Course-Correction and Your Half-Year Resolutions

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smarter self-talkWe are more than halfway through the year.

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Are you closer to achieving your goals?

It is common for people to feel bad about this, but I encourage you to not be too hard on yourself if you haven’t done everything you’ve set out to do.

You’re not a failure! There is still an opportunity to change your course!

Course correct

You’ve probably heard the phrase:

A pilot is off-course 90% of the time.

I’m not sure that’s entirely true, but it helps to illustrate that we can still get there if we allow ourselves to course-correct back on track.

Once you start to course correct you begin to realise the importance of something most of us overlook…

Measure progress

My own New Year’s resolutions centred around Chris Brogan’s concept of three words.

I chose:

  • Start
  • Observe
  • Adapt

Oops, there is a slight problem! Starting, observing and adapting to what exactly?

In retrospect, the idea was to become a more mindful and courageous person, who dares to experiment and have fun trying new things. Good goals, just hard to track.

Okay, that’s the bad news, but the good news is that I can fix this and I HAVE made progress. In fact, I started my new job at Spoon Publishing, and started and completed my master’s thesis (although it drove me slightly crazy).

Overall, I think my three words are useful, but I’ve put too much emphasis on getting started on new projects, not so much on observing and adapting to see what I’ve learned from them. Through my new mindfulness and writing practice, I hope to change that.

With this in mind, I am switching tracks and am going to set the intention to:

  • Meditate every morning (and evening as a stretch goal)
  • Write in my journal once a week (twice a week as a stretch goal)
  • Blog at least once a week here (bi-weekly as a stretch goal)
  • Guest post once per month (bi-monthly as a stretch goal)
  • Jog twice per week (three times as a strech goal)

What are your goals and what measurable tasks do you need to implement to achieve them? 

Focus your efforts and track your progress. You will get where you work towards.

Bonus tip: Set the deadline for all your goals to December 15. After that date, there is usually too much going on and we want to spend our time and energy on other things.

Accelerate

Once you are course-correcting and measuring progress, then you can put effort into acceleration.

This is the correct order and a place where a lot of people go wrong.

We look at super productive people and all we see is energy and action. But what you see is not always what you get. What happens if you tread on the gas pedal with your eyes closed and your hands off the wheel? Are you heading towards a finishing line or a brick wall?

In business and in life, acceleration comes from three places:

  1. Doing more of what works. To do more of what works you need to know what is working. That means measurement, and it means experimenting.
  2. Using systems. Systems don’t come naturally to me, but I can see the benefits and usefulness that they provide in everyday life. This is why it’s so important to reflect on your workflows and processes. Making everyday tasks into routines and systems can save you a lot of mental energy and frustration.
  3. Overcoming fears and constraints. Discover what’s holding you back, and either remove or work around these obstacles.

Bottom line

The most successful people I know (regardless of how you define success) have worked hard to get where they are today, and work hard to stay there. Luck plays a part, but being prepared, knowing where you want to go, and working deliberately every day all play a major role.

Don’t rely on lucky accidents to get you where you want to go. This mindset often leads to passivity, remorse, and regret rather than boosting your willingness to act and make mistakes. Decide what you are working towards and find a way to get there!

Most of all, don’t fear failure.

Everything is a work in progress, and we learn best by doing. Some things work out as we have planned and some things don’t. That’s just part of being human. We all make mistakes, every single one of us (me more than most I expect). Not getting the desired results is an education not a failure.

So what are your half-year resolutions going to be now? Please share your thoughts in the comments. 

Need help to course correct?

Check out my coaching services to see how I can help you make progress on the goals that matter most to you. Look forward to working with you!

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6 responses to “Course-Correction and Your Half-Year Resolutions”

  1. Louise Avatar

    Thank you for a great post Olle! Real wake up call! My three words this year are Ask, “Healthing” (made-up word) and Assertiveness. I think I’ve been following my first two quite well for the first half of the year, and I can honestly say I’m proud of them. Sure, I didn’t work out 7 times a week with the healthiest diet, but I have made small changes to my everyday life. I have cut down chocolate significantly (that has been a struggle for years and years). What I did is turn chocolate into a treat/reward rather than having it as a normal snack. Yes, chocolate used to be my snack but now it’s a rare reward that I treat myself to from time to time. Honestly, it tastes even better now!

    What I could course-correct on is my assertiveness and work-out plan.
    Similar to you, I will set my intention to:
    * Write in my journal once a week (making sure I mention weekly accomplishments and gratitudes , no matter how small)
    * Go running twice a week (three times as stretch goal)
    * Do some light yoga every morning
    * Meditate before going to bed

    1. Olle Lindholm Avatar

      Glad you found this blog post useful, Louise, and thanks for leaving a comment!

      It sounds to me like you’ve made some great progress with your words. It makes me happy to read about it! I can definitely relate to the whole chocolate situation. I will try to use it more as a reward than a snack (not there yet, but I will give it a go).

      I don’t know anyone who works out 7 times a week with the healthiest diet: to me, that sounds like a professional athlete competing in the Olympics, not like an ordinary person. Something to strive towards, maybe (if that’s what you want), or loosen up on the ambition and try something less ambitious, which you seem to be doing with your course-correction.

      Assertiveness is such a great word, but how will you measure it? You could translate “assertiveness” into a tangible action, like “saying no to event X” or something like that. Remember to find a way to measure “assertiveness” and use it as part of your course-correction. Maybe you could also write it down in your weekly diary, as a way to celebrate your “small wins” and accomplishments? Just a thought. I really like the idea of keeping track of your weekly accomplishments and gratitidues, no matter how small.

      Good luck with course-correcting your goals! And keep up the good work!

  2. Virginia Reeves Avatar

    Olle – good tips and techniques. Demonstrating how you had to change and re-focus is useful. I don’t deal with systems very well either (and I’m 65). This year I stepped it up (finally) and have been publishing 1 to 2 books a week on Kindle (short reads). All those articles I’ve written for years became chapters. Another milestone for my husband and I is that we’re finally implementing our dream/goal to travel more. Next up are healthier choices to keep me younger longer!

    1. Olle Lindholm Avatar

      Thanks for leaving your comment, Virginia! Well done on publishing your books on Kindle. All that effort piles up, doesn’t it? Glad you can put it to good use, so more people can read your work.

      More travel broadens your horizons and keeps you young, I believe, simply because your body and mind take in so many new experiences. Enjoy the rest of your year, and keep up your adventurous spirit! It’s never too late to live your dreams.

  3. Virginia Reeves Avatar

    Hey Olle – had to laugh when I noticed this is a 3 year old post. So… what are your real goals for the rest of 2019? I see I also did a reply back then. I haven’t published ebooks for quite a while, got burned out after doing 55. Tom and I are doing more travel and expanding our horizons plus having fun. I’ve been doing more pleasure reading versus projects and that’s okay – I’m 68 and not working. Staying healthy (walk with a friend for 3.5 miles or more on days I’m home), learning from different people online, and staying in touch with friends is my foundation. I do need to be rid of more paperwork (sigh). Eventually I will actually look at put into use some of the interesting programs I’ve purchased. That ‘someday’ will arrive. (smile). Continued good wishes to you in whatever brings you a sense of well-being and happiness.

    1. Olle Lindholm Avatar

      Hey Virgina – my goals have evolved over the years in that I try to set more identity-based goals nowadays, as in “I want to become a person who works out” or “I want to become a person who reads books”, or “become a person who meditates”. I’ve found this approach to be much more useful.

      55 ebooks – that’s insane!! I understand that such an effort got you burned out. Glad to hear you and your husband are expanding your horizons while having fun. Stay healthy, keep learning, and foster your relationships and community: those are all worthwhile goals, the “stuff” that truly matters. Do make time for your learning, if it’s only for a few minutes every day! Small steps… Continued good wishes to you in whatever brings you a sense of well-being and happiness. Thanks for sharing your journey with the rest of the community.

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