Halfway through 2019: look forward by looking back


I can’t believe we have reached the mid-point of the year. It feels like 2019 just started and like 2020 is right around the corner. I’m wondering how it got to be Bastille Day and why summer is halfway done (a summer I am savoring after a long Minnesota winter).

The arrival of July also raises questions for me:

  • How was the first half of the year
  • What did I learn over the past six months
  • Am I focusing on the right things and what changes should I make

Reflection in July is hard

I’m not as mentally prepared in July to answer these questions and go through the process of reflection as I was in January. The close of one year and start of the next creates a moment to pause before ramping up the ‘New Year New Me’ spirit.

Mid-year, it’s harder to stop and see the opportunity for change and reset. I know I get lost in the forward momentum and have to physically carve out time and mental space to think about the big picture.

Use a simple tool to help with the process

I propose a different approach to this reflection and goals process. One that helps you look forward by looking back. I tried this with my team recently and am excited to revisit the intentions we set in a few months.

Get ready to do some mad libs and project your thinking into the future. You are now looking back from the end of 2019.

Today is December 31st, and it’s been a great year! This year was amazing because:

I accomplished ______________________ and ____________________

I grew as a human by ________________________

I’m so proud that I tackled (a big problem) ________________________

I learned a lot, including _______________________ and ______________________

I am incredibly grateful for ______________________

And next year I have my sights set on (something bigger!) __________________

Tackle the rest of the year with renewed focus

After you go through the exercise and feel really inspired about this amazing 2019 – think through what needs to be true to make those intentions a reality.

You still have nearly six months left in the year and that is plenty of time to tackle some incredible goals!