It’s a good idea to take a few days in the middle of the year and do a review. To have a look at the big picture and take stock of how things are going. In my mind it’s similar to taking a trip somewhere new and pausing to stop and look at the map. A mid-year review allows you the time to look at where you have been, think about where you want to end up, and decide if the course you are on is still the best way to get there. A mid-year review is useful for several reasons.
- Reflection. When you set goals for yourself at the start of the year they can feel like a giant to-do list. If you aren’t meeting those goals (or maybe some are being met slowly and won’t be checked of until near the end of the year), it can make you feel like your year isn’t going well. You may feel unproductive or like your year is off-track. During a mid-year review it’s a good idea to make a list of all the things you have accomplished, whether they started out on your yearly goal list or not. Having this list to reflect on will let you see that in spite of the things that may not be getting checked off your yearly goal list, you are getting things done.
- Redirection. Ben Franklin said the only certainty in life is death and taxes (paraphrase). When you set your goals at the start of the year, or the end of last year, you had no way of knowing how this year was going to play out. Since that time circumstances in your life could have changed in a multitude of ways, some of which you never could have dreamed of (good or bad). A mid-year review gives you the time to revisit your goals and see if they are still relevant for the circumstances in your life.
- Re-write. The great thing about goals is that they are fluid; you are allowed to change them whenever and however you want or need to. At the half-way point of the year it’s important to think about what you want from the rest of the year and how you are going to get there. Are your goals going to help you achieve what you want from the last six months of the year, or do you need to add some new ones? Maybe you’ve been working on a goal for half the year already and it’s not going as well as you’d hoped it would. Do you need to modify it, or drop it all together? It’s okay to abandon goals you set for yourself.
- Revisit your budget. While you should be checking in with your budget on a very regular basis, half-way through the year is a good time to revisit the actual budget itself. Has anything changed with your financial situation that needs to be reflected in your budget? Our oil company reworks out yearly budget payment during June, and we get a new statement due in July. Also, my husband’s work starts their fiscal year in July and sometimes he gets a cost of living increase. So there are modifications I make to our budget mid-year. Plus, it’s a good habit to rethink your financial situation every six months and see if there is anything you should be saving for, or want to change about how you allot your money.
- Remember. Maybe you haven’t looked at your goals since you wrote them at the start of the year. That’s okay, there are no goal police who are going to show up at your door. A mid-year review gives you the chance to pull out that sheet of paper or file or notebook and have a look at what goals you set for yourself. And, if you never set goals at the start of the year, there’s no rule that says you can’t set goals at the mid-way point.
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