Like the ancient art of sailing, living in alignment with your vision requires regular course reviews. Our days are full of various events, routines, challenges and changes, and sometimes they can excite us and lead us to deviate from the course we once set. However, these deviations are easily corrected if we take the time to reflect and review.
Check in with your life spheres
I feel reconnecting with my life spheres is the most impactful action when doing my mid-year reviews. It does not only help me to plan my life holistically. It enables me to see what focus areas, projects, goals or tasks are not in line with my current life course anymore. If you have never done this before, you might find the Wheel of Life exercise in my Document Library quite useful.
Check in with your goals
Checking in with your goals has two immediate benefits. First, you can see your progress and celebrate it. Second – you gain more clarity about your actual goals and might even strike some of them off the list or add new ones instead.
Revise your methods until it works for you
Especially in the beginning, the variety of goal-tracking methods might seem overwhelming. Do I write it down? Do I track the progress daily? Or weekly? Which goal planning method to use? Do I use a paper notebook or an app? Which app?
Without personal experience, we might be paralysed by the variety of online tips and tricks. With time you’ll learn what works for you and settle in favour of one method or another (or distil your own). It is important to remember that the tools you use should empower you and work for you – and not the other way around.
Celebrating progress might seem like an obvious thing to do; however, appreciating our small wins boosts our confidence and motivates us.
What could you have done differently?
Reflection is a powerful learning tool. In the haste of the moment, we choose the suitable decision and move on to the next challenge. Looking back at the decisions we’ve made and the consequences these decisions brought about helps us become more self-aware, look at the motives of our behaviours, recognise areas of improvement and build up consciousness.
It is essential to remember that the purpose of reflection is not to regret the choices you could have made and did not or beat yourself up. The purpose of reflection is to learn about your decision-making habits, learn the skill of identifying more than one solution, and learn about the motives and the drivers of your behaviour.
Update your goals
Remember, your goals are there to serve you and not the other way around. During life, we grow and change and so do our goals. It is reasonable to adjust them instead of wasting time and energy trying to reach a goal that holds no meaning.
Reviewing your goals and reflecting on your behaviours helps you see whether you are using your agency – the ability to act to produce the desired outcome.
I believe there are only two modi operandi we can choose for our lives – we can actively design our lives or live the lives that happen to us. We can be either players or victims.
Players consciously choose to use their agency to design their lives. Victims give up their agency to others, who decide how to design their lives.
By approaching the goal-setting with the conscious agency, we can step away from blaming the external obstacles and see what we can learn from this experience. It equips us to face our following challenges and teaches us to be flexible, responsible, holistic and growth-oriented.
Through practising our agency, we become the actual designers of our lives.