The summer months provide the perfect opportunity for us to complete a mid-year review. In fact for the majority of our life during education, it was the month of September that marked the start of a new academic year. A new shiny notebook, pencil case and a goal in mind of what grades we wanted to achieve that year. Although we have waved goodbye to the 6th month of the year, there is still no better time than the present to take a moment to look back, reflect and assess on the goals that we have set ourselves.
So if you haven’t yet done your mid-year review – or perhaps have never done one before – then fear not, I’ve put together a simple and easy step by step guide to completing a successful mid-year review with goals that you CAN achieve. So grab a notebook and pen, and let’s get started…
What have you accomplished so far in 2018 that you’re proud of?
As the old adage says, ‘time flies by when we’re having fun’, but with each passing year, I feel like, in the blink of an eye, another month has passed by. It’s so easy to forget and overlook the things that we have accomplished already this year, big or small. When we are stuck in a rut and have lost that initial spark, a small reminder of all that we have achieved so far can be just the fuel we need to reignite our passion.
This allows you to look back at this year month by month. Check your calendar and your diary to help jog your memory. Make a list of everything that you have achieved so far. You may even surprise yourself with a few that you’ve already forgotten! It’s a great way to kickstart your mid-year review as you’re focusing on the positives and reminding yourself of what you are capable of!
Go over your goals. What can you eliminate/change and what do you want to focus on?
Did you know that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February? A common reason is that we set ourselves unrealistic expectations and we don’t keep our goals in the forefront of our mind.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” – Bill Gates
Have a look over your goals and decide which ones you want to eliminate and whether any need amending or adjusting slightly so they become more achievable.
It’s also useful to evaluate why you were able to achieve some goals and not others. Identify the structures that have helped you achieve goals and ones that have held you back so you make the necessary changes to put your best practices in place.
TOP TIP: Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t achieved the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year! Be kind and forgive yourself so you can move forward and focus on what you can achieve right here, right now!
List the top 2-3 priorities that you want to focus on.
It’s important to choose just a handful of goals that you want to focus on for the rest of the year. Any more than 2 or 3, you’ll end up overwhelming yourself and quickly lose your enthusiasm. (Remember the quote from Gates earlier!)
You may have a big, overarching goal that is unlikely to be met in the next 6 months but you want to make progress towards. So, working backwards, write down the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to achieve it.
For example, if your overarching goal is to get a promotion at work, then what step comes before? It could involve setting a meeting with your manager, taking on additional work, developing relationships with other colleagues in different teams and updating your resume. You could choose to take on additional work that contributes to your end goal as one of your focuses for the next 6 months.
It’s also important to celebrate incremental success, you don’t have to wait for the big goal to be achieved before you celebrate yourself. Why not use each of the steps as a benchmark that you can reward yourself with a small treat each time you reach them?
TOP TIP: If you’re feeling demotivated, try setting yourself small goals in other areas of your life e.g. read for 15 minutes daily. Forcing yourself to complete a task has a positive effect on the brain and increases your willpower. You can apply this boosted determination to other areas of your life!
Time to take action!
Now you’ve reassessed, prioritized and set your goals for the rest of the year, with actionable and achievable steps, it’s time to do the thing itself!
Pin your goals on the wall, place sticky notes on your desk, place reminders in your phone and make sure you look at your goals daily to keep motivated and on track.
‘Strive for progress, not perfection’
Don’t forget, your goals shouldn’t all be career focused. A successful career is part of a well-rounded lifestyle, where one aspect compliments the other. Perhaps you have financial, personal or relationship goals that you’d like to work on as well? Seeking to improve yourself will only further improve your relationships and taking care of your finances will, in turn, benefit your career.
For the rest of the year, my goals are to exercise 3 times a week (minimum), write 2-3 articles per week and pay off half of my student bank overdraft! What goals will you be focusing on?
Words by Heather Ibberson