We’re not very sure how it has happened, but we are now in the sixth month of the year. In just the next four weeks, we will pass summer solstice, summer will officially arrive, and we’ll move into the second half of the calendar year.
That means the next few weeks are the prime time to reflect, catch your breath, and plan ahead to maximise your success in the next six months.
It might not come with the fireworks of New Year’s Eve or the back-to-school new start of September, but mid-year is a fantastic time to reset and recharge.
Our sports metaphors are few and far between, but bear with us on this one…
Grass-roots football teams take a pause at half-time. Historically they replenish their energy with healthy and refreshing orange halves and evaluate how they performed in the first half – and plan the strategies and the tactics that will help them improve in the second half.
Now, as we enter 2019’s half-time, is a great time to do the same thing. Whatever your mid-year review looks at – family, business, lifestyle, habits – invest some time to reflect on the year so far and clarify what you want to achieve in the second half.
Not only is this one of the most crucial conversations you’ll have with yourself this year, it will also help you then get laser-focused on where you need to focus your communication and branding efforts to get the results you want.
And, although this was just a metaphor, you can eat oranges while you’re doing this if you like. (Or juice them, and chuck them in a cocktail.)
5 STEPS TO GUIDE YOUR MID-YEAR REVIEW
There are no hard and fast rules to doing this. You might work best on a quiet Sunday morning while the rest of the house slumbers, or a Monday morning when you are fired up for the week ahead. (Or take that cocktail and get out onto a sun-lounger by a pool somewhere.)
What matters is that you understand truly where you are and what you have achieved and learned in the first six months of the year. This will put you in the best possible place to achieve everything you want for yourself this side of Christmas.
Having a little bit of structure can really help this process, so here’s our five-step approach to getting a full, 360-degree look at the year – celebrate, restate, evaluate, calibrate, accelerate.
BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, LET’S CELEBRATE
What are the things you are most proud of achieving so far this year?
These achievements might relate to the goals you set yourself at the start of the year. They might be the way you reacted and adapted to completely unforeseen circumstances. They might be big wins or they might be the tiny steps you took to get results.
Don’t discount anything for being minor. Don’t use these achievements to compare yourself to anyone else or their journey. And don’t be surprised when you realise how far you have come!
Write this list down. Keep it. Look back at it over the coming months. Be proud of yourself.
NOW PUT DOWN YOUR CHAMPAGNE, BECAUSE IT’S TIME TO RESTATE YOUR GOALS
What were your goals at the start of the year?
Revisit and consider them. Chances are that you’ve been so mad-busy since you set them that you’ve lost sight of them a little bit. It’s so easy to focus on the urgent rather than the important – reacting to the loudest demands rather than the steady actions that will move you forward.
Restating your goals makes it easier to refocus on what matters most. Write them down – to make them real, and to check it’s a realistic list! If your list of goals is a mile long, ask yourself – if you could only achieve two of those goals (say), which would you choose right now? Grab a highlighter and mark your priorities. Use this list to make some promises to yourself for the six months ahead.
LET’S GET HONEST AND EVALUATE
Are you where you hoped you would be?
Or are you working like crazy but somehow struggling to get seen or heard? (If sometimes you’re so frustrated that you wonder if perhaps you’re wearing an accidental invisibility cloak, check out this blog here…)
This is a tough question, but it will help you with the next step…
MAXIMISE YOUR SUCCESS AND CALIBRATE YOUR NEXT STEPS
What has helped you so far this year? What new habits, behaviours or support have you acquired that have helped you achieve those wins? Will these help you in the second half?
On the other hand, what has slowed you down? Is it you, or someone / something else? Is it something you can take action to control, or is it something for which you need different strategies to work around?
And are those goals you set six months ago still the right ones? It’s okay to say if something no longer sits comfortably with you or no longer serves your priorities.
It’s half-time – calibrate what you are doing and how you are doing it.
NOW TAKE ALL THAT CLARITY AND PREPARE TO ACCELERATE
You know the best time to start accelerating your dreams? Right now.
What three things can you do or introduce, right now, to start revving up your progress? Make this simple and manageable. For example, what can you delegate? What can you reprioritise down your to-do list each day? What can you stop doing, to free up more time for what really matters?
And what help will you seek in the next six months to help you over the hurdles that face you…you know the ones! The challenges you fear and put off, the blockers that cause you to procrastinate, and steal your time and your sense of calm.
It might be a difficult conversation, a skills gap, or a mindset shift, for example. These are big-ticket items and you shouldn’t try to fix them overnight. However, fixing them starts with small and resolute actions.
Remember, every small step is a giant leap when it helps you crash through your own barriers.
We’d love to hear how you get on with this exercise. What wins can you celebrate with us? What tiny commitments can you make to power up the rest of 2019? Drop us a comment below, or come and see us on our social media pages.
Have a fantastic week…and tune in again for next week’s blog where we’ll be kicking off a series of teach-ins on language, and how the words and tone you use in every aspect of your business are your secret weapons for getting seen and heard.
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See you soon,
Lucy & Emma | The Communication Coaches