When it comes to making decisions you might find yourself paralysed, stagnant and making no progress in life because you’re scared of making the wrong choice.
Weeks, months or even years can go by and when you look back on your life you’ll find that very little has changed. It could be about work, friends, family, romantic relationships, your home, how you spend your time, that thing you didn’t start or your appearance.
Perhaps you’re worried that leaving a job and trying something new will be something you’ll regret and so you stay in your current job even though you’re unhappy. You’re worried that leaving might be the wrong choice.
Maybe what you do next won’t work out so you’ll have to go back to a similar role that you used to work in, maybe your new career path pays less or maybe something else unideal will happen.
However, I think that if you yearn for change then maybe making the ‘wrong choice’ is the best choice. Mistakes and failures are opportunities for learning and growth. But taking the chance to try something new may also lead to greater happiness and fulfillment which I think is enough to make the risk worth while.
Have a look at the goals you set for the year. Go through them one by one and check in to see how things are going. Below are a few ideas to assist with a mid-year goals check-in:
What have you made progress with?
Go through your goals and think about how far you’ve gotten with the plans you made. Perhaps you wanted to try a new recipe each month which you’ve stuck to. Maybe you’ve surpassed that goal and been trying two new recipes a month. When it comes to goals, sometimes you end up overachieving without even realising because it’ something you enjoy or it’s become ingrained in your lifestyle that it now requires less effort.
What no longer resonates?
Maybe in December/January when you were setting your goals you came up with things that simply so longer resonate’. It could be a particular number of countries you wanted to travel to but now you’re focusing on other things. As much as it’s great to achieve you goals, I also think it’s important to know when let them go. If not, you end up holding on too a bunch of things that take time and energy away from what things that still matter to you.
What do you need to start focusing on?
Sometimes there are things that you planned to but have not yet made time for. However, taking the time to reflect means you can make a plan of action on how to begin. Maybe the goal was to read 12 books for the year but half way through 2021 you’ve only managed to read two. You might now decide that in order to reach the goal or at least make better progress you will read a minimum of X pages per day or join a book club.
Doing this reflection allows you to refresh your mind and refocus your energy in order to prioritise what you’re still interested in working towards. You’ll more than likely find that you’ve done more than you thought. However for the things you’re yet to begin, just because you have not yet started doesn’t mean you don’t have enough time. it’s better to start and make a little progress than to do nothing at all
There is always so much emphasis on the work, on dedicating your time, effort and energy. There are quotes like the grind don’t stop or I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with working hard, being dedicated and focusing on making money or building something (as in a non-physical thing like community).
But what about fun?
When was the last time you consciously set time aside to do something for fun, to make yourself laugh and bring a little joy into your life. The work, your work is great and it matters but it doesn’t have to be your whole life.
And the fun can be short and free, in fact it’s better that way. It could be watching Key and Peele skits on YouTube, having a solo dance party or maybe baking cupcakes.
As much as the work matters, there is also so much more to life that you might end up missing out on when you don’t make time for fun.
I’ve always held writing to a high esteem, to such a high esteem that I always considered it to be out of my reach.
It’s undeniable that in the 9+ years I’ve been sharing my writing online, I’ve improved quite a lot. Yet, I always told myself that I could never be a proper writer.
But over the past year or after reading articles online, I’ve thought to myself, I could write something like that or even that’s similar to something I’ve already written. Suddenly writing no longer feels so out of reach.
And it’s not that I now plan to quite my job and become a writer, I think it’s more than fair to say I already am one.
The trick to getting ahead is to increase your work rate and never go below your usual work rate.
If you want to get ahead long-term then you have to make time to regularly increase your work rate, this gives you the ability to know that you’re always ahead even when you back to your usual work rate.
However, if you want to get ahead as a temporary thing, you can increase your work rate for a period of time and then you can take time time off from working. But before long that time will run out and you have to get back to work again otherwise you fall behind.
The way I work follows the second option, getting ahead temporarily. Every month or so I’ll have a period of time where my work rate increases. This gives me the chance to take time off completely or space to work without focusing on the end result.
There are many things in life that are hard to imagine however, it’s worth remembering that this has no impact on the possibility of these things becoming a reality.
This time two years ago you had no idea of what 2020 would bring and almost a year since the first lockdown we’re still in the midst of it.
Of course the pandemic isn’t a particularly pleasant or positive thing that we want to think about when it comes to the things we imagine coming to life but you can apply the concept to other things.
Right now it might feel like a goal, dream or plan that you have is totally impossible. However, if you decide to be brave and choose to pursue it, six months, a year or maybe even two years from now you could completely bring that to life. All of a sudden months have gone by and you’ll find yourself living a life doing something you love but were once afraid to pursue incase it didn’t work out.
As much as it’s a cliche, you really never know unless you actually try because as much as something might seem impossible it doesn’t really determine it’s possibility.
Most things that we want to do in life are often things that have already been done (even if it was in a slightly different way) and that should be enough proof or evidence that you need.
If it’s been done, it can be done again and what’s to say that it can’t be you that does it .
If you find yourself regularly having conversations that don’t go as planned, in the sense that the outcome you intended wasn’t achieved (or you just end up getting frustrated) it’s worth taking the time to figure out where things went wrong.
Sometimes, it is a simple case of two people with different perspectives not being willing to listen to each other.
Other times it could be that before you get into the meat of the conversation you need to establish what the purpose is, to avoid going off track.
So often it’s easy to blame the other person, to say that the issue is that they weren’t listening. But, maybe there are things that you can do differently even if it is simply walking away from the conversation earlier and choosing to not engage with the person.
You don’t want to find yourself in a cycle of getting swept up in a conversation you don’t actually want to be in.
And, maybe you simply picked the wrong person to have a conversation with.
If that’s the case, use your past experience as a learning point to realise that you need to have this conversation with someone else next time.
Sometimes we make plans that involve others without speaking to them first.
You get so excited and carried away that it doesn’t even occur to you to let the other person know.
Instead you just assume that of course they will share your excitement.
And it’s not that your plans are bad but when you don’t ask the other person but expect them to be involved you might end up disappointed.
It’s more important than you might have considered.
When it comes to your opinions, beliefs and life plans, you have to be willing to change your mind.
You never want to be so set in your ways that you close yourself off to other options.
Sometimes when you’re so committed to what you know, it feels too difficult (or requires more effort than you’re willing to give) to change your mind. And so you hide away from information that could change your perception.
Or maybe you hide away from learning about what you could do to change your life path. You do this because once you know it’s possible for things to be better you’ll end up miserable if you never do anything about it. Yet you end up staying stagnant because you’re not willing to change your mind about the path you want to be on.
Change comes with risk and sometimes we choose security or familiarity over happiness.
If you set any sort of goals, plans or intentions for 2021, now is the perfect time to check in.
You’ve had a month to live the year so far and maybe what you thought you wanted to do or ahcve has now chnaged.
The ‘magic’ of the new year has now faded, perhaps your thoughts on what you want have become much clearer.
Read through what you wrote last month and see if it still fits with the your overall vision for 2021.
Perhaps you’ll find that you were putting too much pressure on yourself to make up for 2020, maybe you haven’t been ambitious enough or it could just be that you made plans that you’re no longer interested in pursuing.