As we move into the second half of the year, this is the perfect time to reflect and question how the rest of the year will be. Ask yourself, has 2018 been a successful year so far? Why has it or why has it not been? Asking ‘why?’ is an important practice, as it prevents us from becoming stuck in a repetitive negative cycle—whether that be in work, relationships, habits, etc.
If this rings true to you, ask yourself why you are in this situation and consider what motivates you to act how you do. For example, why did you choose your job? Was it to earn money to provide for your family or enjoy a comfortable lifestyle? Or was it the motivators of enjoyment and passion? Often, initial reasons can lose their motivating power over time if the occupation is draining or unenjoyable. If an area of your life has reached this stage of having no motivation or enjoyment, ask yourself why you are continuing with it. Is it a financial necessity? Fear of change or uncertainty? Or not wanting to disappoint someone? If you are feeling the need for change in an area of your life, but you’re unsure whether to make that change, I often find it helpful to make a list of pros and cons—why should I make this change, or why should I not? Consider which path will help you to grow and bring enjoyment, and don’t forget that short-term hard work can often lead to long-term happiness and fulfilment.
If you decide to change an area in your life after asking yourself ‘why?’, a method I find useful to ensure I push through to make the change is goal setting. SMART goals can be used and each should be based on what will motivate you to make the changes. They should answer your ‘why?’ questions. SMART goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed, as goals that are vague and have no due date tend to be more difficult to achieve with our busy schedules. A large final goal, such as changing jobs or becoming healthier, should be cut into smaller tasks that each has a due date and measurable progress. If you want to become healthier for example, choose a specific aspect of a healthy diet that you want to address such as drinking less or eating more vegetables per week, and create a numerical goal to reach in that time limit. Remember to also address your motivators to help you achieve your goal, such as rewarding yourself with activities you enjoy.
Maybe this is the month to ask yourself why you are where you are and to look at what may need changing to make the rest of 2018 your most successful year yet.