In a previous article, I gave tips on how to conduct a personal mid-year review. I completed mine early this month, and it combined personal and business goals because they feed into each other.

In this article, I’ll share some surprises from the review. I hope this article validates the importance of reviewing your goals at least once during the year.

Writing this article was not easy because it felt as if nimejianika nje (I’ve exposed myself). However, I know that many of my readers will benefit from this kind of self-reflection. So here goes…

Lessons From My Personal Mid-Year Review

#1: The spiritual development process I was using was not working

Spiritual growth is my main goal for this year and I was using a process that had worked in the past.

Sometime in May, I realized that I was not happy with the results I was getting. I took that as a clear warning to change direction.

During the review, I posed a question to God and asked for the next step forward.

The answer came less than a week later when my sister called and asked if I was interested in working through Rick Warren’s A Purpose-Driven Life with her and our other sister. I’ve ignored this book for many years, but this time, it felt right.

27 days later, that book has led taken me on an amazing journey of self and spiritual discovery. It has also brought me and my sisters closer as we share what we’re learning.

Lesson: What worked in the past will not necessarily work today or in the future.

#2: It was time to shift the business focus

I was surprised by this result because I wasn’t prepared for it. I knew it was coming but expected it to happen next year.

During the review, I realized that I wasn’t enjoying business coaching as much as I used to. I was also not having great success signing up clients for startup business coaching.

Much as I enjoy helping people set and achieve business goals, it had reached a point where this aspect of my business was beginning to feel like a job.

I also noticed that it would take marketing to more than 10 people to get one person who was raring to start their dream business. Most of the people I was meeting want to start a business but were not ready to make the move.

There was a time when I loved the process of helping people overcome the fear of getting started. However, I wasn’t feeling this love to the same extent as before.

[Tweet “What worked in the past will not necessarily work today or in the future.”]

During the review, I took a close look at testimonials from past clients. All my clients, including the business coaching ones, noted that the personal changes they made were the best results of our work together.

A deeper look revealed something I wasn’t ready to see, but that needed to be seen. It was time to turn around and go back where I started – with life coaching.

Being faithful to such insights is important so I’ve polished up my old program called Break Free, Live Your Life and made it my foundational program.

The moment I started informing people of the change, I immediately got requests for more information and sign-ups for strategy sessions.

What other sign did I need to show that this was the right track?

This shift is still work in progress and I’ll share more of it in future articles.

Another result was an increase in the number of inquiries on how to start and grow a coaching business. I had mentor coaching as one of my future goals.

However, this goal seems to have come forward in time and so I’m now in the process of revamping the Create Your Dream Business coaching program, which is perfect for this work.

[Tweet “Take a step of faith on something you know will change your life, career or business for the better.”]

What about the coaching programs I already had?

Making this turnaround also meant letting go of working with startups. However, it didn’t make sense to just abandon the work already done. I needed a way to help those who want to start businesses, without getting myself totally involved in the process.

I combined my book 12 Weeks to Startup and business startup program into an e-course. This e-course takes someone through the steps I took my business startup clients through in the first 3 months of coaching.

The course launches formally in 2019 as a stand-alone product that requires a lot less work from me than before.

As for business growth coaching, that’s now a second level program that one accesses after they complete the foundational Break Free program.

Lesson: You don’t have to throw out products or programs that are no longer working for you. You can repackage them and offer them in a way that doesn’t require constant attention from you.

#3: I have to get serious about being financially independent 

I was a work from home mum for many years and never had to think about bills because my hubby shouldered them. At that time, the business was more of a hobby that took care of the hours when my children were in school.

When I left my husband, I suddenly had to start thinking bills, bills, bills for the first time in more than a decade.

That was a huge mind-shift because I expected him to pay child support on a regular basis as we had agreed. When the support didn’t come, I would spend lots of time trying to force, coerce, and sometimes guilt him into making the payments.

During the mid-year review, which also included a personal financial review, I realized that it was time to put on my big girl underpants and get serious about my current and future finances.

It was time to take 100% responsibility for all my finances and not rely on child support. It was also time to let go of all the expectations I had about support from him.

And it was time to take my business very very seriously. This also meant increasing my fees to the value that my work brings, and to stop being available to all people at all times.

Lesson: God has blessed me with an amazing business and I am capable of taking care of my family. I need to focus on my acres of diamonds (the business) and take charge of my financial destiny.

(Can you hear my ego protesting loudly?)

#4: There will always be money for things that matter 

The best decision I made this year was to sign up for further coach training.

This was a huge step because I didn’t have the money to pay for the complete program. I just took a step of faith and paid for the first month.

That decision alone has changed my business, finances, coaching skills and belief in my abilities. It has blown my business 2 years into the future and helped me become more focused, determined and consistent.

Interestingly, money is no longer an issue and I’m completing my training in August this year.

Lesson: Take a step of faith on something you know will change your life, career or business for the better. Don’t let money be the reason for lack of action and/or growth.

[Tweet “Don’t let money be the reason for lack of action or growth.”]

#5: It’s time to let go of some goals or habits

These have been overtaken by time, are no longer interesting, or I’ve outgrown them. They include:

1. Trying to change many areas of my life at the same time

I was working on about 4 different areas, each of which requires a huge investment of time, energy and mental focus.

Sadly, all the balls dropped and now I have to start over again.

My new rule is to improve one area of my life and one area of my business each quarter.

This means focusing on 2-4 big changes in my life and business each year instead of 8-10 per year.

For the next half of this year, the main goals are: having a full coaching practice and waiting list (for the business) and improving my health and fitness (personal).

Achieving these goals will have a positive impact on my finances and image – both of which are areas that need improvement right now.

2. Social media for personal and business use

Much as I’m an early adopter of technology and new ways of doing things, constant attention to social media has not worked for me.

There was a point when I was spending a lot of time catching up with Facebook updates. And then there’s WhatsApp where people kept adding me to groups that I had no interest in.

I won’t even dwell on people who would send WhatsApp updates at all hours of the night…

I mean who cares whether your cat ate this evening or not?

And you’re sending the message at 4:00am because you can’t sleep!?

On the day that I forgot to switch off my phone’s internet!


(take a deep breath and stop ranting, Caroline).

Anyway, I deleted my WhatsApp account and stopped checking Facebook every day.

Sheer bliss and silence, aaah! (That’s a sigh of happiness)

I’m now working on a business social media strategy that will take only 15 minutes a day to implement. Using the Pomodoro technique has also helped manage time when going online.

Another tactic that worked was to avoid going online in the morning on weekdays. I’ve also separated my work and personal phones so it’s rare to get on calls or go online in the evenings and on weekends. If I want to connect with someone, they are just a phone call away.

[Tweet “Change never comes easy. However, it’s the only way to grow.”]

3. It’s time to get out more

I’m an extreme introvert and generally hang out with close family and friends. I love quiet and can spend hours or even days happily in my own company.

Interestingly, I’m not shy at all and can have conversations with total strangers. I enjoy myself at parties, flow through networking events, and absolutely love public speaking.

However, these energy bursts last a short time, especially when in large groups. Spending more than 3 hours in a noisy place leads to irritation and sometimes escalates into headaches.

This year, I started avoiding noisy places and limited physical business interactions to absolutely necessary ones.

The structure of my business is almost 100% virtual. This means that I can meet people on the phone, Skype, and through video-conferencing. Perfect for an introvert.

As the business grows, there are more people requesting for physical meetings, so I’m shifting to be more out there. That’s a major change I’m working on and I can already hear some people cheering!

Lesson: Change never comes easy. However, it’s the only way to grow.

[Tweet “Life is about growth and if you don’t grow on a consistent basis, you will stagnate and regress.”]


The surprises from the review have helped me make important changes in my life and business. I would have missed these changes had I waited for the end of year review.

This review revealed that I need to learn new things and implement new ways of doing things. Getting stuck on ideas, goals, or habits that are past their time only leads to frustration when they no longer work.

Life is about growth and if you don’t grow on a consistent basis, you will stagnate and regress. This is why it’s important to constantly review your personal, professional, or business goals.

Each review will help you identify:

  • what’s working (you do more of it),
  • what’s not working (you drop it),
  • and what needs to change (you create a plan for the change).

It’s not possible to anticipate all changes that will happen in your life. Taking care of the ones that you can will help improve your life and make life easier to manage.

Those are the 5 surprising lessons from my mid-year review and the changes I’ve started implementing in the second half of the year.

It’s your turn now…

Have you done your personal mid-year review and what were your results? What were the surprises and how will you handle them?

I’d love to hear from you so please share your experience and thoughts in the Comments below.

(Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos)

    4 replies to "5 Surprising Lessons From My Personal Mid-Year Review"

    • Lisa

      This is a great move Carol, I definitely benefitted from you tremendously as a life coach, am looking forward to working with you again.

      • Caroline Gikonyo

        Thank you for the comment, Lisa. I loved working with you too and the amazing results you’re creating in your life. Feels great to be back.

    • Wambugu

      Hi gal i like your article though I have not seen your outgoing move yet,I would be happy to know if there is anyone feeling like me.sorry we shall have to be your honest checks.
      Go gal we got to keep on trying before we succeed like you correctly describe.

      • Caroline Gikonyo

        Hehehe…seems I can’t hide once I go public. I’ll be at Mariam Mpaata’s MMM Series talk on 6th August 2016. Baby steps my dear – with the introvert part of me protesting loudly. There’s a phone call coming your way too. Thanks for the check in…and the public challenge…

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