It’s time for a mid-year check-in
We’re halfway through the year. Yikes! I am not quite sure how it’s been six months since Christmas but here we are.
It’s a good time to dust off goals and intentions from the New Year and reflect on the year so far. Or in gardener-speak, do a bit of weeding and pruning, and feed what we want to grow.
Clear some time for a personal mid-year review. Guard that time like you would a meeting with your boss. It’s important stuff.
Here’s some steps to help run your mid-year check-in.
Settle in for a chat
Make yourself comfortable, get your favourite treats, and settle in with a cup of tea. Sit down with your journal, phone or the scraps of paper you noted your New Year resolutions, goals or intentions on. If you didn’t write them down, grab some paper and coloured markers and get them down now! There are studies to back up the power of writing this stuff down.
Go through the goals your January-self made and ask a few questions, like:
- Have you made any progress?
- Were your goals realistic?
- What steps have you taken to achieving them?
- Is your heart still fully invested on achieving those goals?
Take each goal and map out tasks for each on a timeline. Break each goal into smaller steps and write weekly tasks into your diary.
If landing a great job in the not-for-profit sector is one of your goals, your task list might look like this:
- Review and polish CV. Hire a professional if I need to.
- Research how to write the best cover letters.
- Research the top five organisations I want to work for.
- Identify and ask three people to be referees.
- Blatant promo: sign up to the Do Good Jobs weekly newsletter and job listings.
- Set aside two hours every week to devote to job applications. Put in my diary.
- Update Linked In and check other social media channels for inappropriate content. Ask yourself what a prospective employer would think, for each post. (Yes, this is the world we live in now)
Commit to applying to two to four jobs each month.
Allow for curveballs
Let out a whoop and plan a celebration if you’ve nailed anything, but don’t go getting grim on yourself if you haven’t, sometimes life gets in the way. Curveballs are a thing. Family emergencies, sickness, mental health and the odd random curveball like moving house, or a friend needing support, all happen.
If you’ve gone off track, you need to ask yourself why. Are your goals still something you really want? What’s in the way of you achieving your dreams?
Decide if you want to re-engage and then map out what that looks like. Imagine what life looks like when you achieve your goals. Revel in that for a few minutes, then note down what the steps are to getting there.
Sometimes our timelines are a little optimistic, remember that sustainable change takes time.
Don’t be afraid to do pivot on a goal
Change them up, adjust or shelve them if you have to. Take care of yourself first. Sometimes we need to focus on family or just rest for a few months, and that’s fine too.
It could be that you’ve taken on too much and need to focus. Ask yourself what THE most important thing to achieve is this year. Put all your energies into that.
Going confidently into the future
Have your goals up on a wall or pinboard where you can see them. Write a reminder in your diary or planner to check in on progress at the end of every month. A friend of mine starts each day by reading her goals before she plans her workday every morning. This helps her stay on track and not go down the rabbithole of internet animal videos.
Or perhaps partner with a friend to mentor each other. Being accountable to someone else is highly motivating. Make a monthly date to get together and share progress and challenges.
In 2018, I nailed every single goal I set. The year before? Not so much. If you’re a gardener, you know that some years the garden booms abundant, in other years, conditions are just gruelling and not conducive to growth. Gardening is a good metaphor for life. Put into place all the factors that make fertile ground for growing your best life, and ride the boom times while you can!