We’re halfway through the year. There are six months left to close the chapter of 2019. How did you do so far? Scary, alarming question, I know. I know it is for me at least. More often than not, I feel a bit like a failure because I’m not disciplined enough about keeping myself organised and staying on track. Actually, I haven’t tracked myself at all, and that is something I’m willing to change from now on, because it became crystal clear to me that in order to reach my goals and manifest my dreams in a sustainable way, I do need to work hard on my resistance to planning. I have to plan AND I have to track my performance.
I also need to say that I, and most people, have an ugly tendency to focus on how much we didn’t do or accomplish. So if you already started to think about how well did you do since January, there is also a chance that you already have an extensive mental list of all the things you didn’t accomplish. It’s equally likely that you forgot to add to that list all the good things that you have manifested. It happened to me too when I started to reflect on the question “How did I do so far this year?”.This happens because we are great at turning our judgemental self on, even when it’s counterproductive. So, what should we actually do? Should we forget our yearly goals, so we don’t judge ourselves, or should we revisit and assess them?
At a first glance, doing both these things seems to be asking for conflict. How are we going to revisit and assess our goals without judging? Well, that’s where the secret lies, honestly. There is great wisdom on non-judgment, but as any other great wisdom it’s hard to master its art. The key action here is to become a curious observer of our own life. How the hell are you going to achieve that, right? You are probably asking me to be less abstract and more practical. Let’s see what I can do about it then. One of the outcomes of self-contemplation is detachment from one’s life narrative. Instead of acting, we become the audience and we gain access to a broader perspective of what is going on. We get a higher perspective.
We also become less entangled with our shifty emotions and we develop a certain level of compassion toward ourselves. We reach the understanding that we are a piece of a puzzle but we also play a part on a bigger picture. From an actor’s perspective, we rarely perceive the totality of the puzzle and we often can’t grasp our role, but that doesn’t mean that reality ends on our level of perception. It means instead that we need to develop patience, confidence in the mysterious laws of the universe and, most of all, discipline. So the take-away thought here is that even if you can’t see the territory, trust your soul’s roadmap: follow your bliss, connect with your compass, and make sure you take necessary action.
A mid-year review is important to do that. Most people come up with a list of goals or things they would like to accomplish in a year’s time. I think we have been almost like hypnotised to do that, every year, because we do it without conscious effort. It’s not that hard to come up with a list of desired achievements; what is hard is to make the whole process conscious and to act in a way that doesn’t set us up for failure, shame, and guilt.
Thus, it’s not enough to do lists. Any change process is a dynamic between envisioning and acting on consciously. That requires us to assess and reassess our action plan on a regular basis, which isn’t very appealing to our human need for familiarity and comfort. Most of our goals and dreams are, nonetheless, out of what is well-known to us. That’s another reason why a mid-year review is extremely useful. More than a confrontation with reality, a mid-year review provides you a platform in which you can manage the known and the unknown. It’s important to establish where you are at right now, where you would like to be in the future, and what needs to be worked out in between. So do grab your list of goals and future achievements. Have a nonjudgemental look at it and follow the “Four Rs Process” described below.
What is the vision you hold regarding your future, best self? What drives your motivation in life? What makes your eyes sparkle? What could you do everyday without getting burned out? Each of us has a vision of what life could look like if we decided to pursue our soul’s roadmap. Throughout the year, we often disconnect ourselves from that vision, which is the puzzle I told your about earlier in this post. We easily disconnect from it because we get entangled with black and white emotional cycles and false beliefs about what is possible. It’s very important that you realign yourself with your vision on a regular basis and it’s crucial to do so when doing a mid-year review.
What did you write down in your list? What were your goals when the year was about to start? More important than checking what you did or did not accomplish is to to reassess whether those goals are still relevant and meaningful. On top of that, you also need to assess their feasibility. Are they realistic enough? Did you stretch your goals too much? Dreamers are prone to stretch themselves out and establish goals that are just too big for a year’s time. Review your list and honestly answer these questions.
After reassessing your list of goals and achievements, what needs to be done differently from now on? If you didn’t achieve your goals yet, what do you need to do to make them feasible? What are the steps you can take today? Answering to these questions will help you redesign your action plan.
I know that six months may seem a lot of time and that we usually get trapped by the idea that it’s worthless to keep even embracing our list of goals for the year. The good news is that we have the exact same amount of time from now on. We have six more months to start hustling. We all can accomplish great things in the space of a month, so imagine what you can accomplish before the end of the year with six months in front of you. All you have to do now is to reschedule your goals and give them sensible due dates. We can’t predict exactly how much time we will need to achieve a goal, because there are a lot of things we can’t control, but we do know that we will take much more time to accomplish them if we don’t start acting on them.