We've reached the middle point of the year, so it's time for a mid-year review. How are you progressing on the goals you set for yourself in January? (Don't miss the free printable guide to conducting your own mid-year review–find the link below!)
A mid-year review for a better finish to the year
Remember the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year? It’s hard to believe the year is halfway through. Now is a good time to take a look at our progress toward reaching those goals and evaluate whether we’re on the right path. A mid-year review is a great way to refocus and reassess our goals and priorities.
Why do a mid-year review?
A mid-year review is my way of pausing to make sure I'm on the right track for the year, heading in the direction of accomplishing the right things by year end. It's a chance for me to:
- Regain focus and awareness. Reviewing my goals helps me to evaluate where I am and where my intention is focused. It’s easy to get lost in just getting from one day to the next. Taking the time to do a mid-year review gives me a few hours to refocus if I need to.
- Evaluate or re-evaluate my goals. Do my goals still make sense? Or do I need to adjust my goals and strategy?
- Get back on track. If I’ve gotten sidetracked from my goals, I can look at everything again and focus on why I set those goals in the first place.
The mid-year review process
I follow a pretty simple but intentional process for conducting my own mid-year review. Perhaps it will be helpful for you as well.
It starts by scheduling an appointment with myself. I set aside a few hours, maybe half a day, at a time and place I can be undisturbed and really focus. For me, that's usually going to be on a weekend, and since my children are grown and gone I usually can do it at home. For your review, I encourage you to find somewhere you can spend a few hours of quiet, focused time — maybe at a coffee shop, library, or a park.
At the scheduled time, gather the materials you'll need to get a good sense of where you are in your progress toward your goals and objectives. I take my calendars, task manager, goals list, journal, and paper and pens, as well as a snack or beverage.
The mid-year review is a two-part process: a review of what's happened in the first half of the year, and a plan for the rest of the year.
First, a look back:
I start by looking at the year's Three Words. These are the foundation and focus for my year. My words this year are Nurture, Reach, and Enduring. I ask myself (and answer in my journal) a few questions:
- Have I been paying attention to these words?
- Have I made progress with each of these words in the various areas of my life?
- How have I implemented these goals into my life?
Then I take a look at my big-picture objectives and the long-term goals I've set for myself. Are they still relevant or has my life changed to the point where I need to adjust these goals and objectives? Are there areas of my life that need more attention? What am I going to change to make that happen? Remind myself where I wanted to go this year and ask myself how I’m doing in getting there. Part of this is reviewing my journal and thinking about what I've recorded there.
I review at my calendar and how I’ve spent my time the past six months. Is the way I’m spending my time reflecting my values and priorities? What adjustments can I make in the last half of the year?
- Are there projects I haven’t done anything about?
- Do they still belong in my task manager?
- Should I delete or archive them?
- Should I move them to a “Someday/Maybe” list?
This is a time to prune things out. For those projects that make the cut, I make notes about the next steps for each and add those to my task manager.
Then I reflect on my routines/habits/rituals. Are these still serving me? Do I need to adjust my morning/evening routines? If I’ve conquered one habit, is time to move on to the next? (I use the Due app to remind me of the 2-3 habits I want to focus on developing at any particular time.)
Finally, I consider the productivity tools I’m using. Are they still working for me? Am I spending more time setting up and learning about my tools than focusing on the actual changes the tool should help me with?
Then, a look forward:
Once I feel like I have a handle on how the first half of the year has gone–both the areas I've progressed and those where I haven't–it's time to look forward to the rest of the year and map out the steps needed to achieve my goals and objectives.
Again, I consult the calendar for the rest of the year. What big events are coming up and what do I need to prepare for them? This is a time to look ahead and think now about what I need to do to prepare for the last half of the year. As part of this, I assess what I should add to my task manager to prepare for these events and commitments.
After making sure I know what I'm already committed to, I think about what I want to schedule time for. Now that I’ve reminded myself (in the first part of the review) why my goals are important, it's time to be sure I schedule the time on my calendar to actually take the actions necessary to reach those goals.
Find time to commit to some of those things you talk about, but never seem to get around to.Click To Tweet
I take another look at my task manager and make sure that for every project I know (and have recorded) what the next action step is.
Before I leave the mid-year review, I make sure I have answered these questions (I use Evernote to help me with tracking these things.):
- What are the two or three things I want to complete before the end of the year?
- How am I going to accomplish them? Who can I ask for help? What resources do I need?
- What am I going to take off the table or defer to next year to help me focus on these two or three things?
My second-half plans for The Productive Woman
- I’m working on a goal-setting and life-planning workbook that I want to offer as a resource to The Productive Woman listeners.
- I’m also in talks with other productivity experts for events later this year to kick off next year in a productive way.
- I’ll be opening more facilitated (paid) mastermind groups in September for women looking to join a small group of women committed to making a more meaningful and productive life. The groups meet weekly by video conference and encourage and support each other via a private Facebook group in between meetings. The price includes one 30-minute private coaching call with me each month. If you’re interested in learning more, email me.
I've prepared a simple guide to help you conduct your own mid-year review. Get your free copy here.
What do you think?
Do you re-evaluate your goals and progress mid-year? Do you have a process for reviewing your year so far and planning the second half of the year? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this episode. Please feel free to ask your questions or share your thoughts with me by emailing me, commenting on our Facebook page, or leaving a comment below.
Reminders and Notices
- Please help me celebrate some upcoming TPW milestones. Has The Productive Woman helped you? I’d love to have you share your thoughts on how you found the show, how it has helped you, and your takeaways from the show for me to share on an upcoming episode in which we'll be celebrating two years (and 100 episodes) of The Productive Woman. You can email me or leave a voice message by clicking the button on the right-hand side of the website. Please include your name if you’d like me to share it or if you prefer to remain anonymous. You may do so through June 25, 2016.
- I’d love to be able to connect with you more. As mentioned above, I have a few things in the works for the future of The Productive Woman. If you’d like notices for upcoming events and resources, please consider joining The Productive Woman email list. Click on the button on the top right of the webpage or email me and let me know if you’d like to be added. I promise not to fill up your inbox with spammy emails.
- I’m also currently trying to decide if a private Facebook group would be a good resource for listeners and I would greatly appreciate getting your feedback on this idea.
- Special thanks to the sponsor of this episode, FreshBooks. Don’t miss out on the free 30-day unrestricted trial of their awesome service by going to FreshBooks.com/WOMAN, and enter WOMAN in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
- I’m available to speak at your events — women’s retreats and conferences, productivity workshops, business teams, etc. Send me an email or call me at 972.638.0308.
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