Do you pause to review your life & business?

So, friends, it’s the beginning of July and that means we’re halfway through the year. For me, this is the perfect time to pause and take stock of where I am in relation to my big goals and that means doing a half-year review.

This is a practice I’ve been doing for a while now and really has made such a difference to my motivation and productivity. Now, if you’ve been listening to the show for a while now, you might remember that back in episode 25 I shared this process with you, and as that was one of my most popular episodes it felt like the right time to bring it back, with a couple of little tweaks and do a reprisal.

Plus, because you know I’m all about making my episodes as practical as possible, there is a freebie for this episode. My half-year review workbook (see below) includes all the steps I walk you through in this episode plus spaces for you to do your own reflection and start making plans for the rest of the year.

Free half year review workbook

Links:

My FREE Half Year Review Workbook: michellereevescoaching.com/halfyearreview

Practical Podcasting for Beginners online course: Find out more here

Want to listen to more episodes? You’ll find them all here

Transcript:

You're listening to the ideal life club podcast, episode 60, how to do a half-year review that will set you up for success for the rest of the year.

Welcome to the ideal life club podcast, where it's all about fast-tracking your ideal life. Join your host life coach and author of the happiness habits, transformation, Michelle Reeves for inspiration and practical tips to finally claim success on your terms with clarity, confidence, and the courage to unleash your passion on the world.

Hey there, Michelle here and welcome back to the ideal life club podcast. So as I record this episode is the beginning of July, and that means we're halfway through the year. For me, this is the perfect time to pause and take stock of where I am in relation to my big goals. And that means doing a half-year review. Now this is a practice I've been doing for a while now, and really has made such a difference to my motivation and my productivity. I also recently ran a workshop with my mastermind group to take them through the process and they really loved it. Now, if you've been listening to the show for a while, you might remember that back in episode 25, I shared this process with you. And as that was one of my most popular episodes, it felt like the right time to bring it back with a couple of little tweaks and do a reprisal plus because you know, I'm all about making my episodes as practical as possible.

There is a freebie for this episode. My half year review workbook includes all the steps I walk you through in this episode, plus spaces for you to do your own reflection and start making plans for the rest of the year. I'll be telling you how you can grab your copy completely free. So do keep listening. Now, as most of what you're going to hear was recorded a while ago, there may be a few references to things that have already happened. And of course, this was way before COVID-19. So you won't hear me referencing that at all, but I stand by the step by step process that I took you through in this episode, it definitely works and is a great way to kick start the second half of the year. So let's dive in. But before we get started, this episode is sponsored by practical podcasting for beginners, my self paced online course for business owners who understand the power of podcasting to promote their business and are looking for a step by step plan to go from podcast newbie, to confidently publishing episodes. Just like this one. Even if technology isn't always your BFF for all the details, head over to michellereevescoaching.com/podcastcourse. Okay. Back to today's show.

So last Saturday evening, I went outside to feed our four Indian runner ducks, Jeremy, Lucy, Hermione and feathers, and they were being super cute and funny. So I sat down on the lawn and just quietly watched them doing their thing. They ate the food, they drank some water and then they wash themselves. They took their time so that every little feather got a wash or a scratch, they were so methodical. And it was very clear; they'd done this over and over again, but there was no rushing. There was no, okay, I have to do this washing super fast because I need to get back to the pond or take a nap, which they did afterwards, by the way, tucking their heads under their wings and snuggling up. But then the kids came out and distracted them and suddenly they were like, we're definitely not washing or sleeping now!

But before that point, they were focused on getting their job done, knowing exactly what feathers to wash in what order until they felt happy that they were clean. And sometimes it's the same way with us. We know what we want to achieve and we're doing what we need to do. And then summer comes along and totally distracts us with its promise of less time and more scarcity. But I like to think of the summer as a natural break point in the year, a time to pause for a moment and get our bearings to decide if the direction we've been heading in for the first half of the year is still moving us towards our destination, our goals and our biggest vision, and to make some new plans if we need to. So let me ask you some questions. How far away are you from your destination?

How far away did you expect to be and what do you need to do for the rest of the year to get back on track and reach that destination? Or perhaps you need to shift direction and go in a completely different direction? Not because that first destination is scary, but because you've realized it's not where you want to go at all, you want to go somewhere else entirely and that's fine and you need to forgive yourself for that and just get on with it and make a new plan starting again. But so often what we do is we rush through and we just say, Hey, you know, last quarter, I didn't hit my targets, but I'm just going to keep going. And the next quarter, you know, we'll get there. And if we don't stop and have a really good look at what we've been doing and focus on the details we can up being in a destination that we actually didn't want to be, or taking a route that's going to take way longer or that we actually don't enjoy at all, deciding how we want to feel what we want to achieve and how to make that happen is a key part of any ideal life plan.

But it's hard to set a course for where we want to get to, unless we know where we are right now, setting time aside regularly to pause and renew or reflect on where we are, puts a stake in the ground. It helps us say I'm here. And then we can reset our compass for success, whatever that means for us. And it will mean different things for different people and create a path to help us get there. Another reason to reflect is to gather information that will help us choose how to use our precious time, energy and resources, both over the summer and the rest of the year. What can we let go of that? Isn't serving us, what will we keep? What will we start and stop doing? I'm going to be filling this episode with questions you can use to pause and reflect on where you are right now in your life and business plus tips for getting crystal clear on what you want to achieve for the rest of the year and how to create a realistic plan to get you there. So grab your journal and a pen and make some notes because this is going to be a totally actionable episode.

Now, before we get into all of that, I wanted to just say here that when we're pausing to review, whether that's daily, weekly, monthly, or in this case at the half year, it's super important. You don't stop beating yourself up for not meeting your own expectations so far. That's not what pausing terephthalate is about. It's about being curious and honest and kind with ourselves and gathering information. So we can make informed choices about how best to spend our time going forwards. Okay, let's get started now as all my clients know, I believe true success is about finding balance across all areas of our lives, our business, or work interacts with our personal life, whether we like it or not. So as well as looking at where we are in our businesses, we're going to be looking at some other areas of our life, too. We're going to be looking at our health.

If you don't feel well, physically or mentally, it doesn't matter how it looks in other areas of your life. I health needs to be a priority. And that includes eating well, sleeping well and staying hydrated. We'll also look at mindset because our physical health is super important, but we also need to maximize our mindset and work on any self limiting beliefs that might hold us back. This can everything from self doubt and overwhelm to your relationship with money. For example, how many personal goals do you have? Personal goals can involve everything from your interests, like sports dream trips, or a desire to pay a musical instrument, to getting fitter or making more time for fun and relaxation.

Now, most of us want to share our success and happiness with the people that are most important to us and have people who can support us in difficult times, but relationships don't just happen, they take work too, from that special someone to our family, friends, colleagues, and so on. So relationship goals also form part of any ideal life plan. But first I like to start my half year review with some high level questions about the year so far. So if you have your journal in front of you draw a line across the middle of the page and at the top of the first half, right? January, February, March, and at the top of the second half, right? April, may, and June. Now for each of those quarters of the year, ask yourself some questions. What went well in this time, period, what did I achieve? What didn't go so well, how do I know? What metrics or measurements do I have to tell me? Why did the things that went well go well? And what about the things that didn't go well?

Where have I spent the majority of my time this year, what activities with what people doing, what things and where have I been busy versus being productive? Okay. If you want to work on this as we go along, just press pause on this podcast for a moment and think about your answers to those questions, bust out your journal and make some notes. And if the metrics one stumped you, here's some suggestions of ways to measure your success, depending on your goals, the number of profitable products you launched your income versus expenditure your customer base and retention numbers, email lists, growth and churn (that's the number of people that you lost versus the number of people that you gained), your social media followings by channel testimonials received and implemented in your marketing, the stickiness of your social media, your content shares, any JV, partnership results, any affiliate deals that went well.

You have your technical platforms, your email website, online store and content scheduling. You could also do a design review or a content review. Okay? So let's start going a bit deeper now and look at the different areas of your life and work that you might have had goals for for the first half of the year. I'm going to give you some more questions for each of these areas. So you can reflect on where you are right now today, before we move forward into planning ahead for the rest of the year. So let's look at your personal growth goals to start off with what personal growth goals did you set for yourself this year? Have you met them? What's gone well and what hasn't gone as well as you expected. What have you learned from your experiences? What have you learned about yourself? Who's been more in charge of your mind, you or your inner cavewoman and where do you need to keep learning?

Why can you share your knowledge to help give value to others? What's made you happy, fulfilled, and content. And how are you building your brand? You have you worked on legacy building for the first half of the year. What are you grateful for? And what successes can you celebrate? Because if you knew me, you know, I am all about celebrating our successes so important to keep our motivation going and give us that mojo. We need to start pursuing new goals. Okay. Let's move on to looking at your health goals. Here's some questions to think about for this area. How do you feel in your body? How has your health been so far this year? What health goals have you been working on and what have you achieved if you haven't achieved? What you'd hoped to, why might that be? Do you feel confident that you're eating a balanced, a nutritional diet that suits your body?

Have you found an exercise routine that works for you and that you enjoy? Are you staying hydrated throughout the day? Are you drinking more, less, or about the recommended amount of alcohol per week? Are you sleeping enough? Do you have a sleep routine that sets you up for a restful night? Are there any health niggles that you've been putting off talking to a professional about? Okay. Let's move on to your mindset. Here's some questions for this area. How has your mindset served you so far this year? Who's been more in control of your mindset, you or your inner cave woman. What thoughts have you had that have held you? What beliefs have you been holding onto that you'd like to let go of? What beliefs and thoughts have served? Do you, well, have you, I felt confident enough to tackle the challenges in your life and business when things have not gone, as well as you expected, have you been able to have a sense of perspective and bounce back quickly?

Have you felt successful? Have you felt satisfied with your life overall? I hope you're pressing pause and making some killer notes as we go through these questions, but right now we're going to move on to relationships. Here's some questions about this area of your life. Have you spent quality time with the people in your life who are most important to you? Has there been someone special that you've enjoyed spending time with? Have there been people to support you through the tough times? Are there any relationships that have not been as positive as you would have liked? Are you happy with the level of intimacy in your life? What are some of the best moments you've had in your relationships this year? Are there any relationships or circles that you need to work more on? Are there any that you need to let go of? Have you been the partner, friend, daughter, sister, mother, aunt, or grandmother that you wanted to be, have you supported and encouraged those around you?

Whoa, that is a lot of questions. So do hit rewind and go back through all of them and make some notes so that you have a chance to do a really thorough review of the first half of your year. Now, before we move on to making some new plans for what you want to do for the second half of the year, it's really important that we clear some space for any new work we're going to do. And the summer is a great time to do that because we can step back and have a look at our schedule and find a way to clear space for new goals, by stopping doing things in your business that are not productive or profitable, and also stopping doing things right in your life. Maybe there are some relationships that you need to move away from. Maybe there's some regular things on your calendar that just aren't serving you, or perhaps there's just a little bit too much social media scrolling that you can put a stop to whatever it is that clears the space for you now is a time to make a note of how you are going to make that happen.

Okay. So I hope you've enjoyed looking back and reviewing each of the areas of your life and work. Now we're going to take that work and use it, help us decide which of the areas you want to work on for the rest of the year. So for the second half of the year, but first of all, before we start getting into metrics and detail, we're going to take a journey into the future setting goals and making plans is crucial in helping us reach our ideal life. But if we don't have a clear vision for where we want to get to, we'll start to get all bogged down in the how, and that can quickly lead to overwhelm, right? Which gets us nowhere fast. So what we're going to do right now is think about the areas that we just reviewed with all those questions I gave you and imagine what you'd like to see happen in each of them.

We're going to imagine it in all the detail, using all your senses, thinking about colors and smells and how you feel. So here's what I recommend. Get alone with your journal and a pen or a pencil. And if you can snuggle up somewhere nice without your phone so much, the better. That beat beeping is a total killer for our imaginations, because it constantly draws us back to the present, when at the moment we want to be kind of thinking into the future, then pick one of the areas that was in that review - so whether that's your personal goals or your health or your relationships - close your eyes and picture what you most love to see happen between now and the end of the year. Don't get caught up worrying about not knowing how you'll make it happen yet. Just focus on the what right now, then open your eyes and use your journal to capture that vision in as much detail as possible. So who are you in that vision? What qualities and skills do you have? How are you dressed? How are you feeling? Who are you with? What work are you doing? And then move on to the next area until you have a vision for all of the ones that you would like to work on.

And I just wanted to pause for a second and share a tip with you that I learned from my virtual mentor, Brendon Burchard, which is that any visions that you really don't feel you have the time to work on right now, any that you feel you're not going to honor properly - put them on your next year's list. And then when you come to do your end of year review in December, you can scan through that list and see which of them is still relevant for you to add in to your next year's plan.

Okay. So hopefully now you have exciting visions that you want to work on between now and the end of the year. So let's get down and with some goal setting. And I know this is an area that some of you really struggle with how to set goals. So we're definitely going to be spending some time focusing on that. But first I want to share seven common mistakes that we often make when we're setting goals that can really hold us back. The first is that we don't write our goals down. So if a goal is not written down, it's just a dream without any power. But when we write our goals down, they start to take on a new form, a powerful form that encourages our brain to set things in motion, to reach them. Once you focused on the, what it starts to get much easier to focus on that, how to make it happen.

The second thing is that we create too many goals. We're all running or creating our businesses. So sitting too many girls is going to lead to overwhelm. Like I said before, keeping the number measurable is the best way to get things done. The third thing is we only set goals for one area of our lives. So most of us are focused on building our businesses and it's natural. We want to move towards wanting to set goals in that space. But as I said before, our lives are about so much more than work. And each of the areas that we reviewed before does interact with each other. So it's important that we spread that growth around about the fourth thing is that we don't make our goals specific. Most goals stuff suffer from being too vague. So I want to write a book rather than I will write a book about the eight happiness habits that took me from functioning to fabulous and have it published by January, 2019.

The fifth thing is we don't make our goals measurable. And if you can't measure something, then you can't manage it. So the only way we know how we're doing with our goals is to quantify them. And I gave you loads of questions a little bit earlier on for metrics for your business, for example, but there are loads of metrics you can use for other areas as well. So with your health, rather than saying, I want to lose weight, how much weight and by when the sixth thing is we don't set a deadline, deadlines, create a sense of urgency, which is really what helps us to get things done. If we don't make growth a priority, then it won't be a priority. And it's so easy to procrastinate or put off those growth goals in the business of our day to day life. Isn't it. And finally, we don't keep our goals visible.

So I used to write down a set of goals at the beginning of the year, and then I would put them in a drawer and I wouldn't look at them again, till the end of the year, I would just kind of get on with doing the busy work, but keeping our goals visible, keeps us focused on achieving them. And it also helps our brain to work for us by searching for solutions. When we can see our goals, very visibly either with a vision board or just the list of goals that you stick on your wall. So you can look at them every single day. It allows the power of our minds to start searching for solutions, just like putting a search term into the Google. Okay. So now we know what we want to avoid. Let's start working on setting some exciting goals, but the second half of the year.

Okay. So I'm going to ask you to bust out your journal again, because what we're going to be doing now is taking each of the exciting visions from the review section we did earlier and work backwards from December through November, October and September to decide where we want to be by the end of each month. So for example, if you wanted to have maybe written the first draft of a book by the 31st of December, how much will you need to have completed by the end of November or the end of October or September, you can then write that out as a clear goal fit each of those months with a measure to make sure you know, that you are hitting that goal. Now you've probably heard of the acronym smart that is so often used in business to help you set goals. I actually like to use my own one, which is called smile because at the end of the day, I want my goals to make me do just that to make me smile.

Here's what smile stands for S is for specific M for measurable, I mean needs it's individual to me in my control and realistic, the L stands for long, medium or short term timescale. And the E is because it is exciting, but seriously, if you prefer to use smart, go for it, use which ever version most appeals to you. Now let's use that acronym to give some examples for goals relating to this book draft that we're talking about. So for example, by the 31st of December, we could say, I have completed my book and written 50,000 words. By the end of November, I have written two thirds of my book. By the end of September, I will live research my book and cleared space in my diary to get started writing. Now here's something really important when you, where you are and you get crazy, still clear on where you want to get to, which we've just done.

There will be, see a gap and that gap is where fear can hang out and totally trip us up. So we're going to plan in bridging that gap. So, as I said before, in the book scenario, by the 30 September, we will have researched the book and cleared space in our diaries to write that girl is bridging a gap between where I am now, knowing that I want to write a book, but not having all the information I need and where I want to get to, which is being ready to start writing. So for example, you could use the summer to do research for a particular goal, or to maybe learn a new skill, like how to use Facebook ads or an app like Canva, or just to make space in your diary to get stuff done in the second half of the year. Okay.

So here's where if you're working through this as the episode plays, you need to be pressing pause and setting yourself some exciting and challenging goals for the next you months. And do please remember not to overwhelm yourself by trying to take on too much. You have got that list. Remember to make a note of all the things that you think I'm just not going to get that done this year, but I don't want to lose it. Okay. So I'm going to keep going, assuming that you've done your goal setting and that you've pressed play again. So you should now have a clear set of measurable goals for each of the areas you decided to work on for the rest of the year after your review one for each month, up until the end of the year. Now we're going to start creating the important plan for each of your goals and getting the tasks onto your calendar.

Now, this it's the bit that I used to really struggle with. I would get super excited about setting goals, but then I wouldn't follow through by figuring out what actions I needed to take to achieve those goals, or I wouldn't put them on my calendar to make sure they got done. Why didn't I do it? Well, because I got all caught up in not knowing how to reach my goals. It got challenging. And so my brain said, Oh, forget it. Let's do that tomorrow and answer some emails instead. So I came up with a way to make it less challenging by figuring out not what I needed to do, but what questions I needed to answer our brains love to answer questions. So it immediately gets us thinking about finding the answers to those questions and that gets you into doing mode. It also helps us to break our goals down into small chunks that feel less overwhelming.

So let's go back and take that book goal example again that we used earlier. And the goal that by the end of September, I will have researched my book and cleared space in my diary to write the questions I might need to answer to achieve that goal could be what tasks on my to do list. Can I postpone or delegate to clear space for me to write what events in my calendar can I reschedule? Where do I feel most energized to write? And what time of day is best for me? What do I need to know to start writing my book? Where can I start looking for that information? And who do I know that I can call on to help me with that? Do you see how those questions actually get our brain to start working for us while other than against us? So the next step is to add those questions into your calendar as a task for each of the weeks in the month.

So to use our book analogy again in week one, I would decide what tasks on my to do list to postpone or delegate and what events in my calendar to we schedule. I decide where I feel most energized to write and what time of day is best for me. Then in week two, I would decide what I needed to know to start writing my book and where I can start looking for that information. Start reading, reaching out to people I know that might be able to help me, which would leave weeks three and four to do the research so that I'd be ready to start writing the book by my deadline. Okay. So let's get started with your goals. I'm going to suggest you follow this process, but each of your exciting goals, but just focusing on the first month. So bust out your journal again and write down the questions that you need to answer for each of your goals for that first month, the next step, add those weekly questions into whatever planner or calendar system you use with a specific date and time slot to work on the answers.

I know this seems super detailed, but it literally is how things get done. If you have a meeting with someone, you don't add it to your, to do this, do you add it to your calendar with a date and time? And that's how you know, when it's going to take place. Now, when you've completed that I seriously want to give you a Pat on the back because you'll have a set of questions or tasks for the first month that will help you complete your exciting goals and take you one step further to achieving your visions. Now you might ask why I don't recommend you go beyond the first month with the questions. And that's because I do a review each month of where I am, and I'm not necessarily gonna know whether I found the answer to the questions and if I, how far I've moved forward.

So while I have very clear goals of where I went to get to by the end of each month, between now and the end of the year, I won't work on the detail of the questions I need answering until a little bit near at the time, while we have covered a ton of stuff already in this episode, we've created a vision for the different areas of your life. Set, clear, measurable, monthly goals to help you achieve that vision between now and the end of the year and brainstorm the questions that you need answering to get going on those goals. So finally, I want to talk about a crucial part of achieving our goals, doing the work. So having a clear vision goals and an action plan is great, but without doing the work, we're just dreaming about the future, not creating it. So how are you going to make sure that you follow through on the tasks and the goals that you've set yourself?

Here's some tips for me, firstly, print off a copy of your goals and put them somewhere that you'll see them every day. If you don't have a printer, then just write them out with a marker on a sheet of paper, and then just put them on the wall where you're going to see them set aside some specific time in your calendar to complete your tasks, to answer the questions that you've got for each of your goals. It is so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of every day. If we don't schedule stuff in our calendar, it's not going to get done, create a deep focus zone by switching off your phone and shutting off social media and then find an accountability buddy or a networking group that you like to be part of or a coach, of course, that can help hold you accountable for your tasks.

If you're in the ideal life club, Facebook group, you can absolutely share your goals for the week in our weekly thread on Mondays. At the end of the week, I always do a review of where I am with my weekly tasks and questions and replant, if I need to for the following week. Now, when self doubt starts to creep in, remember what you have achieved in a part in the past, remember your capacity and capability to learn and pivot and to ask questions. These are all great strengths that will help you meet your goals. And don't forget. It's okay to put up your hand and say, I don't know the answer. Does anybody else know the answer? That is the beauty of networking groups. And if you listen to the last episode with Laura Ludlow episode 24, we went into all the detail about how networking groups have helped her in her business.

And they've certainly helped me to. Now, if you find you're constantly moving a task along from one week to the next, make sure that you do ask yourself why that is. Is it too big? Is it too challenging? If so, try to break it down into smaller chunks or ask yourself if it actually really needs doing right now. Is it something that's going to help you move towards your goals for the end of the year? Or is it something you need to park on your 2020 list? And finally, don't forget to celebrate when you get tasks done. I have a daily success party plan and I celebrate everything. Even the smallest steps forward. It really helps to build your motivation and your momentum.

Okay. That's it from me today. I hope you've enjoyed this episode and I hope it has been useful for you to look back and also to plan ahead, remember that you can hit pause at any point and go back and answer the questions in your journal, or you can download the freebie for this episode that I mentioned at the beginning of the show. My half year of you workbook includes all the steps I've walked you through in this episode, plus spaces for you to do your own reflection and set those all important financial goals and start making plans for the rest of the year to grab your copy. Just head over to my website, michellereevescoaching.com/halfyearreview. That's michellereevescoaching.com/halfyearreview. As always, thank you so much for tuning in. I know your time is valuable and I really appreciate you taking the time to join me.

I'll be back with another episode soon, but before I go, I would love for you to join us in The Ideal Life Club Facebook community, a space I've created for ambitious women who want to grow themselves as well as their business. Find out more and join us at michellereevescoaching.com/idealifeclub. And finally, if you liked this episode, it would really mean the world to me. If you could comment, subscribe, and leave a review on iTunes, it means that more amazing women will be able to find the show in the meantime until next time, be positive, be powerful, be productive, stay safe, and keep fast tracking your ideal life. Bye for now!


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