Welcome to the start of the second half of the year. Do you know where you stand? Are you on track to accomplish what you want and need?
Whether or not your company does a mid-year review of your progress, it makes sense to conduct one for yourself.
That’s because your company sees things from their perspective. It’s valuable feedback and you want to embrace it. But it doesn't substitute for doing one of your own.
Why your personal mid-year review matters
The beauty of this time of year is that you’ve got the summer to take a step back and assess where you are, and still have time to make adjustments to ensure you stay on track.
This is a golden time when it’s not too late. There’s still time to make changes and make this year fabulous, but only if you grab this opportunity right now and make the most of it.
Unless you’re vigilant, everyday busy-ness can pull you off course. It’s like the undercurrent in the ocean that can cause you to drift further and further off course if you’re not paying attention.
It’s up to you to make sure you’re still on course. No one else can do it because only you know what you want to accomplish. Only you have your very best interests at heart.
Even the most well-meaning people around you will have their own biases on what they think you should do. And that puts you at risk of marching to someone else’s drumbeat.
So, doing your own mid-year review is essential.
How to do your own mid-year review
The good news is that it’s simple to do. All you need is to carve out some time – even an hour or two will do – and ask yourself these three questions.
1. Where am I now?
This is about taking stock of how far you’ve come. Start by listing out all your accomplishments for the year, personal and professional. No accomplishment is too small (or too big – this is your chance to brag and take credit).
For example, my list includes changing my non-refundable flights to be able to watch my husband’s basketball team compete in and win the WBBL finals at the O2 Arena. And that sits alongside running a totally badass, first-time, flagship event for my business.
Then write down all the things you’ve learned. Both the things that went poorly and the things that went well.
From my experience, the things that don’t go as we wanted are ripe for lessons learned, and the best way to get those mistakes out of your head is to extract the lessons. It’s the single best way I’ve found to help myself move forward despite making errors.
A great way to do this that’s energizing rather than a downer is to do what one of my mentors and coaches, Jeff Walker, calls “WWDD”. This stands for “working well, do differently”, and you ask yourself, “What’s working well, and what do I want to do differently?”
2. Where am I going?
Next, take a look at your goals. The ones you set for the year and the goals you want to achieve in the longer term.
This matters because goals can change. You’re always evolving and growing, so the goals you’ve set in the past may not be relevant anymore. Or at least they might need some adjustment.
The more personal and professional growth you’ve experienced, the more careful you’ll want to be about whether the goals you set as your Old Self are still the ones you want to have as your New Self.
Or maybe you’ve made so much progress that you need a new point on the horizon to strive for. Either way, you’ll appreciate getting clarity on your goals so you can set the right priorities and commit to actions that will get you there.
3. What mid-course corrections do I want to make?
Having reviewed your goals and assessed your current status, you’re ready to decide what mid-course adjustments you want to make.
If you’re exactly on track, then it’s more a matter of making minor enhancements now that you’re another 6 months more experienced.
For the rest of us, it may require a little more action. A good way to get this down to some actionable items is to list out the following.
- Decision-making: How are you making decisions about what to take on and what to say “no” to, and does this still serve you well? This is about adjusting your decision-making criteria so that your actions match your priorities.
- Key projects: What are the focal point projects you want to get done by the end of the year? How does this align with your priorities, and what do you need to move these forward?
- Looking ahead: What do you need to do this year to set yourself up for a great year next year?
- Action steps: What do you want to start doing, stop doing, and keep doing?
You’ll always be triangulating between long-term goals and near-term actions.
It’s like the concept of tacking in sailing – making lots of mid-course adjustments to reach the destination. Given the unpredictable elements of nature, sailors can’t just “set and forget” when it comes to the ocean. And the same is true of your career.
My mid-year review
For me, I had a busy first half. In fact it was downright full-on, and my team and I hardly had a moment to think.
We held the popular Career Mastery Kickstart in January, launched a new course (Next Level Network) and a new product (Networking Toolkit), put on a live event, and ran a number of workshops for companies and organizations.
Now that we finally have some blank space in the calendar to stop and breathe, the plan is to take a few weeks to reflect on our goals and the next steps to take. For me, it will focus on:
- Building a foundation for the future through more speaking engagements, articles, and webinars so we can reach a larger audience and help more people.
- Investing time to understand what people really want and need so we can provide that support and make a bigger difference.
- Planning ahead for 2018 so that we’re not so “last minute dot com” as we’ve been this year. This includes identifying and laying the groundwork for next year’s initiatives, like Career Mastery Kickstart 2018, a mastermind group, and a live event.
- Building relationships with others in my space so we can collaborate to provide more value to you.
Benefits from the mid-year review
If my experience is a guide, then you’ll feel great when you have clarity on what your plan is for the rest of the year. And if you have a team around you, it will help them immensely too. You’ll have everyone pulling in the same direction and you can hold each other accountable.
That clarity leads to confidence that you can handle whatever comes up, and respond in a way that honors your goals and commitments.
Here’s your challenge
It’s time to carve out some time to reflect. Whether it’s an hour or two, or a day or two, go ahead and clear your mind, step back and assess the bigger picture.
Ask yourself the three questions and chart your course for the rest of the year:
- Where am I now?
- Where am I going?
- What mid-course corrections do I want to make?
So, what will you do at the start of this second half to make this a great year? Or to use a basketball analogy, what’s your half-time locker room huddle going to be about?
Leave me a comment to let me know two things:
- What accomplishments in the last six months are you most proud of? Go ahead and brag a little (or a lot!) – I’d love to know.
- What mid-course corrections do you think you need to make so you can finish the rest of the year strong?