When it comes to achieving your goals, are you stuck on autopilot? Chances are, if you’re looking back at your progress throughout the year, you may have lost touch with the goals you’d set out for yourself in January. In fact, only 9% of Americans actually accomplish the resolutions they set for themselves. Why do we struggle so much to reach the goals we set out for ourselves? It may be in part because what it takes to set goals successfully is actually very different from what it takes to achieve them. With July already here, it’s time to discuss the importance of a mid-year goal review—and how it can help you level up in the next six months and beyond.
As a career and life coach, I’ve made it my mission to help people create transformational change in their lives. From making a career pivot to uncovering a deeper sense of purpose—setting and working toward our goals is key to building a life we love. Let’s dive into the what and the why behind doing a mid-year goal review.
Featured image from our interview with Janessa Leoné by Teal Thomsen.
The Importance of a Mid-Year Goal Review
Setting yourself up to create real change in your life requires three key elements of successful goal setting. This looks like:
Setting the right goals.
Creating a clear plan of action.
Driving accountability toward your progress.
If you completed Camille’s Vision Workbook in early 2023, then you’re likely all set with the first two steps. Now, with summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to reconnect with your purpose and pick up momentum to achieve your goals in the last six months of the year.
Didn’t get a chance to make goals in January? No problem. There’s no time like the present to take a breath and create space for yourself to think about what fills your cup personally, professionally, and beyond.
1 of 4Image by Michelle Nash
Before You Start
Summer can be the perfect moment for reflection, a time to thoughtfully slow down and check in with yourself.
The mid-year point is a good marker for progress. By this time, you will likely have made some headway toward some of your goals. And if not, you can use this time to reflect on what blockers you may have or what changes you may need to make to either your lifestyle or the goals themselves.
If you’ve set your goals and vision up for success with accountability check-ins, this exercise shouldn’t require a ton of heavy lifting. Plan to approach this check-in with honesty and rationality—be deliberate with what is working and what needs to change.
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How to Do a Mid-Year Goal Review
1. Revisit Your Goals to Make Sure They Still Resonate
If you’ve taken the time to write down your goals or complete a Vision Workbook, this is a great chance to revisit that work and put pen to paper. Make a copy of your workbook and mark it up as part of your mid-year goal review.
Ask yourself these questions when looking at your Vision Workbook:
Will the goals I’ve set still help me achieve my vision for happiness and success?
Do I still feel committed to and excited by these goals?
Are there new goals that have appeared in the past few months that you need to incorporate?
Are these goals achievable and will it be clear to me when I’ve succeeded?
2. Honestly Assess Your Progress
For each goal, you can tactically answer and jot down notes to some of these questions:
What’s working. What systems or habits have I established to progress toward these goals?
What’s not. What blockers are getting in the way of my goals? Are there factors I can control in these scenarios?
Are there any underlying thoughts holding me back? This one may require a deeper reflection as it asks for a certain level of honesty and vulnerability with yourself. Pay particular attention to whether these patterns are conscious or unconscious. Take note of factors such as imposter syndrome that may be getting in the way of your progress.
While we want to take time to reflect on the overall progress, this also makes for a great opportunity to celebrate your wins. You’ve likely accomplished some portion of what you set out in your vision, even if it’s only a small slice of a larger pie. Progress, regardless of the size, is worth celebrating!
3. Think About How to Set Yourself up for Success for the Next 6 Months
Once you’ve taken stock of where things stand and have come to terms with what is feasible, the next step is to set yourself up to make continued, long-term progress on these goals. Here are some great tactics to make these goals come true and remain true:
Systems for Lasting Success
Tie your goal setting to a calendar or special moments. Use a calendaring system (i.e., Google Calendar, iCal, alarms) as a vehicle for reminders and check-ins. Need a reminder to meditate once a day? Set an alarm!
Secure an accountability buddy. Bringing someone else (a partner, family member, friend, or colleague) along in your journey will not only help you stay honest but will provide outside perspective and partnership in forging a new path for yourself. At the end of the day, your biggest partner and advocate for realizing your vision is YOU!
Look at goal setting over the course of a year. Break big transformational goals into smaller chunks that take three months and align your check-ins with this timeline. Measure progress toward your goals on a weekly basis. Use color coding to signify where you stand. Example: red = not started, green = on track, yellow = in progress.
For further support in making your goals a reality, Saray’s free goal-progress check-in worksheet takes you through the process, step by step.
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Tips for Getting Back on Track
When it comes to goal setting, there are countless factors that can shift the viability of our vision. In light of changing conditions, you can use this mid-year goal review to reevaluate the salience of your goals. This pause for reflection helps you see if the existing goals make sense or if you need to shift and map out a new course.
If you are looking at your list of goals and everything still seems out of reach, it may be time for a reset. At this point in the year, you still have plenty of opportunity to course correct and plan a new path ahead.
Set Aside Dedicated Time and Space for Reflection
Creating intentional space for reflection helps you take stock before the rest of the year zooms by. This could be marking a few hours in your calendar to look back at your Vision Workbook or even setting aside time for a longer weekend “visioning retreat” somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
Could you take yourself for a long walk and use audio messages to journal your reflections?
Do you have the space to book a day or two away from everyday life to focus on your vision?
Could you use a staycation to create space for some reflection?
By carving out space and time with intention, you can best equip yourself with the tools to get you back on track.
Notice Your Success
Begin by acknowledging areas where you are already making progress. You may realize that you’ve hit some of your goals already! Life is too short not to celebrate even the most mundane or small victories. Did you buy those running shoes and run once around the block? That’s great—you’re already ahead of where you were before writing down these goals. Take a moment to notice what’s working so you can keep up the momentum.
Identify Where You’re Stuck
Are there other areas where you’re not making any progress? These areas of stagnation may be due to mental, habitual, or tactical barriers. The good news is, the first step to getting “unstuck” is noticing what’s holding you back. Understanding these barriers can help you unblock yourself in the later half of the year. This may also be due to priorities shifting—this is totally OK! Don’t be afraid to shift your goals halfway through the year and start fresh.
Keep It Simple
Having too many goals can sometimes make it hard to find focus. Edit your goals like you would your closet: only keep the ones you feel most joyful and passionate about. Make sure your goals are clear and attainable, and limit yourself to just 2-3 big goals for the rest of the year.
Double Down on Support
Now’s the perfect time to enlist your accountability buddy to help you nail your goals in the second half of the year. This can be a coach, a family member, or a friend. Share a list of the top three things you want to accomplish with them and ask them to check in with you on progress.
Summer is a natural time to mark the half-way point of the year. We can use this time to check in with ourselves and what we really want in life, to ask the hard questions and make bold changes. Your dreams are always worth investing in and there’s no better day than today to begin. So take a moment today to ask yourself:
Am I legitimately clear on what happiness and success look like for me in the future?
Do I know what I need to do this year to move me closer to that vision?
If there was one thing I could change in the next six months that would make me happier, what would it be?
If there was one change I could make to be more successful, what would it be?
Now ask: what’s one small thing I can do to move towards my goals today?
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Remember, there is no perfect formula for goal setting and achieving success. At the end of the day, goal setting is a journey, often nonlinear and non cyclical. By taking time to reflect on where you are in the journey, you are giving yourself grace and space to grow. In my experience, this act of setting aside time, of investing in yourself and your dreams with intentionality and purpose is the first step toward building a truly abundant life overflowing with joy. Wishing you all this abundance this year!