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9 mid-year goal-setting tips (it’s not too late)

We’re more than halfway through the year and now is an excellent time to check in on your yearly goals or New Year’s resolutions. If you haven’t made as much progress as planned, it’s OK—and it’s not too late.  

“Being humans, we all fall short of our goals,” says Dennis Buttimer, M.Ed, CEAP, RYT, CHC, a life and wellness coach at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont. “It’s helpful to practice flexibility and compassion for yourself.”

No matter when you’re reading this, it’s not too late to make progress toward your dreams. You can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time, says Buttimer. Here are his tips for reevaluating and working on your annual goals.

  1. Let go of perfectionism. Have you ever given up on a goal because you didn’t do it “perfectly?” If so, you’re not alone. “Many people put too much pressure on themselves,” he says. “It sets them up for failure because it’s unattainable to do everything in your life perfectly.” Practice celebrating small, imperfect wins and accomplishments. This can motivate you to keep going and, ultimately, make progress.

  2. Ask yourself if you still want to achieve the goal. “You have a new perspective now that you didn’t have at the beginning of the year,” says Buttimer. “Maybe what you want is slightly different from what it was at the beginning of the year. If the goal doesn’t align with you and make you feel good, you may need to let go of it right now.”

  3. Consider what got in the way. Write down the obstacles you faced while working on your goals this year. You likely had some roadblocks that were avoidable and others that were unavoidable. That’s normal. Once you know what you’re working with, you can ask for help, set certain goals aside for now or create a plan to make progress moving forward.  

  4. Do some dreaming. One of Buttimer’s favorite exercises is to ask yourself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” and let your imagination take off. What comes up for you when you ask yourself this question?

  5. Consider your why. Your goal has to matter to you—not just to your partner, kids, parents or friends. “You want to get crystal-clear on why you’re doing something,” he says. Having a strong why can give you the motivation to keep going.

  6. Visualize yourself achieving your goals. Imagine yourself successfully reaching your goal. What does that look like?

  7. Create a vision board. Having a visual reminder of your goals can give you something to work toward and look forward to.

  8. Start today. Do something today to work toward your goals, whether that’s sending an email, cooking a healthy meal or signing up for a class. “You want to gain some positive traction and momentum,” he says. “It doesn’t take much to get started.”

  9. Hold yourself accountable. Write down your goals in a notebook or tell a family member, friend, counselor or coach what you’d like to achieve.

“You don’t have to overhaul your entire life to reach your goals,” says Buttimer. “You don’t need a new personality. We’re talking about making a few simple tweaks.”

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