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Think back to January, if you will - remember that list of goals you made for the year? Maybe you didn't write them down, but that short list of what you wanted to accomplish this year existed in the back of your mind. No matter where the progress on those goals stands, we need to remember them so that we can utilize the mid-year reflection.
Reflecting doesn’t have to be a formal thing, just like those New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be formal or grand. But the value in the reflection taking the time to reflect on how your year has gone so far shows up in three ways:
For the same reason performance reviews are necessary for organizations to keep process, procedures and people moving smoothly and improving, a mid-year reflection helps you as an individual look for and create forward momentum.
The actual act of reflecting has two important pieces to it, and the first is doing it on your own. Create the space in your life for some intentional alone time, so that you can ask yourself some thoughtful questions. By practicing solitude for this exercise, you get the extra bonus of the advantages that tech-free, people-free time gives your brain.
The second important piece of the mid-year reflection is inviting a few trusted people into the process. When you ask them some key questions to help you establish your benchmarks, not only do you get helpful and constructive answers, you also deepen those trusted relationships. Those people you invite in will feel valued and appreciated as a trusted voice in your life.
So since it’s June, and maybe you’re headed on vacation soon and can take some down time to engage in this mid-year reflection, here are a few questions to ask.
- What is going really well right now in my life?
- Which relationships are integral and life-giving?
- If I’m being really honest, what would I change about my day-to-day habits?
- Which area of my life have you been proudest to see move forward this year?
- What’s one habit you see in me that you believe I could live without?
The toughest part about the mid-year reflection, reflection at any point, really, is that it requires vulnerability. It demands a sense of openness and willingness to learn, change, grow, and admit to weaknesses. It’s a scary thing, but without that vulnerability, the reflection is only surface-deep and you won’t reap the benefits that will make your life better and move forward.