Mid year review: How to make your goals serve you
Have you done your personal mid year review yet? It’s August and with things generally a little less frantic, this is a good moment to take time out to reflect on the year so far, take stock and re-look at our plans for the remaining half of 2017.
Our overall direction and ambition
In the end, it’s our overall ambitions that really motivate us to take action. So why do most of us spend so little time giving those ambitions any thought? Instead, we often make decisions based purely on the options in front of us, without considering how those options serve our long-term goals.
If this is you, spend some time to think about your long-term vision of the future. Where do you want to be in five or ten years’ time? What kind of work do you want to do? Do you see yourself working for your current organisation or somewhere else? What do you want your average day to look and feel like? What about your personal life?
The more detail we add to our vision of the future the more clarity we have. And that in return allows us to put our focus and energy where it matters most and make better decisions.
Review your goals and progress
Unless you belong to a small minority, chances are that it’s been a while since you last looked at the goals you set yourself at the beginning of the year. Now is the time to dig them out and review them.
Are your goals still motivating and relevant, serving your long-term vision of the future?
Are there any you want to drop or change? (It may feel like admitting defeat, but it’s much better to ditch or change an irrelevant, unachievable or simply unattractive goal than to relentlessly chase it, getting more and more frustrated.)
What’s gone well? Pat yourself on the back for your successes.
What are you struggling with? And why? Are the main reasons external factors beyond your control? Or are you yourself somehow standing in the way of your own success?
Review your action plan
There is still plenty of time to readjust your focus and score a few goals before the year is up. Go back to your action plan and adjust it to make the next six months count.
What exact steps are you going to take towards your goals? When? How?
What resources do you need and where can you get them?
What can get in your way and what are you going to do about it?
And maybe most importantly, who can support you?
Performance goals are there to serve us, not the other way around. They should help us focus on what matters, rather than be a stick we can beat ourselves up with. Make sure your goals work for you.