2017 is halfway over. Are you where you thought you would be by now?
June is the perfect time for self reflection. Whether or not your company does mid-year reviews, you are now officially halfway through this year and it is a good idea to check in and see if you are making progress on your goals.
You might know already that you’re way behind — that’s okay. That’s why it’s such a good idea to sit down and do a review now, before the rest of the year gets away from you!
And if you’re making huge progress on your goals — yay! Now is the perfect opportunity to find ways to improve upon your goal or make plans to keep up your momentum. Sometimes we accomplish things faster than we’d expected; if that’s happening to you, what extra value you can you add to your goal to make the maximum impact?
You still have six months left this year. How will you make the most of this time?
To help you, we’ve created a short mid-year review guide for you to use as you check in on your progress. Feel free to use these exact questions, or just leverage them as a jumping off point for your own exploration.
2017 mid-year review prep
Make a date with yourself to look at your progress this year so far. Get a cup of coffee or tea, and find a cozy place to sit with your notebook or computer for a while. Make this an appointment you want to keep — otherwise, it will be too easy to skip or breeze quickly through.
This review isn’t about praise or punishment. Try to actually remove emotion from the equation as you go through the questions below.
Emotion will cloud your ability to really be tactical. In this moment, it doesn’t matter if you think you suck because you missed your targets. It also doesn’t matter if you think you’re amazing for getting so much done. Both of these mindsets can actually hold you back and keep you from creating an objective, good plan.
Get out your Ink + Volt notebook or planner, and locate your yearly goals that you set way back in January. Flip through the months to see any other mini goals you set along the way as well. You’ll want all of this info handy, since it can be easy to forget or misremember how or why things happened the way they did.
Your 2017 mid-year review
- When we fail to achieve our goals, it often has to do with how we have allocated our time. What are your top 6 values or priorities (think about the different parts of your life and identify the priorities in each area – work, family, health, finances, spirit, and knowledge)?
- What is your vision for each of those 6 things?
- What are you doing in your life that doesn’t support these 6 items? A helpful way to see this is to think about the last 6 months and draw a pie chart – how did your time break down? Are there areas or parts of your life that aren’t aligning with your top 6?
- What unexpected changes have thrown you off course from your goals, and how did you conquer them and get back on track?
- Sometimes you have to learn to say “no” so you can say “yes”. Were there times in the last 6 months where you took on work or items that didn’t move you toward your top 6?
- Who is someone you would like to emulate and learn from? What do you hope to learn from them and how can you do that in the remainder of the year?
- Are there things you could be doing to build better habits? Write down a plan and schedule the time to create one new habit in the rest of the year.
- We all think about the things we will do “someday”. Someday I will write that book. Someday I will climb a mountain. Well, why not today? Pick 3 things you have been procrastinating on and write down 1 thing you can do this week to get started on each of them.
Processing the results of your mid-year review
You might find that it is actually pretty hard to get through all eight questions in one sitting; if that’s the case, it’s okay to split this up into two sittings. As long as you don’t put off doing your review altogether, taking breaks can help you keep up your stamina and answer each question as honestly and thoroughly as possible.
Once you’ve answered each question on the review, take a break. Step back from the review. Come back to it with fresh eyes on another day, when your job will be to take all of these ideas and turn them into action.
When you’re filling out the review, you might get a sudden surge of energy to make big progress on your goals. (Self-reflection can have that effect!) However, don’t let this surge fool you — as you set (or reset) your goals, remember what your day-to-day life is really like. Think about the hurdles that have stopped you before.
Have they disappeared? Probably not. So instead of assuming “this time I’ll just be better/stronger/more focused”, it is now time to get practical and serious about how you will really achieve your goals, in real life.
If you feel like you can do the impossible, that is great — but don’t forget to have a plan for what you’ll do to make progress on days where you feel like doing nothing at all.
Taking next steps and having an amazing 2017!
A couple of the questions on the review asked you to create a plan for accomplishing some goals. If you haven’t yet, sit down with your planner and plot out the steps that you will need to take in order to achieve those goals. Try to make them concrete steps that you’ll be able to break into manageable to-do’s.
Look at the top 6 priorities in your life as well. Do you have goals in those areas? Are they being accounted for in your schedule?
Let’s say your big goal for 2017 includes launching a new product in October. To start getting practical on this big picture goal, start by setting overarching themes for each month; maybe July is finalizing designs, and August is preparing all your marketing content.
Within those months, then, start to get super granular.
Break the steps down into timelines. What can you realistically achieve week to week? How can you make sure that you are making consistent, iterative progress on your goals?
It is easy to create a plan with the best of intentions, but what you need are realistic intentions. If you make commitments you just can’t keep, you are setting yourself up to fail; you won’t just miss your target, but you will feel like a failure (who is more likely to miss future targets).
Focus on bite-size commitments. Even just an hour a week, or 10 minutes a day. How will you make sure that progress gets made?
If you can’t find a way to make the goals you set for 2017 fit into the rest of the year, then it might be time to adjust your goal or adjust your life. One thing will have to give. Either you need to free up more time in your life for your goals by eliminating other things, or you need to readjust your goal to either be smaller scale or take more time to complete.
You can do anything, if you give it the space it needs. Then it is all just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other.
With smart planning and realistic goals, you will get to where you want to go. Your 2017 mid-year review is just a part of the process — make sure you are on track and in position to achieve everything you want this year!