It is mid year and time to check our progress in the key areas of our life. Most of us probably committed to some lifestyle changes or new habits back in January. But, if statistics hold true, 25% of us abandoned our resolutions long ago.
Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself in the 25% group; you're not alone. To borrow a line from the great philosopher Ron Burgundy, “100% of the time it happens 25% of the time.” This is a great time to make a course correction and find your way back to the goals you set. For the 75% that are still hanging in there with your vision, good for you! Now is a perfect time to check on progress and make any mid-year adjustments to continue improvement and maintain resolve.
Gallup’s research reveals five areas of well-being; Career, Physical, Financial, Social, and Community. Most of us are strong in certain areas and weaker in others. For example, you might be a visionary with a soaring career who has trouble committing to healthy eating and exercise habits. Or, on the flip side, you might be a gym rat and social butterfly who can't balance your checkbook.
I have found myself leaning into one area more than others and at times completely ignoring the other areas. Once I discovered the delicate balance between each of the elements, and how they are interconnected, I began to focus on all five as a whole. But trust me, it's not easy to arrive at that place. It takes an intentional, strategized approach in order to achieve the kind of balance it requires to be healthy in the five main areas of well-being.
The importance of clarity
The importance of clarity has three basic tenets. To create clarity you must first define exactly what it is you want to achieve and measure it. Clarity is not: "I want to be a powerful businessman" or "I want to be wealthy." Clarity is: "I want to achieve a promotion to a management position at my company within the next 12 months" or "I want to diverse my investments and put my money to better use in the next 90 days by..." Those goals are clearly identified and measured. Finally, to improve your clarity, you must clearly track your progress.
The importance of purpose
Purpose is simply knowing why you're chasing what you're chasing, or why you want what you want. The success of your personal endeavors will rise and fall on the compelling why behind the what. When we avoid this question, we leave the door open for excuses. We become susceptible to our circumstances when the why is unclear. Why do you put the time in to the things you focus on? Why do you want that promotion? Why do you think you need to take a vacation? Maybe you spend time exercising because you're worried about heart disease that runs in your family. Maybe you want the promotion because you want to help your kids get through college. Maybe you think a vacation is necessary because you've been working too much and your marriage is suffering. The purpose, YOUR purpose, is what drives you to reach when it becomes difficult. Without a clearly defined purpose, it's too easy to give up.
The importance of small bites
Small bites is about keeping it simple. To often we bite off more than we can chew at one time. Small bites is the notion of taking the challenge, no matter how sizable, and breaking it down to a bite-sized portion. It is important to create small bites when facing large challenges. For example, if my end goal was to become the Vice President of my company, but I was currently an entry-level receptionist, a small bite would be to focus on what I needed to do to achieve the next level promotion rather than weigh myself down with the stress of focusing only on that major goal. That narrower focus will help create applicable and practical action steps.
The importance of personal choice
Personal choice is the most important aspect of achievement. You have the option to move or stay, work or play, laugh or cry. You can be the victim or the victor in your circumstances. You can let things happen and bulldoze you, or you can use events and hardships as springboards for growth. You have the choice to hold yourself accountable to the goals you set and the plans you made. Ultimately, it's on you. No one can do it for you.
The choice is yours.
Each of these areas of importance builds upon each other to bring you to a positive result...to help you hit your target. If you’ve ever shot a bow, you know the number one rule is to keep your eye on the bull’s-eye. You have to identify your target and then never get distracted from focusing on that goal as you aim. So, identify what’s in the center of your target. What’s your bull’s-eye? Then lock onto that goal with laser-focused clarity, know your purpose, take small bites, and hold yourself accountable.