The Mid-Year Audit
It is almost the end of May. That means 1/2 of 2020 has already happened. Pretty unbelievable when you think about it. Time flies - whether you are having fun or not. And it being mid-year, what better time to take stock of how things have been going? How are you doing? What goals did you set in January and how strong is your continued commitment to them? What needs an adjustment? It is time to take a few deep breaths and spend some time looking hard at - you. The mid-year audit is here.
An audit, by definition, is an official examination of one's accounts. I stretch the definition of accounts from just finances to all of what you are accountable for - your work, your family, your feelings, your goals, and so much more. Your accounts include way more than your finances. So in thinking about a personal audit there are many areas that you can tackle.
1. Remember those resolutions? Such a dirty word for so many - resolution. I call them "great ideas". How are you doing with those great ideas you thought of in January? Did you succeed? Do you even remember what they were? Did you purposely not make any and now have decided that maybe you should have? Now is the time to re-assess and recalibrate. Why did you make the resolution in the first place? Something must have been pretty important for you to decide to work on it this year, so reconnect with that feeling. And ask yourself why you were able to succeed or falter when it came to checking it off your list. And if you didn't make any, does that fact that half of the year has passed ignite any sort of desire to set a new goal or two as we head toward the 2nd half of 2020? Give yourself, and your goals, a really good look. What is working? What isn't? What do I need to try again? We aren't going to be upset about not achieving our goals at this point because it is not helpful at all. We are going to make the decision to start again, armed with more information so we have a better chance at success in the coming months.
2. How are you feeling? Not just today, or yesterday, but in general. Assess your mood and how it has changed over the course of the year so far. Take time to align big changes in your world with how you have coped, or failed to cope. We are human so ups and downs related to how we feel is completely normal. But prolonged periods of ennui or deep melancholy are not a part of the normal human response to normal life and should be viewed with compassion first and foremost. Check your emotional state honestly. And don't be afraid to take action to address it. Action is everything from seeking the help of a professional to eliminating the things in your life that contributed greatly to your less desirable feelings. How you feel is always, year after year, going to be up to you. It is almost June so figure out how you have been doing so that come December, you have no regrets.
3. What action are you taking? Forget making lists. Planning. Thinking about starting a project. Action is one foot in front of the other. Action is the work. So mid-year, what action have you actually taken - to do, to change, to learn. to grow, to heal, to succeed? And if you find yourself not taking action, what are your reasons? There is a great line that Julie Andrews sings in the Rodgers and Hammerstein song Something Good: Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could. Yep. Sounds about right. When we do nothing. we gain nothing. I understand that sometimes we take action and still feel as if we have gotten nowhere, but that is not completely true. We might not have reached our ultimate goal, but we likely made progress. If we didn't make progress, we learned a whole lot about what doesn't work, opening the door for us to find another way to try it. We should be sure that fears of not succeeding are not stopping us from taking action. Half of this year is over - don't be afraid to evaluate your actions. And get back to work.
4. Where is your energy? Energy is more than how you feel mid-afternoon. The energy I'm talking about is your mental and emotional energy. It is where your focus is aimed. Energy is also what you exude when you walk in a room, run a meeting, deal with your family and friends, or how you communicate. Your energy is your "force". Of course there are the basics - good food, good sleep, ample exercise - to address your physical energy. Tackling your emotional energy will take a bit more work. What drains you? Better yet, who drains you? What situations allow your energy to grow? At this point in the year, assessing the energy you are bringing could help with understanding why you feel the way you do, and what needs to change.
5. What can you celebrate? A mid-year audit could never be complete without celebrating what has been accomplished. Whether you ran a marathon, successfully improved your credit, or stopped eating cookies on Saturday mornings, you have made progress. And let's say you attempted to run a marathon but only made it 7 miles. And your credit could still use work because you still owe $3,000 in back fees. And you really wanted to stop eating cookies Saturday morning but have found that just 1 cookie makes all the difference for your weekend. All of that is still progress and still worthy of celebration. Celebrate your efforts. Celebrate the simple truth that you have had another 6 months to live on this planet, as turbulent as those six months might have been. Celebrate the opportunity to finish this year exactly the way you want. Complete your audit and make the rest of 2020 a year you will want to remember.