My mid-year goals review 2016 – part 1 of 2

I watched a short Gary Vaynerchuck video yesterday, entitled August, and the message from the video compelled me to put together...

I watched a short Gary Vaynerchuck video yesterday, entitled August, and the message from the video compelled me to put together my first ever mid-year goals review post, in two parts no less. So this is part 1 of 2 of what I hope will be an inspiring review of my goal progress for the year.

Now, I’m definitely not new to goal-setting, or action-taking. And I love Gary’s videos so much, because he’s such a no-bullshit-take-action-already kind of guy. Precisely what I stand for. But until now, although I’ve been running a successful Dream Bigger Goal-setting program since 2015, I haven’t systematically written about what it is that I’m working on throughout the year. But all that is about to change now.

This mid-year goals review is the first of a series of posts that I’ll be publishing on the blog regularly. Following the actual goal-planning and review that I’m doing on an ongoing basis, I’ll use this platform to keep you informed and up to date with not only what I’m working towards, how well it’s going (or not) and how I’m doing it too!

Now, in order to make this post as valuable as possible to you, I feel it’s important that I start with a few basic things that I do when I set goals, and also the overall structure that I use to keep working at them throughout the year. I explain all of this in much more detail in the Dream Bigger Goal-Setting Program of course, but here are the main goal-setting principles:

  • At the end of every year, I take time (about 6 weeks) to really plan the year ahead.
  • The first step I take (and you might want to do this anything you’re going to work on something new, not only at the end of the year!), is to look back on the year that has passed, distil my lessons learned, and I release the year but also my hopes, dreams, and everything that I feel I need to let go of to make space for the new.
  • When I’ve made room, I start to think and feel into what I want. This process goes hand in hand with daring to dream big – really big (hence the name of my program) – and to create a magnificent vision for the year to come.
  • Once I have the vision, I translate it into tangible goals and actions, elimination anything in the process that doesn’t feel 100% right to me. Yes, we trick ourselves into believing we want things we don’t really want, and figuring that out and eliminating what won’t serve us is really powerful!
  • And finally, as a last step, I put all of those goals and actions into a plan, with timelines, and deadlines.

I know it may seem daunting to address your goals in such a masculine, and structured way, but we, as women, can all thrive on great masculine qualities and I believe that success is made in part from being able to apply structures and systems to our lives and our work, especially when our soul is overflowing with the feminine. And once you get the hang of it, it’s really not that difficult or time-consuming, I promise!

OK so that’s the foundation, let’s now move on to what my plan looks like in a bit more detail, and what my regular practices are for working on my goals.

For years I’ve used a spreadsheet to list all my goals, and to assign timelines, and deadlines to them. But late last year I was watching an interview with Natalie MacNeal (I don’t remember where I saw it though, so can’t link it up) for the promotion of her book The Conquer Kit: A Creative Business Planner for Women Entrepreneurs.

During the interview, Natalie shared some of her own favorite goal-setting and planning tools, and mentioned something called the 5×5 goals quadrant. I haven’t been able to find a lot about it online (if you do, please let me know) but what it basically comes down to is that you group your goals into five main goals (your top vision for yourself for the year), and for each main goal/vision you pick the five most important goals/actions you can take to achieve them.

This is not to say that you’ll only be working on those 25 goals, not at all! But what the quadrant does offer, is a very clear overview of the main themes and goals that you’ll be working on throughout the year.

I’ve become such a big fan, that my version of the quadrant goes with me everywhere: I’ve got a copy glued on the first page of my planner, I have a version in my purse, and I even have a copy next to my computer screen in my office. And since I believe in it’s power so much, I’ve even made a downloadable template for you.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR 5X5 GOALS QUADRANT TEMPLATE

So to sum things up, I use the quadrant to keep track of what’s most important to keep working on, and the spreadsheet for a complete overview of the goals that I’ve set for myself. Of course I use many other tools, most of which I advice my students to use in the Dream Bigger Goal Setting Program, but unfortunately too many to go into right now.

And finally, before ending this first part of my mid-year goals review, I want to give you a sneak peek at the regular practices and habits that I’ve created for myself to work on my goals in the most effective and most powerful way possible. I’m giving them to you in reverse order, to really let the flow of the process stand out to it’s most essential parts.

#5 Mid-year goals review
I usually do this mid-year goals review between mid-July and the beginning of August. Too close to the end of June feels awkward to me, because some of my goals require time after I’ve taken action on them to materialize. So if I do a review too quickly, I might miss some great results.

This year, I did my mid-year goals review it at the end of July. And once again I was astonished by the level to which the universe seems to be conspiring to give me everything that I want. I mean this in the least woo-woo way possible (and I’ll write a post about my views on this pretty soon). But for now what’s important to know is that when you do a mid-year goals review, you’ll come to some really thrilling conclusions of how you set a goal for yourself, yet haven’t worked on it consciously since, but still something manifested on your journey that has been or is leading you towards achieving that goal none-the-less. This happens to me all the time. Really, all the time.

Your mid-year goals review is also the ideal moment to review your list of goals and to decide what you’ll not be doing this year. The thing is, we are constantly changing, and so are our goals. Six months into your goal work you’re not the same person anymore, so it’s fair to assume that some of your goals will have become obsolete too. Don’t be afraid to remove them from your list.

#4 Quarterly goals review
Every quarter, usually within the first week following a 3-month period, I sit down and review my goals list. The purpose of this review is to update the list, using the knowledge I’ve acquired from working on them for three months. This could mean timelines for a particular goal need to change, or I need more action steps for some of them, or I’d overlooked something important that I need to add to my list.

What I don’t do during my quarterly review is delete mid- to long-term goals yet, except when they are absolutely not relevant anymore. Imagine for instance that you had a specific business goal of let’s say start a YouTube channel. If you’ve tested the water and absolutely hate producing videos, you might want to actually delete that goal, or change it. But if you feel a lot of resistance towards actually getting started with it, you’re not allowed to delete that goal! Instead you need to make it a priority!

#3 Monthly prep
Every month, either before the beginning of the month or right into the first few days of it, I’ll do a monthly goals prep. What I do during this prep is focus on the month ahead, and all that I need to accomplish.

During the monthly goals prep I also do a lot of fine-tuning, because this is a very practical session where I clearly define what it is I need to do, and also start writing down how I’m actually going to do it.

#2 Weekly planning
Every week, on Sunday night, I plan my week ahead. Like the monthly prep – and in fact using the plan that I’ve created during that session – I use the weekly planning to prepare for the week ahead, and all the actions that I need to take towards my goals. Once I have a list of all the things that I’ll do, I put them in my calendar. This helps me to make it real, and also to be sure that I have enough time to do all the things I’m setting myself out to do.

#1 Daily actions
And finally, every morning, come what may, I write down the to-do’s I need to address to go through my weekly planning. And then I work on them. Sometimes very successfully, and sometimes not. But I do keep at it. As I know this is really the only way to achieve anything.

OK, that’s it for part 1 of 2 of my mid-year goals review. I feel like a big tease right now, having disclosed absolutely nothing about what it is that I’m working on yet, but I promise to do that next week, in part 2 of 2 of this mini-series.

In the comments below do let me know what habits you’ve created to work on your goals, and what works or doesn’t work well for you. I really want to know.

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