“The most effective way to do it is to do it.” — Amelia Earhart
Not everything goes according to plan, but when it comes to goal-setting that’s okay! Just because it’s mid-year doesn’t mean you have to wait six more months to reset your resolutions or plan better ones.
In fact, starting a goal mid-year can be kind of liberating. After all, there’s no rule that says you have to start new goals in January like everybody else. You might find going at your own pace, on your own timeline, is a much more viable option.
You won’t feel the same pressure of comparison that’s inevitable the first couple months of the year. Even just logging onto social media can become overwhelming when your friends and colleagues are posting about their own resolutions and successes.
Starting later can alleviate some of those feelings, and you might even find you’re more committed and focused. Of course, a goal is a goal, so no matter when you decide to start your journey, there are a few ways you can make it easier on yourself.
Get detailed about your plans
First, start with a plan.
If you’ve ever set a goal and not achieved it, then you know how crucial the planning stages can be. Start strong. The more detailed you can make your roadmap, the better off you’ll be throughout the journey.
A SMART goal may be the way to go because it keeps your focus narrow. SMART stands for:
- S- Specific
- M- Measurable
- A- Attainable,
- R- Relevant
- T- Time-bound
You’ll want to make sure your goal or resolution speaks to each of those criteria. This free worksheet can help you make the most of a SMART Goal and develop a plan of action.
Learn to manage your time
The right tools can make a big difference, too. For many of us, a planner helps keep us on track with our goals, but when you start or re-start mid-year, cracking open a new planner only to use half of it can be a little daunting. It forces you to flip through months of unused pages and it can result in a total mind-trip that keeps you focused on what you haven’t done, rather than what’s ahead.
An easy solution is to find a planner that starts when you do. An academic planner isn’t just for students, though it was designed for them. This is a great option if you’re deadline oriented and don’t have the time to fill in an undated planner.
However, if you’re moving at your own pace and have a short term goal, let us introduce you to the 3-Month Undated Goal Planner. It’s all about turning dreams into realities with this one. It gives you a weekly focus and lets you reflect on all your small wins and weed out what aspects aren’t working.
Since you’re starting your goal mid-year, think about when you want to achieve it and what’s needed to get there. Some goals have a hardstop at the end of the year (like financial goals), so if you’ve got a shorter amount of time to achieve it, be mindful of how you’re spending your time.
Working with a time crunch can be a big motivator, but don’t let it become overwhelming. You’re more likely to give up that way. Instead, recalculate your goal or try to edit it into something more manageable.
Be realistic about your deadlines
Having a manageable goal with any start date is important, but the potential of a tighter deadline means making the most of every day.
Edit your goal as necessary to make certain you’re being realistic. This could be the difference between reaching your goal and continuing to push it back. Ask yourself whether or how you can split up your goal into smaller pieces, because it may be easier to achieve bit by bit rather than try to tackle a big goal in a shorter amount of time.
If you’re starting mid-year and aren’t pressed on your deadline, you may also want to be mindful of how realistic you’re being with your goal because it’s easy to lose track of time, put tasks off and fall back into old habits (all things that are not conducive to reaching your goals.
Of course, you’ll think about how realistic you’re being during the planning stages, but keep this line of thinking throughout the goal journey. Don’t be afraid to change the definition as your journey progresses. Having a shorter amount of time can mean being realistic also means being flexible.
Holding yourself accountable is maybe the toughest part of setting a goal, and especially when you start mid-year, but experts say it’s crucial to getting where you want to be.
Telling somebody about your goal and asking them to check-in is a great place to start.
“An accountability partner is there to support you, to problem-solve and to celebrate even the small victories,” exercise expert Dr. Tim Church told the New York Times. “Judgment is the quickest way to destroy all that. People are so hard on themselves. You don’t need to be hard on them.”
Even if you don’t feel comfortable discussing your goals with another person, there are lots of ways to make sure you’re on track. Setting calendar or phone reminders, using an app for specific goals like exercise, budgets or even meditation can make it all really easy to stay on top of.
Making time each week to reflect works well too, because it doubles as accountability and helps you to figure out what your step is and whether you need to re-evaluate part of the plan.
Finally, remember why you started and when you check in with yourself, highlight the good on how far you’ve come. Accountability can look like tough love, but it can also be a celebration. When you hit a mark, acknowledge what it took to get there. It’ll keep you going in the right direction.