Mid-year reviews are a given in the corporate world. Have you considered incorporating them in your personal life?
Imagine for a moment that your life is an organization, and you had set your key performance indicators (goals) for this year.
How would your manager evaluate you in the mid-year review?
What scores would you get in your key personal performance indicators?
Would you get a recommendation, a bonus, or even a promotion?
Of course, you don’t have a manager for your life and maybe you haven’t even set goals for the year. Don’t let these stop you from conducting a mid-year review.
Benefits of a Personal Mid-Year Review
Personal mid-year reviews will help you:
- Evaluate whether you’re on track with your goals for the year.
- Determine which actions have been more beneficial and which ones have not.
- Identify the challenges you’ve had to overcome and learn from them.
- Come up with more effective strategies for achieving your goals.
- Identify areas where you could make simple adjustments in the second half of the year.
- Make quick corrections on your goals or tactics.
- Maintain work-life balance.
The end result is that your confidence will increase as you will have a snapshot of where you are in relation to your goals for the year.
How to Conduct a Personal Mid-Year Review
1. Prepare for the review
This is a critical step because you need to be in a conducive mental and physical environment for the review.
The preparation will include:
- Finding a suitable place for the review process – preferably away from your home or office.
- Collecting all the information you have on your goals for this year.
- Putting together your writing (or drawing) materials.
- Taking the day off and informing people that you’ll be offline or unavailable most of the day.
2. Evaluate your goals for this year
On the day of the review, start by looking through the goals you set for the year and ask yourself whether they are still relevant and meaningful for you.
You can use the following questions to guide you:
- Do you still want to continue with these goals or have some of them changed?
- Are there goals that you need to drop?
- Were you overly ambitious in setting some goals and need to scale them down?
- Which goals have you enjoyed working on and why?
- Which ones haven’t you enjoyed working on and why?
Goals are not cast in stone, and it’s OK to refine them as you gain new knowledge and/or experience about them. It’s also OK to drop goals that no longer serve you or that are not in line with your life at this moment.
The aim here is to remind yourself WHY you set these goals in the first place. Your goals should bring more meaning into your life even as they stretch you out of your comfort zone.
3. What have you achieved?
Many people tend to focus on what has not been achieved and forget to celebrate progress made.
Where are you in relation to the goals you set? What progress have you made?
Take a look at the goals that are still important for this year; map out the actions you’ve taken on these goals, and resulting achievements.
4. What obstacles or challenges have you experienced?
It’s rare that you will achieve your goals without facing internal and external challenges.
Internal challenges are your thoughts, beliefs, habits, and actions that create self-sabotage. For example, maybe you set a goal to start a part-time business. However, you spend most of your free time hanging out with friends or watching TV instead of working on the business goal.
You have no control over external challenges. For example, suppose you set a goal to slim down by 10kgs by June this year. However, you got sick and had to be put on a special diet with no strenuous exercise. This will have a negative impact on your goal.
Create a list of the challenges you’ve faced and identified the ones that were internal. These are the ones you have to watch out for because they will sabotage your goal-achievement process.
Finally, are there mistakes you made and what did they cost you? What will you do to avoid making the same mistakes in the future?
5. What have been your learning experiences?
Next, you need to categorize the lessons you’ve learnt as you worked on your goals. Interestingly, most of your lessons will come from the challenges and mistakes.
So what have you learnt from:
- setting your goals?
- your achievements?
- the obstacles encountered?
- the process of overcoming obstacles?
6. What is the way forward?
It’s now time to decide what you will focus on for the next 6 months.
Pick 1-3 goals to focus on for the second half of the year. Prioritize them with #1 being the one that will have the most positive impact on your life when you achieve it. You will work on your #1 goal daily, even if for just 5 minutes a day.
For each of these goals:
- What is one thing you can do consistently over the next 6 months for the goal?
- How will you do it?
- Do you need accountability? If you do, what level of accountability do you need and from whom?
- What is one thing can you do within the next 24 hours to take action on each of the goals?
This article I wrote on goal setting will help you keep track of your goals daily, weekly, and monthly.
7. What changes will you make in your life?
What will you do differently from now on?
Can you achieve your goals without additional support? If you can’t, then what support do you need (people, training, etc).
Are there beliefs, habits, and behaviours you need to drop, change, or learn? How will you do it?
Are there people you need to bring into or drop from your life? Who are these people and how will you make the changes without causing undue harm to those you drop?
What changes do you need to make in your physical environment? How will you make these changes without incurring unnecessary financial costs?
Come up with a plan that takes care of your learning and the changes you need to make in your mental, physical, and people environments.
Incorporate this plan into your strategy for the next 6 months. Taking action on this plan will help you become more effective and efficient as you work on your goals.
Your Next Step
To complete your mid-year review:
- Set an appointment with yourself for the next review.
- Take action on the 3 things you decided to do for each goal within the next 24 hours.
- Congratulate yourself for having completed this exercise and celebrate this achievement.
Over to you now. Have you conducted a personal mid-year review before and how was the experience? Is there something I’ve missed out that worked for you?
And if this is the first time you’ve considered doing one, where will you start?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the Comments below.
(Image credit: Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos)