How often do you take the time out to really reflect on how you are progressing towards your goals for the year?
Now that we are at the half-way point of the year, it’s the perfect time to conduct your own personal mid-year review!
Why Conduct a Personal Mid-Year Review?
Conducting a mid-year review gives you the time and space necessary to evaluate your progress towards your goals.
Without taking the time out to reflect, how do you know whether your decisions, behavior and actions for the first 6 months have helped you move towards where you want to go in your life?
Reflection is one of the most fundamental skillsets of successful people.
“Reflection enables us to evaluate experience, learn from mistakes, repeat successes, revise and plan” – Sherry Swain
If you are serious about creating your best life and making your dreams a reality, then you need to reflect to ensure you are making the right decisions and working towards them in the most effective and efficient way.
Benefits of Conducting a Personal Mid-Year Review
There are a tonne of benefits from conducting your own mid-year review.
Some of the major benefits include:
- Determine if your actions are progressing you towards your goals
- Determine if you are progressing at the right speed (i.e. will you reach your goal on time?)
- Determine if your goals are still relevant
- Understand the challenges you have faced and what learning’s you can make
- Identify more effective or efficient methods of achieving your goal
The more often you can conduct a personal review, the more effective you will become in your life.
I would recommend that you at least do a 6-monthly in-depth review of your goals. In fact, I encourage you to do it as often as you can. When I talk about these reviews, I’m talking about your ‘big life goals’.
Conducting Your Personal Mid-Year Review
Let me guide you through the process that I go through when I conduct my own personal reviews.
It is a process whereby I ask myself specific questions which help me understand exactly what I can do moving forward to work more effectively and efficiently towards my goals.
Get Yourself Setup
Before we get to the questions, the first thing you need to do is get yourself ready for your mid-year review. No, this doesn’t mean you have to dress up nicely and look pretty, it simply means you need to get yourself in an environment that is conducive for reflection.
So, to get setup:
- Find yourself a nice, quiet environment
- Have your goals and any other supporting materials with you that you can use to look over
- Make sure you have something to write with
One piece of advice on the environment… try conducting your mid-year review away from your ‘normal’ working environment. This would mean getting out of the office, or away from your home and out into a park or somewhere where you can think about your life more objectively and freely.
Let’s get into it!
Question 1: Are My Goals Still Relevant?
Goals change over time. Life is full of surprises!
This is not something to be concerned about, but something to be aware of.
The first thing to do when conducting your personal mid-year review is to look over the goals that you have set and ask yourself whether they are still relevant.
How have your goals changed?
Sometimes when you originally set your goals the future is murky. It’s impossible to predict the future and to know with 100% certainty that a set of circumstances will eventuate. In-line with this, you may have had some clarity on the general direction of where you want to go, but now that you are six months into the year you have realized that there is a slight alternative that you are now working towards.
This is fine and goals are to be constantly tweaked and refined… this is all part of the process!
The key is to ensure that your goals are still linked to the things that you are passionate about. Passion creates the drive, energy and enthusiasm necessary for success.
When looking over your goals, it’s also good to remind yourself of WHY you are working towards them. Your goals and your life need meaning. Answering the question of why will reinvigorate the drive for making them a reality.
Question 2: What have I achieved?
Do you fall victim to ‘setting and forgetting’ your goals? Hopefully not now that you’re part of The Start of Happiness!
Now that you have confirmed that your goals are still relevant, the next step in the process is to reflect on what you have actually achieved.
How are you tracking towards your goals? What ‘mini-goals’ have you met or what smaller steps have you done to help you reach where you are?
Taking the time to reflect on what you have achieved will help you to determine whether your actions and progressing you towards your goals and whether you are likely to achieve them on time.
One of the best things about asking yourself this question is that it will highlight the behaviours and actions that have worked. This is super-important to being able to progress further in the back half of the year.
Question 3: What challenges have I faced?
When you are looking back over your progress for the year, it’s important that you also look at the challenges you have faced.
Very rarely can you reach your most important goals without a challenge being thrown your way.
Reflect on what these challenges have been. Why did these obstacles or challenges occur? How did you feel when they were presented? What did you do to overcome these challenges?
Resilience is a key factor in overcoming challenges. Understanding how you have faced these challenges and managed to overcome them helps you to build this resilience. It helps to embed the confidence in yourself that no matter what gets thrown your way you will be able to continue moving towards your goal.
The other thing that this question can raise is what can you do in the future to prevent these challenges from happening again?
Question 4: What have I learned?
Life is one big learning experience.
When you’re making progress towards your life goals you’re going to make a million decisions. Some good and some bad. One of the key ingredients that separates successful people is the ability to learn from their actions.
Looking back over your answers to the previous questions, now is the perfect time to ask yourself what have you learned from these experiences?
That is, what have you learned about your goals in life?
What have you learned from your achievements?
What have you learned from the challenges you have faced?
Taking the time to understand the key things that you have learned will help you get set-up perfectly for answering the next question.
Question 5: What can I do differently?
Now is when your mid-year review has its biggest impact. Your future.
Based on everything you have learned from answering the above questions, it’s time to think about the actions that you will put into place to make sure that the back half of the year is even more effective than the first half.
It’s all about continuous improvement! Never get complacent.
What habits do you need to change?
What extra support do you need?
What processes do you need to put in place to be more effective?
How will you address your next challenge?
This is a perfect opportunity for refining your goal and working on a specific strategy for the next 6 months of the year. You can start to map out the exact things you will do in this time to get you there.
There are 2 things you need to do first and foremost as next steps:
- Set yourself a date for your next personal review
- Write down 3 things that you can do immediately (or sometime today) to start building momentum in your life…. and go do them!
Your personal review should be a regular thing. If you can make it habitual then you’re well on your way to success.
I know of many people who write down their to-do lists or goals for a specific day, but how many people look at how those specific things on their to-do list help them progress towards their bigger goals in life?
The more regular you can review your progress towards your bigger, life goals, the more effective and the more speedy you will get there.
If you’re yet to create goals or want to go even a step back and start to look at the bigger picture in life (that is, understanding yourself and where exactly you want to go), then I highly recommend you check out our Launch Your Life Academy which guides you the proven process of making positive change in your life.
So, what are you waiting for?
Let’s make the next 6 months a ripper!
For the Comments
How did you find conducting your own personal mid-year review?
Are you on track for reaching your goals for this year?
What is your plan of attack for the next six months to ensure you progress towards your goals?
I’m seriously excited for the next 6 months!
Awesome post and it reminded me to do my review – thanks for the review questions, Brendan. 🙂 I keep everyday to-do lists which sort of work as a review system for me (makes me actively reflect on what I accomplished/what I want to accomplish). However, keeping up reviews over time periods of 30, 90, and 180 days is equally important.
You have very technical stuff and it gives me information. Thank you
When reflecting back, one of things I encourage people is to think about how far you’ve come rather than how much time you have left and the amount of things you need to get done.
We are often so hard on ourselves for not getting to that point in our life that we have envisioned and I’m here to tell you that it’s okay!
Life is hard work and the best thing you can do is to take day by day and see yourself improve!
Thanks for this guide. I tried to read it first and find something interesting to say about it, as it struck a chord with my own constant attempts to set ‘good goals’. Then I decided just to try the guide – d’uh! 😉 And lo and behold, I actually came up with some rather deep revisions of my existing goals.
For example, I deleted a friend from the list of friend-relationships I want to prioritize. Not that she’s deleted as a friend LOL – I just realized I didn’t want to focus on this particular friendship. It all takes energy, ya know.
Also, I reduced the number of articles I want to write by year end for a website my girlfriend and I are working on – from 5 to 10. I have my own website and a full time job, and she has a full time job, too. It is, for all intents and purposes a hobby-site, however much we say we want this joint site to be different. I’d rather get less done, but have a chance of keeping it alive, instead of losing motivation by stressing about it.
Just a couple of small examples … which were a positive surprise for me, because they released some energy that would otherwise have been locked up in this idea that I had to focus on certain things I decided 6 months ago – or more – to prioritize.
I’d be lying if I said I thought this was a particularly revolutionary idea. It isn’t in my book. But what is revolutionary for me is that I actually do this revision instead of just ploughing on. And I see that as the true intention for your post as well – getting us to act on this! Well, I did, and good for that.
Now, I work a lot with stories – both when writing fiction, playing role-playing games or teaching how we can improve our sense of hope, meaning and power by changing the life-stories we tell about ourselves. It just occurred to me that what this semi-yearly goal revision-process reminds me of is when I get to a point in writing a fiction story, like a novel, and I am stuck.
In such a situation, I keep revising the newest chapters but I am … still stuck. What I really should be doing (and what I get around to do after a lot of hand-wringing) is going *back* to the first handful of chapters and look for plot threads or scenes that I felt were a good idea to put in at the time – but which no longer serves this story. And then decide if it is time to kill them.
There’s an old saying amongst writers – “Kill your darlings”. That means that you have fallen in love with some part of the story but which no longer serves the overall story, or the writing process. So they have to be killed off, or at least put away somewhere.
Let’s say I felt I had to do a detailed recounting of how my main character’s wedding was spoiled by her ex-husband, when she meets an important new friend in the story. I feel obliged to do this because I mentioned this disaster-wedding as important in chapter 1. But … now it feels ‘heavy’ to write more about and it stifles my passion. I want to write about how the friendship between these two women develop over something completely different.
So I either have to
1) drop that scene in the first chapter, or
2) diminish any kind of further development of it – say, ditch or seriously trim that huge account about the wedding ceremony I had planned for the first time our two protagonists sit down and have a heart-to-hear-talk about life, the universe and everything
And *then* I can move forward with telling a story what really excites me about these characters now – and not what excited me 3 months ago when I wrote that first chapter.
It was just an idea for a scene I was, well, wedded to – for too long.
But hey, the hardest part ever for writers is to delete something they have written, especially if they feel really satisfied with the form – like ‘this was beautifully written’. Well, if doesn’t serve the overall story and keeps you stuck later on, maybe you will have to take it out of your story, eh?
I guess the same goes for beautiful goals from yesterday.
Well, enough stray thoughts. Thanks again for sharing these posts, Brendan. I initially found you when googling ‘best personal development blogs’, and checked out the ‘100 best’ list you had made of these. But now I want to have a good look around *your* entire blog, too.
I just signed up to your list and put it in my RSS-feed, so it is on my personal list now.
Excellent Work in article it’s a very helpful for me thank to share this info.
Great post on conducting a review for your goals you’ve written here. I agree wholeheartedly that your strategies to reflect, adjust, and reconnect with your goals, especially your end point about making sure to take action (no matter how small the step). I’m a huge believer that nothing can be achieved without applying your hard-earned knowledge through swift, decisive action!
That said, action upon goals is only effective if the goal has been correctly defined!
hat you’ve discussed in point #1 is excellent. It’s not often I see people actually revisiting their goals and looking constructively at them, rather than dismissively. Rather than either writing them off as a failure, or simply dismissing them as done and dusted, it’s good to do as you say and check for relevance instead. If you succeeded, how does that impact your trajectory? If you failed, was it really important in the first place (and is this a possible root cause of failure?)?
You’ve said it here, and I reiterate the important role clearly defined goals play in the overall achievement of success. Personal goal setting is a largely internal practice. It’s normally just you involved, so self-motivation to do it is key. Sometimes however, it becomes difficult to draw upon this motivation when it gets lost in a sea of ‘to-do’s’ that consume our busy minds every day. That’s where clearly defined goals are key.
For the benefit of myself and your readers, I would like to reflect on a recent example. I hope this is okay?
Just this morning, I needed to remind myself of the reason I do what I do, building a resource for my tribe of followers to learn and grow from me, so I decided to do a simple exercise of goal setting. The biggest thing to note is don’t make it difficult. Set yourself up to win, and watch the rewards flow from the exercise. I like to pick an outcome that I want (say a vacation) and clearly define it so I have a good understanding of what may be involved in its attainment (destination, duration, timing, cost, scheduling around commitments etc.). I then go ahead and set a date. For the most part, forget what makes sense and what’s ‘logically achievable’. When do you want to achieve your goal? What’s your ideal? Aim high, shoot for the stars, and put down whatever comes to mind as a semi-educated milestone.
That’s it! it’s really that simple. Do this for the key areas of personal development you’ve identified for future growth through a life planning exercise (wheel of life etc.), and I prefer to reach out (for most goals) no longer than 6 months into the future. This ties in well with your 6 month review (which I am sure to adopt after reading this). Obviously, I have higher level goals that I aspire to, however my general personal development goals are looking no more than 6 months ahead. This keeps them relatable, and in my minds eye at all times. They’re not too far ahead that they seem irrelevant.
It’s not the most technical method around, however it’s a great start to setting achievable goals to elevate my personal success to the next level.
I hope I haven’t gone too deep. It’s a great topic, and a most important one to get the important things done that will have you achieve freedom.
Jason Townsend – http://www.kickstartacause.com
I often take time to do a daily review – I keep notes of my progress but a mid year review sounds awesome, too. I am new to the blogging world and am looking forward to learn more from experts like you!
Thank you for covering this topic well. I’m sure this will help me and the other newbies out there!
Brilliant post Brendan! Experience without reflection is nothing. Absolutely nothing. I want to learn more and hence I have joined launch your life academy this season, and committed to make a lot out of it. Thank you for the post!
you are so right with this post!
I try to follow the Getting Things Done principle and thus I’m doing weekly reviews to organize my to-dos and my projects.
But doing a review on the last 6 months really helps to focus on the overall goals and to make sure, that your actions in the next 6 months are aligned with your vision. I also agree with you, that one should especially focus on the conquered challenges, since people tend to focus only on negative experiences and forget about the positive things.
My review of the last 6 months is very positive. I finally took action and started my online business. My first blog ranks #1 in Google for 6 keywords, which I didn’t expect to happen that fast. Also I managed to publish my first book and get awesome feedback for it.
The next 6 months will be primarily target on building more relationships only and starting to make a living of my online business.
That’s awesome news! I’m excited to see where you take this thing 🙂
I love the fact that you emphasize the benefits of reflection and I agree with Vincent that doing it daily is really helpful. I also love the mid year review however. I think it’s good to have an opportunity to take the longer view on how you’re progressing towards your goals and whether they’re still in alignment with your values and circumstances. I liken the whole goal setting/review process as being like an airline pilot – they set the direction but then constantly monitor progress, adjusting as they go to stay on course.
Great post as usual Brendan!
I like your analogy! I often think the exact same thing… The first thing is making sure you’re heading in the right direction 🙂
I’m more of a fan of daily personal review (or at least weekly.) Waiting until the middle of the year is a long time but I see the idea behind it. Doing a self-reflective review on perhaps a monthly basis would be very beneficial for me because I realized that every month is drastically different than the last in external and internal influences.
Daily personal review is great, however it’s also looking at a different timeframe. Doing a formal review 6-monthly can help keep focus on the ‘bigger picture’ and look at progress over a longer period of time where you can determine if you’re tracking at the right speed e.t.c.
Both in combination is ideal 🙂