Last December, my partner Jonny and I were pretty excited for the new shiny decade that was on its way. We decided that this year we’d go all in with our planning for 2020. We managed to get our calendars aligned, book some childcare and escaped on a Friday morning to a favourite cafe in Petone for brunch and brainstorming.
We got fully caffeinated, laid out some pretty epic – and slightly scary – plans for nailing 2020 and purchased some fortune cookies for good luck…Other than perhaps Zoro, the fortune teller, no one knew the COVID curveball that was coming. There was definitely a lot of unforecasted rain in the first half of 2020!
Given that it is now mid-year, it is the perfect time to revisit these goals! The other night, I pulled these coffee-ringed goals and my fortune cookie message out.
If your life has been anything like mine, the past six months have passed in a blur. What happened to those plans we laid for 2020? When do we get that rainbow, Zoro!?
In times of such flux, where it can be easy to start feeling a bit lost, directionless and paralysed by uncertainty, planning and goal setting can be the last thing you want to look at…
Yet, goal setting, especially in times like this, can actually start to give some real clarity and provide direction to get you out of the drizzle and towards the rainbow (and maybe even a pot of goodness?).
For so long I would set myself a few big lofty goals at the start of the year, and then forget about them until the start of a new year came along. Sound familiar? This set and forget type of goal setting really wasn’t working for me and I wasn’t getting anywhere fast.
Over the past few years, I have been working to develop a really clear idea of what I DO WANT in my life. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty rubbish at getting to a faraway undefined destination I have never travelled to before, without some kind of GPS or map. It’s the same with goal setting!
A few years ago I started the hard (but rewarding) work I had been avoiding for a very long time – crafting my vision of what I actually wanted to achieve with my life. And that is when short and long term goals started to make a whole lot more sense – they are the signposts on the way to my bigger dreams.
If you’re thinking, jeepers, I have no idea what my destination is yet, Julia! If setting goals and actually achieving them is something you struggle with, Vicki Evans (Vicki Evans Coaching) and I are running a special FREE challenge later in the year to help set you up for a powerful 2021. We want to help you change the world and see you thrive. If you want to join us in the challenge, pre-register to join us here.
To help you out until then, I have listed out some of the ways you can approach a mid-year reset (and edit) based on what I have learned over the past few years in setting my own goals – for work and life.
Mid-year reset…. GO!
#1. Get that list out.
If you wrote some goals at the start of the year, dig that list out (if you had ideas but didn’t write them down, scribble them down now – there is loads of research that says even committing goals to paper makes up to 1.4 x more likely to happen).
For me, I was pleasantly surprised to pull these coffee-ringed goals out and I was mainly on track to hit my goals. Yes, a few have changed dramatically, and some goals need a good edit, but I’m pretty happy with how 2020 is looking (and remember, if your goals aren’t looking too great, you still have six months left to turn these around!).
Take 15 to 30 minutes to see how things have gone over the past 6 months. Are you still aligned with the goals you set in summer, and where might you need to make change? For bonus points, make it fun! Get out from behind your desk and have some focused time with just you and your goals.
When you look at your goals ask the following questions:
- What did I expect 2020 to look like and how has it changed? For some of you it may be a huge change to what you had planned, for others it might be pretty much life as usual
- How far have you come with your goals? If you could give it a percentage where would you be?
- Why did you set this goal? What did you want to achieve? I love exploring the why of goals. If you have a goal, to make it even more powerful make sure to add “So that…” to the end.
- What has gone well (even during COVID!)? Where have you reached your goal and what has made it possible?
- Where are you struggling? Note, this isn’t about beating yourself up over not achieving these goals – these have been pretty exceptional times so it’s ok to be off track – but do look for the barriers that you may have built up around why you can’t achieve these goals, dig into where this came from and look at how you can overcome it in the next 6 months.
Once you’ve done a good review and gotten into the reasons why you may not be hitting some of the goals, it’s time to decide on what you DO want to do next, and push reset for the next six months.
- Does each goal still make sense or do they need an edit? Maybe priorities have changed thanks to COVID and you need to assess if this goal is still important now?
- Are your goals balanced? I really encourage you not to make these goals all work-related! Set one goal for the next quarter for various areas in your life e.g one goal for health, work, finance, learning, relationships and whatever other categories resonate with you. Focusing on just one thing in each category can really help you make giant leaps.
- What are the things that are in your circle of control? What are the things you can directly influence and change? If your life has been turned upside down by external factors outside your control like COVID, this focus might help you feel a bit more in control. For me, there are various goals I have set which aren’t directly impacted by COVID – my health goals, learning new skills and building a stronger relationship are all things I CAN control and invest in. They are not dependent on too many external influences, other than me and only require my time as an investment. Which goals can you get completely in control of
- Break it down. If you have a goal that now seems too big, can you break it down into a quarter goal? Eg one of my goals was to read 26 books to help me learn and grow this year, so far I am at about 8. So over the next 6 months that leaves 18 books. 9 for the next quarter or 1 book every 10 days. If the average book takes me around 3 hours to read, that’s 18 minutes per day of reading. What felt like a massive goal, now seems achievable and one I can schedule into my day.
- Add in fun! One of the best pieces of advice I heard in an annual planning workshop was to plan your holidays first before thinking about anything else. If you have no plans for a holiday or a break on your calendar in the next six months, add one now! What small or big activities might you be able to plan to look forward to? It might be a weekend away camping, or a longer holiday (we’ve just booked a ridiculously cheap campervan for October to tour the South Island to replace a goal of an overseas adventure). In my experience, when you allow yourself a true break you often get massive breakthroughs and a-ha moments in your life. I see breaks as essential for maximising your impact.
So, what will you do to reset and get on track? Leave me a comment and let me know.
And remember if setting goals is something you struggle with, Vicki Evans (Vicki Evans Coaching) and I are running a special FREE challenge later in the year to help set you up for a powerful 2021. Pre-register to join us here.