the Maine State Prison, co-led a joyful retreat in Portugal, spent a week in Mallorca with my husband (our first and possibly only vacation this year), and finally landed in Oslo, Norway where I led a weekend of workshops. Returning home was wonderful, and, I found myself utterly demotivated. The European afternoon cafe vibe had taken ahold of me. The idea of sitting down to complete the projects I was most excited about at the start of 2019 felt daunting. I experienced a profound sense of resistance to returning to my goals and so I realized, it was time for a check-in.
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 did 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 for 2019? If you didn’t set any specific goals for this year, are there goals 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 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 stands right now. The biggest mistake people make is giving up on a goal 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 still make sense or do they need to be adjusted? It’s ok to adjust your goals. 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? Is the same goal still achievable this year? If not, can you set a new goal? 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 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 the goal is 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.
- 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?
This year I began doing this check-in process at the end of each month, but in June, with a hectic travel schedule, I fell behind and I noticed a huge difference in how the month unfolded. Not only did I achieve less toward my goals I also felt less motivated, energized, and excited. Each month I review the previous month’s goals, I write down my successes, and I acknowledge the strides I made that I didn’t necessarily expect or plan for. I celebrate ALL of my wins, no matter how small. I acknowledge where I was overzealous and going into the next month, I take my upcoming schedule into account and I set new goals. 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 longterm 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.