Remember that goal you set on January 1? Hopefully you do and are crushing it. But if you need to check in with your goals and recommit to them, July is the perfect time to do it. Halfway through the year and a holiday weekend, take some time to sit down with your goals this Fourth.
Does anyone remember that TV show Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide from Teen Nick? Just me? Whether you do or not, that show had an episode about making “new grade resolutions.” That concept stuck with me long after I stopped watching Teen Nick (assuming I stopped, because let’s be real I’ve definitely watched a couple episodes of “Drake & Josh” on Hulu in the past year).
The idea of a “new grade resolution” or making resolutions at a time other than the start of a new calendar year is rooted in the idea that it’s easier to change our habits when we’re changing other parts of our lives, especially our routine. Habits are literally wired into our brains as part of our day to day activities and when we try to make a major change (for example, stop drinking coffee), it’s a lot harder when our brains are expecting a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Instead, it may be easier to change your habits during other times of transition to your routine.
In school, I took this concept to heart and started making new grade resolutions, using the Fourth of July as a time to plan ahead for the start of the academic year come August. With my school days behind me, summer doesn’t mark as big of a transition as it once did, and the Fourth of July has become a little bit more arbitrary. Even if you don’t have any major life changes come summer, the late sunsets, warm weather, and holiday weekends make this time of year feel very different than January; therefore, you may be able to slip in some changes that are harder in the cold winter months.
Personally, I still like to use that mid-year point to check in with my goals and see if I’m using my year to accomplish the things I planned in January. Here’s how I’m checking in with my resolutions.
Review your progress
First, review what your resolutions were and think about whether you’re actively working towards them. You don’t have to have completely achieved them yet, but you should be taking steps towards them.
For example, was your resolution to run a marathon this year? If it was – have you signed up for one, are you training for one, or are you at least running more now than you were in January? If you’re taking steps towards your resolutions, keep doing what you’re doing and you should crush those goals by December!
Check in with your “why”—does it still resonate?
If you feel like you’re not making moves towards your resolutions, ask yourself why you made them in the first place. An important part of any strong New Year’s Resolution is having a strong “why” for making it.
If you still feel like that why is just as strong, recommit to your resolution. What’s not working in your routine or your lifestyle that’s blocking you from progress? Would having an accountability partner help you make tangible changes, or does a good old-fashioned star sticker chart help motivate you? Would scaling down your goal make it more achievable? Ask yourself these questions to reconfigure your resolution in a way that feels more manageable to you.
On the other hand, if you’re not working towards that resolution, maybe you’ve lost your why and the desire that goes along with it. That could be a sign it’s time to rethink your resolution.
Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t made as many moves towards your goals as you hoped you would have by now. The reason for doing this exercise is so that you can make sure those important goals don’t get abandoned until next January. Take this opportunity to create a new plan that ensures you start working towards those resolutions now.