There’s a certain phenomenon that happens at the top year where everyone we know, including ourselves, sets resolutions, goals, intentions, and expectations of what we want to accomplish. We get really excited about them (as we should, because self improvement is a wonderful thing) for a couple of weeks and then, a month or two later, our enthusiasm has waned and our plans become a distant memory. Don’t worry, this is a no judgment zone and we’ve all been there.
We all fall off the bandwagon, lose momentum, and even put our goals on the back burner as daily life gets in the way, but getting off track doesn’t have to be the end of the road for your dreams.
September is one of the best times to personally check-in with yourself. It’s just a few months before the end of year which is enough time to accomplish things that may have fallen by the wayside, get clarity on what has been working–and what hasn’t, and figure out what you can do to change. Take charge of the last quarter of the year by checking in with yourself and assessing your goals so you can end the year strong.
Before you jump in and start making changes, it’s essential to spend some time to reflect. Reflection is something we often skip or breeze through under the assumption we have a pretty good idea of our progress but deep, slow, and serious reflection can help you identify things you may not have been aware of. Whether that’s areas you’ve succeeded in or behaviors and habits that have hindered you along the way. There are many ways to reflect with visuals being one of the best. Journaling can help bring subconscious thoughts to the surface, listing out your accomplishments can help you get an idea of how far you have come, or even doing a practice like vision boarding–or referencing one you may have created at the top of the year–to see how many things you have been able to manifest. Remember, reflection is simply a time to look back, observe, and make note. Allow yourself the space to do that without restriction and make it a point to celebrate all the things you have accomplished thus far, no matter how small.
Now that you have a clear picture of where you stand it’s time to review and compare. While this seems similar to reflection, where things differs is now you’re taking a look at what you’ve been able to get done in relation to those things that you planned at the beginning of the year. This is where you get to be a bit analytical. Is there a goal that continues to make it on your list year after year without achieving it? Dig a little deeper to find where the wall is when it comes to that goal. Or maybe there are things you’ve listed that made sense for your life and self at the beginning of the year, but now simply no longer fit in your current lifestyle. Now is the time to let those go. You may even find that something you accomplished may not have been on your personal goal list, but was beyond or better than something you planned. Reviewing is a great way to take a more calculated approach to your personal goals so you can make changes where needed. Be sure to review not only your goals but your processes as well as oftentimes it’s the day to day details that can make a world of difference in our progress.
In business they call it pivoting, in spirituality many refer to it as realignment, for your personal life and goals we’ll call it adjusting. This is the time after you’ve reflected and reviewed, where you know the things you need to do, you’ve made some progress, and you want to figure out how to get back on track? This is where you adjust your personal habits or behaviors to help you reach those goals that are within your reach. Let’s say you set a fitness goal, but you’re having trouble sticking to your plan. A goal adjustment could be instead of committing to a daily gym schedule that you just can’t seem to stick to, cut back to twice a week in the gym and twice a week at home. While adjusting, understand that you can adjust both your goals as well as the behaviors and habits you have put into place to achieve them.
That last part of the process of checking in with yourself is planning ahead. We know that it feels good to set all these big goals and plans at the beginning of the year, but remember, everyday is a great day to start anew. While you’re getting back on track with your goals and finishing out the year strong, don’t be afraid to look at the bigger picture and put some plans in place for the future. There may be something on your list that you likely won’t accomplish this year but it may be possible to break that goal down into mini milestones. Or maybe there’s a few goals that need to be planned out in more detail in order to really make true progress. Sometimes, we don’t realize how huge something is until we’re in the midst of it. Take this time to add details and plans to the things you want to accomplish most.