Half Time Review: Did your goals ‘stick’?

It’s June.  We’re half way through the year! How’d that happen so fast!? 2011 has been busy!! I bet the same for you too.  Well, half-time is a good time to check in on how the year is going. In my December TGIM worklife newsletter I presented 12 questions to reflect on for the new year.  In particular, what you wanted for 2011; and the personal and professional goals you were setting for yourself.   

So??? How’d that goal-thing work out for y’a thus far?  Since I practice what I preach as a coach, I took some time to check in with the goals that I set for myself. I had a whole bunch – some personal, some professional and some financial.  I have to say, it was incredibly energizing to reflect back on the stuff I did achieve and/or make progress on. A very satisfying “Ta Da” indeed!

On the flip side, there glares at me, in an-oh-so-accusing manner, a bunch of goals that were left unattended, unfulfilled….and in some cases, simply forgotten.  

Uh oh. What do I do about those? The more I focus on them, the more deflated, frustrated I feel. So to walk my talk, I let go of the judger and invited the learner in for a conversation (with myself….yes, I talk to myself frequently!). I asked myself some non-judgmental questions: where I am now; what matters most right now; what may have changed since the new  year that impacts my goals; which ones do I need to re-ignite and which can I simply let go of. Also I asked how am I measuring  ‘progress’? In some instances, I realized I had actually progressed substantively on certain goals but not in the way I initially imagined. On first glance, I may have judged a goal a ‘fail’ but in the deeper reflection, I realized that I had made important progress simply with new insights and/or reframing the goal, etc. So being open to how I define success changed my perspective considerably.

I now feel more clear on how I can focus my attention in the second half of 2011. Where to re-adjust, re-focus and move forward from here.

HOW ABOUT YOU?  Before we get too deep into the summer months, how about a half-time reflection on where you are and where you want to go for the remainder of the year. Think professionally, personally and in any other realm that matters. TGIM work+ life encompasses ALL of you.

Here are few thought-starters to help you with that reflection:

 1) Take stock: When you reflect on the goals you declared at the beginning of the year, which ones did you act on? Go ahead, and celebrate your progress and accomplishments (Ta da!). 

2) Re-prioritize: Of those goals you may not have gotten to yet, which ones are still important to you? Which ones have lost their appeal? Let go of the latter, and focus on the ones that still have meaning to you.

3) Do a reality check: Look at the ‘volume’ or magnitude of your goals. To what extent were your goals realistic to accomplish?  What changes might you make to the goals that were too big for now yet still important?  Sometimes ‘chunking’ down a goal (breaking into parts) means you can still honour the goal, but commit to do-able bits along the way. 

4) Do a ‘passion’ check: when you think about your goals, do you feel inspired and energized? If not, then ask again: was this truly a meaningful goal to you. If you think it was and still is, then spend some time connecting to what this will give you if you achieved it. Get to the ‘heart’ of the ‘why’ for this goal and keep this top of mind to stay motivated and inspired. i.e. if you are trying to ramp up credentials to advance your career, are you doing it just because you ‘have to’ (for that next career step) or can you find other compelling reasons for advancing your skills, learning, etc?

5) Develop an action plan: Without an action plan, goals default to ‘wishful thinking’.  Identify the ways you will advance on your goals. Will you carve out time in your schedule? Take a course? Keep your goal top-of-mind with a visible reminder? Creating changes in your current life to accommodate? Other?

6) Enlist support: You might be clear on wanting to achieve certain goals, but perhaps feel a little stuck on how to get there. Enlist some support from a professional coach or someone who can help you. Talk, engage, get ideas and create an action and accountability plan to make it all happen!

And then, because it is summer afterall, don’t forget to make some time to chill out a bit and relax (perhaps that is one of your goals? It is one of mine!).

To you, your goals and a work+life that matters. TGIM!

Eileen

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