I have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions. Many people make them. Few stick with them. Fewer achieve them.
More than a holiday or celebration of the year past, New Year’s, to me, always feels like a fresh start; a clean slate; a chance to begin again. Who doesn’t like that? We all have parts of our lives we want to change or improve, and resolutions represent an honest intention to do so. So, then, what’s with the low success – and even lower follow-through rate?
The average American abandons their resolution(s) before the end of January. With a full year ahead, once motivation dips, it’s easy to take your foot off the gas. But now, mid-year, we’re on a downhill run toward the finish. Are you on track with the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? Do you even remember what those were? And if you do, do you still care?
How to redefine your goals for the second half of the year
We’re closer now to the end of the year than the beginning, making this the perfect time to review those resolutions, redefine or realign them for the second half of the year, and restart. There’s still months to make significant progress by year’s end, and better, now, you can use the 6-month deadline as motivation. With a limited timeframe, you just need to get S.M.A.R.T.
This approach, making your goals specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time sensitive, is useful for helping to make progress within a time window, according to Janet Tyler, founder of an executive coaching firm. “Staying with a goal for 12 months or longer requires a ton of discipline and effort–and much of the effort happens in the second half of the year. The effort has to nearly double to reach that goal in six months total.”
So be deliberate about what it is you’d like to achieve by 12/31, then scale backwards to get an idea of what you can do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Perform check-ins on yourself as often as you need to stay on track. And if it helps, seek support. Write your goals down, then post them somewhere you can see. Do you have like-minded friends you can share with? Can you hire a coach? Would you enjoy listening to an inspirational podcast or following specific social media accounts? Accountability, in any form, is everything.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” observed author Annie Dillard. Reflect on 2022 and remember the 4 R’s: review, realign, redefine, and restart. The second half of the year presents its own fresh start. Another opportunity to view our days through a new lens. A chance to return to our intentions and core values. A way to ensure you’re spending your time and energy in a way that’s meaningful and aligned with what you really want.
A fresh start is not a place, it’s a mindset – and that mindset shift can occur at any time of year, regardless of what the calendar says. How will you create your own fresh start this month?