“Wow, it’s already the middle of the year! I cannot wait to do the exact same things that I’ve been doing in the last six months, all over again!”
— No one, ever.
Six months down. Two quarters filled with work, study, life. Roughly twenty-five weeks of existence, making up half of 2016.
It’s standard practice to take a moment and let the last half of the year sink in. Thoughts of “What have I actually done this last half-year, anyway?” is probably crowding your mind right now, along with a laundry list of everything you didn’t accomplish, but wanted to. Flashback to your New Year’s Resolution, which is now staring you dead in the eye, making you feel that you have not only disappointed yourself but also your parents, your boss, all your successful relatives, your nation, and even God.
When you’re a checklist kind of person, like me, it’s very easy to get disappointed with all the things you weren’t able to do.But that’s because life is such a rat race. Be more, want more, have more. We’re conditioned to look around us and crave the sweet, non-nutritional bits of life that make us lose our appetite for the things that really matter. Don’t get me wrong; #lifegoals are important. And if there are parts of your initial goals that you didn’t hit, you’ve probably adjusted your gameplan by now so that you can make up for them by December. Because that’s what a good, hard-working millennial does, right? We’ve got the business of life down to a cinch.
And that’s great, KPI’s are important. But here’s an alternative, list of questions to consider when you’re re-evaluating your “life performance” this 2016 thus far:
- Did you understand what you needed, versus what you wanted? — Take a moment to reflect and reenergize yourself to push for what you really need. But spoiler alert: sometimes, what we really need, and what we currently want and working towards, are two very different things. You thought you wanted that promotion? You actually needed validation. You thought you wanted a sign or go signal for that decision? What you really needed was to confront your fear of taking risks. Whatever it is, taking the time to pause and really understand what you need and why you need it is important. Then you can focus on what really matters.
- Did you say “thank you”? Even to yourself? — We can be pretty self-deprecating creatures, always on the lookout for every one of our flaws, always accepting guilt and blame when we count the hits we’ve taken these last six months. But what about our little victories? What about life’s little victories? As much as you want to be able to say “sorry” when you’re wrong, you should also be able to say “thank you” when things go right. Thank yourself, and thank everyone else who made it possible. Encouragement is free, so why not give yourself a dose every once in a while?
- Did you stop doing things that didn’t work? — You know the saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” It’s true. You know when that habit, relationship, situation, or thought pattern is toxic. You just know. Be brave, be smart, and take that step to stop. It’s okay to quit, if you’re quitting things that are killing you mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc. It’s okay—repeat after me: A-OKAY—to let go of a goal when you realize it simply isn’t “working” anymore. Just remember not to make an overly emotional or overly cold and calculating decision; weigh the pros and cons, and trust your gut on this. Your bravery will follow.
Hopefully, these three questions will help you in achieving your goals, in understanding exactly why you’re pursuing what you are pursuing. Because life is short, and this moment, this exact one you’re in right now? This is the only one of its kind.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” — Psalm 90:12