I spent 7 years working in the biotech industry and was always annoyed by the mid-year and year-end review process from HR. “I don’t have time to evaluate my performance, I’m up to my eyeballs in emails and real work!” I would grumble as I completed the assessment. Now I realize the tremendous value of taking a step back to look at what I’ve achieved and where I may be falling short, both in my professional and my personal life.
Mid-summer is a great time to check in with yourself on your goals for the year. With half the year left, even if you’ve barely made a dent in what you’ve set out to accomplish you still have plenty of time to make things happen. If you find you’re having trouble staying motivated, check out my tips below.
Get Clear on Your Why
In order to stay committed to self-improvement goals it’s crucial to constantly remember your “why”. To do this ask yourself why you want to make these changes, what your life will be like once you accomplish them, and how you will feel. Focusing on why you are making a change will help you stay the course and push through when things get difficult. To make sure these reasons stay in the front of your mind, take ten minutes each morning to write out your most powerful motivations for making the change. This will set the tone for the day and set you up for success.
Lasting self-improvement begins with small behavior changes. Deciding to completely overhaul your routine all at once is admirable but can quickly become overwhelming and lead to burn out. Breaking down a larger goal into small steps is the best approach for long term success. For example, if you’re goal is to lose weight, instead of just focusing on the goal of losing 20 pounds, concentrate on the specific actions required to get there. Start by committing to working out for 30 minutes every day (a great place to begin because regular exercise is the single best predictor of long term weight management!). Research shows that developing a habit can actually take up to 90 days for some people so stick with one behavior change and really see it through. Once exercise becomes a part of your new routine, you can incorporate another practice that will get you closer to your goal.
Celebrate Little Wins
Don’t wait to give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished. Did you walk 500 extra steps, eat more greens, or get an additional 30 mins of sleep? Well then you’re killing it and deserve to feel good about yourself! We are typically our own worst critics, so there’s an exercise I like to practice that I call “what would she say?” ("she" being someone in your life that cares about you and supports you). What would your best friend, mom, cousin, sister, therapist, etc say about your accomplishments? Chances are she would say you’re awesome and kicking butt and she’s crazy proud. If you find your inner voice being super critical replace it with someone else’s. Being kind to yourself takes practice and sometimes we need a little help.