Now that the post-July 4th recovery is officially over (plus a few days), it’s time to return rejuvenated and ready to take on the second half of 2016. Let’s backtrack first and ask the inevitable question… How are your 2016 New Year’s resolutions doing? If they’re still intact, reward yourself with a well-deserved pat on the back as, by the second week of February, 80% of resolutions were abandoned or forgotten. If you haven’t stayed on track, don’t worry about it. There’s still plenty of time to accomplish a lot this year.
The first half of 2016 has been and gone, bringing us to the perfect time to reevaluate New Year’s Resolutions and set new goals for the next 6 months. Make the second half of the year as effective as possible by keeping these three things in mind.
Give Yourself a Manageable Countdown
It’s harder to sustain a countdown over a longer period of time. Where 12 months may have been overwhelming at the start of the year, a 6-months period literally cuts that in half. It’s easier to stay focused for a shorter time frame, so make the most of a more manageable countdown.
Set the Right Goals
By now you should be able to confidently ask yourself what’s really important for you to accomplish this year? Think about changes you want to make in your life that will have the most positive impact and more importantly ones that will motivate you to take them seriously.
Consider What You’ve Learned From the First Half of the Year
You’ve already experienced half of the year; What has worked for you so far and what hasn’t? How much time do you realistically have available to work towards a goal? Based on those answers, you should have a clearer idea of what you can accomplish over the next 6 months.
We’ve covered why now is the perfect time to set goals, here’s how to do it.
[Tweet “”If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Benjamin Franklin”]
1. Set SMART Goals
In 1981, George T. Doran published a valuable set of criteria for setting and achieving goals. Since then, the concept has been widely applied, repurposed and proven successful. Whatever you decide your goals are, they need to be S.M.A.R.T.:
- Specific: a goal should be focused and specific
- Measurable: You should be able to assess your progress towards your goals
- Achievable: Your goals need to be something you can achieve
- Realistic: although a goal should be challenging, it also needs to be realistic
- Time-phased: Set a timeline and a date to reach your goal (in this case, we recommend the end of the year!)
Make sure you set goals that are important, valuable and excite you. Accomplishing any goal involves hard work and dedication, so reaching that goal should be a reward in itself.
2. Make a Plan & Celebrate Small Wins
Once you’ve ensured your goals are SMART, it’s time to establish a clear plan for how you’re going to accomplish them. The best way to do that is by setting incremental sub-goals. These smaller goals should be much more detailed and bite-sized than your end goal. Each time you complete one of these sub-goals, you should treat it like a milestone. It’s important to celebrate each of these small wins to keep you motivated and on track.
3. Prepare to Manage Your Time
Closely tied to tracking your progress is the need for effective time management. You know you want to achieve your goal by the end of the year, but it’s essential that you keep up with your sub-goals so you’re constantly progressing and ensuring your goal is reachable. Do this by making your sub-goals time-specific, for example, outline what you need to accomplish in a week or a month. For more tips for time management, here’s a useful roundup for taking control of your day.
4 Track Your Progress & Stay Organized
Once you’ve created your plan and prepared to implement it, you’re almost ready to start working towards your goal. However, it’s important that you track your progress over the next 6 months by ensuring that you’re monitoring your progress and tracking the results. Staying organized will encourage productivity towards your goal, here are some tools to that can help you keep organized and productive.
Now it’s time to set a goal for yourself. Ready. Set. Go!
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. – Tony Robbins