5 Things to Do Mid-Year to Achieve Your Goals
I love the month of June. Here in England, it’s when strawberries are in season, there’s Wimbledon tennis to look forward to (it starts July 1st this year!) and it stays light until almost 10pm. And there are summer holidays (the British word for vacation) to look forward to.
June also marks the middle of the year, which can be an unsettling time. Especially when you’re an achiever.
For some, the rest of the year can’t come quickly enough so we can see the fruits of our efforts. For others, midyear can feel like the middle of a long slog without an end in sight.
But as an achiever, you’re geared toward accomplishing goals and achieving success. And there are still 6 months left to accomplish what you set out to do in January.
The good news is this: whatever has (or hasn’t) happened so far, you can still finish the year strong. The great thing about the middle of the year is that there’s still time to achieve your goals for the year!
5 Ways to Set Yourself Up for a Great Second Half of the Year
1. Celebrate your wins
Start by taking a moment to reflect on and celebrate your “wins” so far.
It’s natural to think of all your shortcomings – like the things you’ve procrastinated on or otherwise haven’t yet done, and the things you have done that haven’t gone as well as you’d like. But that won’t serve you well.
2. Appreciate the people in your life
As you look back, think about all the people who have helped you along the way. These are people who have stood by you, given you support or advice, and advocated for you. They’re also people who have done the work that needed doing whether at work or at home.
Be generous in acknowledging the people around you for their contributions. And above all, let them know you appreciate them and share why you do. Being specific makes it more real for both of you whereas a general “thank you” can seem less genuine.
3. Identify your second-half wins
Looking ahead to the rest of the year, think about ways to approach it with positivity. A great way to do that is to identify the three “wins” you want to have in the second half of the year.
It’s another take on the idea of visualizing your success, which is part of the success formula for high performance athletes. Let’s apply it to your work and career as well!
When you’re identifying these wins, fast-forward to December when you’re looking back on the year and tap into what would make you feel great if you had done those things.
And while I’ve suggested choosing three, the number is up to you. The key is to choose the ones that will be meaningful to you without having so many that it becomes unattainable.
Maybe these future wins you identify relate to building relationships (which ties into the Appreciation step). Or they could be specific projects you want to get off the ground. Perhaps it’s setting yourself up for promotion to the next level. Or developing an exercise habit.
There are no universally “right” answers, it’s just what will make a difference for you.
4. Create the conditions for your success
Having identified your future wins, it’s then about creating the conditions for your success. This means doing the planning and preparation now to make it easy for you to execute later.
Think of cooking shows where the chef has all the ingredients prepped and ready to go – the onions are already chopped and in a bowl, all the seasonings are in a small dish, the salmon filets are cleaned and ready to go. That means they can cook for the audience while looking professional and free of stress.
So go ahead and create the conditions that pave the way for your success.
Maybe it’s simply cleaning up your workspace (think “Marie Kondo-ing” your desk or office). Or reconnecting with people you haven’t contacted in a while, but who could be instrumental in your next steps and vice versa. Or it could be signing up for some training or arranging for coaching or mentoring that will help you hit the ground running for your next phase.
Do whatever it takes to set yourself up for your future wins.
5. Show up as your best self
The final piece of having a great second half is about you. Yes, you – that unique and extraordinary person who is about to have an awesome second half of the year!
Think about how you want to show up in the world. Think about who you are when you’re at your best. Really tap into that best version of yourself. What are you doing and saying? What environment brings that out? Who are you with (and who are you not with)?
Get in touch with what it would it take to be your best self more of the time. Then make two lists.
The first list is what you want to do or say MORE of.
Maybe it’s celebrating small wins and appreciating the people around you (both things I forget to do and am working on!). Perhaps it’s encouraging your fellow team members by saying “yes, and…” instead of “no, but…”. It could also be creating a habit of drinking more water every day or speaking up in meetings.
The second list is what you want to do or say LESS of.
Maybe it’s finally getting rid of those “ums” and “likes” that are making you sound less professional than you really are. Or judging and blaming yourself as well as others, which makes for an unpleasant experience for everyone involved. And perhaps it’s to stop making assumptions or jumping to conclusions without checking the facts.
These are your lists and you get to choose what goes on them and how many items there are. Again, as with your future wins, resist the urge to make too long a list. Remember, you’re setting yourself up for success, not disappointment.
The Challenge for Achievers
One of my favorite quotes is, “Everything looks like a failure in the middle”, from Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter.
“Kanter’s Law”, as she calls it, is essential to keep in mind if you’re taking on new challenges and working on projects that take a while to come to fruition. That’s because there will be long stretches of time when you’re like the chef still assembling ingredients and the kitchen looks like a mess.
The middle of the year can feel that way too, with some projects still in the formative stages while others are like souffles in the oven still waiting to rise.
If you’re an achiever who likes to create, build and grow initiatives (or people), whether at home or at work, you’re going to face these challenges too. And when you do, you can turn to these five steps.
Set Yourself Up for Success
No matter how the first half of your year has gone, you owe it to yourself to set yourself up for success and finish the year strong.
This article was written by May Busch, who is an executive coach, speaker, advisor and entrepreneur. She is the founder and host of Career Mastery™ Kickstart. Her popular online summit helps mid-career professionals get the new year off to a great start and perform at their best.
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