Mid-Year Check-In: Are Your Goals for 2024 in Sight?

As 2023 drew to a close, I reminded you that “the end of the year is a prime time for reflecting on how we can grow, improve, and succeed even more in the next year” and encouraged you to “resolve to make 2024 the year you aim a little higher“ (“Soar to New Heights in the New Year”). So, I think it’s time for a mid-year check-in: are your goals for 2024 in sight?

 

Mid-Year Check-In: Are Your Goals for 2024 in Sight?Hopefully, you accepted that challenge and started this year by mapping out some goals for 2024. (And if you didn’t do this in January, no problem: you can do that right now. After all, it’s never too late to jump-start your journey to achieve your personal and professional goals!) Because the halfway point is a measure of time that really resonates with the human psyche (and also, July 1 is the start of the new fiscal year in many organizations), early July is a great time to pause, reflect, and recalibrate. 

 

If you find that everything’s lining up nicely for you to achieve all of your goals by year’s end, congratulations! That is an amazing accomplishment, and you should be really proud of yourself.

 

But if you find that you’re not quite on track to hit your targets, don’t stress out about it. Everyone ends up in this boat at some time or another (I’ve been there on a number of occasions throughout my career), and that’s because things don’t always go to plan. Sometimes we make missteps, sometimes there are factors beyond our control, and sometimes it’s just that, well, life happens.

 

Whatever the cause, you can get yourself moving forward by following these steps:

 

  1. Show yourself some grace.

 

Give yourself permission to make a fresh start. You are already well aware that you aren’t where you want to be right now, so quit clobbering yourself over that. Take a deep breath and resolve to start anew—and then get a move on!

 

  1. Review the list of goals you put together at the beginning of the year.

 

Is everything on there still relevant? Are those goals still (reasonably) achievable? 

 

Mid-Year Check-In: Are Your Goals for 2024 in Sight?Remember, a great deal can happen in not a lot of time. In the six months or so since you put together your list, maybe the scope of your job has changed, maybe you’ve hit some targets and are now pursuing new ones, or maybe you’ve changed jobs (or companies or industries). Any of these factors (or others) could have tremendous impacts on your goals. Be aware of any possible influences on your plan.

 

  1. Make adjustments as needed.

 

Grit, or “stick-to-it-ness,” is often lauded as a key trait for success, and though it’s true that tenacity in the face of adversity is desirable, it’s also important to know when it’s time to shift gears. Changing your path isn’t necessarily a sign of failure or weakness: it’s okay to modify a plan when contexts and players change so much that the plan is no longer viable. Sheer stubbornness will leave you banging on a locked door, whereas flexibility enables you to find a different entrance to the place where you want to go. 

 

  1. Ask for help

 

Mid-Year Check-In: Are Your Goals for 2024 in Sight?Your goals should all connect to your own development and career advancement, but that doesn’t mean you need to work on them in isolation. Think about the people who have a vested interest in your success: your teammates (whose own work can benefit from your efforts), your managers (who, if they are good leaders, want to help you achieve your best potential), and other colleagues and friends who care about you and want to see you succeed and grow.

 

Help can take many forms. Maybe a mentorship is what you need to get inspiration and motivation to push yourself. Perhaps leaning into the teamwork aspect of being on a team—”let’s help each other!”—is the way to go, as you and a colleague lend each other support and hold each other accountable. Or maybe the simple act of just telling someone your plan will compel you to make progress. (Knowing that someone is going to ask you “How are things going toward X?” might be the kick in the pants you need to be sure you have a good answer to that question.)

 

  1. Celebrate every win, no matter how small it seems. 

 

Don’t think you need to wait for a big hit before you pat yourself on the back. Even the most incremental achievements are steps toward your goal. At the very least, acknowledge to yourself “hey, I did that!” and take a moment to bask in the moment. (And if you score a big success, treat yourself to a big reward!)

 

You Can Do It!

 

If this mid-year check-in leaves you feeling discouraged, chin up! Just because you aren’t quite where you had hoped to be by this time of year doesn’t mean you’ve made no progress in the past six months. People who are successful in their careers find learning opportunities everywhere—in their mistakes, in their triumphs, in everything they do. Learning from where you’ve been will help you acquire the skills, knowledge, and experience you need to find your way forward.

 

What strategies have you found most useful for recalibrating or getting back on track after a mid-year check-in? Please share them in the comments below!

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