The end of the financial year never really had much significance for me; June 30 meant checking the letter box for my group certificate and making an appointment for my tax return. But I was reflecting on the fact that half the year had gone by (and so so quickly) and I realised that if I didn’t stop and consider things, the rest of the year would disappear without warning. I didn’t (and don’t) want to get to Christmas 2015 and think to myself ‘damn, I wished I checked in to see how I was travelling’.
Of course, I can say that now. Now that I’ve done it. I pulled out my lined journal that I wrote my goals in for 2015 and had a little look-see to check on my progress. What I found was very illuminating!
But just let me go back a few steps to when I was setting those goals in January of this year. I spent time contemplating what I’d like to achieve, I discussed it with my husband and got his opinion; I mulled things over. My list of goals for this year were not spontaneous, spare-of-the-moment declarations. They were considered intentions that were important to me. So, once I’d decided on a number of personal, professional and family goals I carefully wrote them down in my journal.
Then I closed the journal put it back on the shelf above my desk and didn’t look at it again – until two days ago!
Total ROOKIE! What a monumental error. But what I found was really interesting. There were three significant professional goals, for which I have, happily, achieved all of them. My list of personal goals were less successful – of my four personal goals, I have only achieved one. When I say ‘personal’ goals these are goals around my health, finding down-time and time for renewal. My family goals were less than impressive, but at least I was at around a 50 per cent success there.
Ultimately, these ‘personal’ goals are about me, but I set them because I knew they would make me a better wife and a better muma. So why I had let them go by the way-side? Part of that reason, I think is because I closed the journal and put it away. I had just plain forgotten that I had decided to do these things. When I look at them now, I feel like giving myself a pat on the back for having such good ideas!
But ideas are just ideas until they are enacted. Reviewing the past is useful, but dwelling on failures is not. Looking for reasons why things didn’t turn out as you’d hoped is worthwhile as a learning exercise, but really, the idea is to renew your enthusiasm for the next six months of the year.
There is something so lovely about the start of a new year – life is full of promise and it’s exciting to consider all the possibilities that the year holds. But it’s also a bit seductive, in that we can be drawn in to trying to achieve a life that doesn’t exist. Reviewing your goals in June, for July through to December means it can be done without the background noise of ‘new year’s resolutions’ and ‘the new you’ vernacular that floods our consciousness at that time of year.
I’ve written about New Years Resolutions here. If you didn’t read that post, I speak about, not resolutions but finding a word to live by for the year. My chosen word was ‘Completion’. While I hadn’t totally forgotten my ‘word’, I wasn’t living by it, so this reason alone is enough to remind myself to check in.
Life is busy, with the juggle of work, family, sport/leisure and whatever else takes up your time, it’s easy to forget what your intentions for the year are. There are a few things on my list that aren’t really important to me at the moment, so I’m happy to shelve them; with no angst or disappointment. And there are also things that have come up that I’d like to focus more on. Over the school holidays I’m going to spend a couple of hours really nutting out what I want to achieve in the next six months. And to ensure I don’t make rookie mistake number two, I’m going to schedule reminders in my diary so the idea of ‘Completion’ is an overarching theme, rather than a novel idea.
I’d urge you to consider your next six months. I know I harp on about only having one life and making it count; this is part of that. Don’t let the next six months pass you by. You can be present and engaged by setting a few intentions, or revisiting old ones. You can arrive at the end of the year and look back and recognise how far you’ve come.
You’ll be able to truly celebrate the New Year, not because it’s full of possibilities, but because all those possibilities became your reality. Something truly worth celebrating!