2013: My Personal Mid-Year Checkpoint

Capture1We start the year with limitless possibility. Many of us take stock at the start of a year, setting goals and (hopefully) making plans of what we’re going to do during the year.

And suddenly… you wake up and realize that it’s mid-July.

Any time I’ve worked with people who reported to me, I always scheduled a formal mid-year meeting (in addition to our ongoing formal and informal coaching). The purpose of the mid-year meeting was pretty straightforward: to revisit the annual goals and plans, check on progress, and, in situations where circumstances may have changed and warrant it, reset as needed.

Some of you may read that and be nodding your head in agreement, as what I’m describing is pretty common in coaching, at least in concept if not in actual practice.

While it’s pretty common to coach people we work with, most people fail at applying these practices to themselves. We start the year with personal goals and plans, but they’re usually out-of-sight and out-of-mind by Valentine’s Day.

That’s what this post is for me: my personal, and public, mid-year checkpoint. I share it with the world for two primary reasons. First, putting my goals and plans out there for the world to read adds a huge layer Of personal accountability to the equation. Second, I always learn from the personal reflections shared by others, so I put this out there as a potential learning resource for others.

I started this year with a post that explored what I’m looking for MORE of in 2013. As I read through the post, I’m reminded how much life can change in a short six month timeframe.

When the year started, I was in a job I loved, doing meaningful work, and planning on doing more work both internally and externally that had meaning. Then an exciting and unexpected job opportunity was presented to me that I jumped at. It’s almost impossible to have something like that change without giving your personal goals and plans a bit of a reset.

So let’s start with an examination of some of the things I was looking for MORE of in 2013.

Read More and Write More

I can definitely say that I’m still not reading as much as I’d like. It’s just one of those things that I need to allocate more time for, which I think is less a challenge about reading and more a challenge in allowing myself time to slow down to let it happen. I’d still like to write more regularly, and while my blogging volume could use more consistency, I do have a few non-blog writing projects brewing, which is something I’ve been looking for.

Do More and Help More

These two are directly impacted by my recent job change. I’m no longer a full-time designer or training manager. However, that does not reduce my desire to ‘Do’ more. What it does require is me finding other outlets for it. I’ve been fortunate enough to find consulting and freelance outlets that enable me to continue working towards the Do More goal of putting more work out there for others to see.

One of the things that is most exciting about my new role is it’s impact on my goal of Helping More. Being in a role that directly supports the professional development of thousands of people in our field redefines ‘Helping’, and provides a scope unlike anything I could have imagined earlier this year.

New Goals?

As I mentioned earlier, it’s impossible (or at the least, highly unlikely) for a major career change to not impact your personal goals and plans. In my case, I need to add a goal that wasn’t applicable at the start of the year, and set plans for how I can achieve it.

While I’ve always been an active participant in our industry community, my new role requires my participation to greater degree, and in different ways. It’s important that I find ways to engage our community, and to do anything I can to enable conversations and discussion.

Those that know me, especially via social media, may say i do this well now, and I’d agree – to a point. It’s been interesting to see how the lens you view life through can change how you see things. There’s a big difference between personal community engagement and organizational engagement, and it’s been a great learning experience exploring that. I’ve been experimenting with different ways of engaging our community, and am looking forward to executing more of the ideas we’ve been strategizing.

What’s Next?

So my mid-year scorecard is a mix of successes and opportunities. In some cases, this was a useful reminder of what’s important to me. In others, I needed to reframe some of my 2013 goals, or to create entirely new goals based on circumstances and needs that simply didn’t’ exist at the start if the year.

And really, that’s the whole point of the mid-year checkpoint.

What about you? What does your mid-year checkpoint look like? If you’re anything like me, the results may surprise you.

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