Episode 36: My Mid-Year Review Process


I’m not sure about you, but I always find the middle of the year to be a great time to stop and reflect on how the year’s been going and what’s to come. So that’s what I’ve been doing.

As most of you already know, this year I’m working towards an ‘impossible’ goal – to make $500,000 in my business in 2018. And I’ve found myself wanting to sneakily pull away from this goal so that I don’t have to fail at it. But I’m not letting myself do that and in this episode I’m sharing the process I’ve been going through to recommit to my challenging goal. I hope you enjoy it!


Episode 21: Lessons Learned From A Recent Failure

Episode 14: My Goal For 2018

Episode 29: An Update On My 2018 Impossible Goal

Episode 26: The Power Of Self-Image

Grow Your Blog Workshop

Episode 20: The Messy Middle

The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo


Listen to the episode on the player above, click here to download the episode and take it with you or listen anywhere you normally listen to podcasts – just find Episode 36 of The Smart Twenties Podcast!


Today, I thought I would share my process for doing a mid-year review. This isn't like some certain process that I follow every single year.


Hi, and welcome to Episode 36 of The Smart Twenties Podcast. My name is Sam Brown and this is a podcast where I share personal growth and life advice for women in their twenties.

And today, I thought I would share my process for doing a mid-year review. This isn’t like some certain process that I follow every single year. It’s basically… I’ve just been doing a lot of reflecting now that it’s the middle of the year, at the time of recording is it’s the 7th of July, so a week after the middle of the year mark.

And yeah, I’ve just been spending so much time really re-calibrating, regrouping, making sure that I’m on track to make the most of the second half of the year, and I’m going to be talking about the tendency that I’ve had to pull away from my goals and I’m really doing this so that I can keep myself on track. And I thought it might just be something interesting to share with you guys, if you’re thinking of doing this kind of thing. I know that a lot of people who only save this stuff for the beginning of a new year, but I don’t really think that is often enough at all.

It is really challenging to stay committed to a goal for a long period of time. And I think part of the reason that a lot of people really struggle to achieve goals is because they put all of that energy and excitement into the very initial phases of doing it. But then as time goes on, they just don’t ever stop to regroup. And I think for me, it’s definitely being this pattern of, as it looks like I’m not going to be achieving my goal, I’ll pull away from it so that when I don’t achieve it, I will have an excuse, which is I always stop trying to work towards that. And it happens on such a sub-conscious, unconscious level.

I’m still consciously thinking that I’m working towards it but my behavior is really that I either negotiate the goal with myself, or I convince myself that something else is more important. It’s a really subtle way of quitting, really subtle, like it does not feel like quitting. It’s not me saying like, “I’m just going to quit working towards this goal” it’s like, “Oh wait, I’m going to focus on this instead” or something like that, so I’m just going to be chatting about it. Of course, this will be in the context of my impossible goal for 2018, because that is the biggest goal that I have at the moment.

I do believe in really just choosing one clear goal to focus on. I know, it’s so tempting to choose a goal for every area of your life, and I definitely think it is important to have goals in every area of your life, but I personally find, and if you’re in the all-or-nothing mindset, or you tend to be, that when it’s like, so many specific goals or vague goals often we don’t set specific goals and that’s half the problem, but when you have so many goals for so many areas of your life, it’s just challenging to really get momentum and it just, it’s a lot harder to manage multiple goals of one.

So if you’ve been struggling and you have been thinking, “You know, I need to make all of my life perfect right now” than to just choose one area and work on the others, of course, too, but I just find any way that it’s easiest to get momentum when I’m just focusing on one area of my life.

Of course, it’s a balancing act and you don’t want to let go of all the others. But I find that when I do that, I learn a lot of skills in that area that I have the goal which for me is business but then applies very directly to how I go about my health and fitness and relationships, and all of that. Because how you do one thing is how you do everything, and if you’re self-sabotaging in a certain way towards a business goal, then perhaps you’re doing the same thing when it comes to health and fitness. I know that’s been the case for me definitely. So yeah, just thought, I didn’t say that. So my goal… if you haven’t heard me talk about it yet, is to make $500,000 in my business in 2018. I’ve spoken about it in detail in previous episodes, and it’s such a big goal and my brain still doesn’t think that I can do it and I think that’s why it’s such a great learning experience.

And so when I’ve been thinking about this goal lately, I’ve really found myself thinking, “Okay it’s halfway through the year, I’m probably not going to achieve it, so I should reduce my goal so that I can achieve it” and that sounds like a very reasonable reason to change a goal. And I’ve really had to catch myself though, because I don’t think that’s the best thing for me to do, but I think for me, that is just self-sabotaging behavior and it’s something that I’ve had a tendency to do in the past, as I’ve mentioned before, when it looks like I’m not going to achieve a goal, I just convince myself that I should focus on another goal instead or I make myself too busy by focusing on lots of unimportant tasks just so that I haven’t excuse not to keep working towards it. And what I’m trying to avoid is what I will make it mean when I don’t achieve that goal. All of it is really just trying to avoid all of this discomfort and that feeling when you tell yourself, “I didn’t achieve my goal” and I’m really… one of the biggest things I’m working on in my personal growth is being willing to fail, being willing to put in the effort without getting a result and to some people that might sound like a weird thing to want.

And I’ve spoken about this in my episode on Wasting Effort… it’s something that a lot of perfectionists really try to avoid is this idea of wasting effort, but effort cannot be saved up and used on another day, you just have a certain amount of effort you can put in each day. But it’s also really the fear of wasting effort, is just the fear of not getting result.

And then, you, making that mean something about yourself, which for most perfectionists, usually means self-shaming and feeling that really painful emotion. So I’ve had to just really… I journaled about it, I was like, “Okay what do I want my goal to be for the second half of the year? Am I going to keep working towards my impossible goal or should I reduce it? I make a new goal so that I can achieve it.”

And I wrote quite a few pages about it because I was just feeling very confused about it. And then once I was done with the writing I could just see really clearly that me wanting to change that goal to make it achievable was actually me quitting and that at the end of the year, I want to say that I work towards this goal for the whole year, and I tried my hardest, my best.

And that’s really because in the past, I’ve just… I’ve not been willing to do that unless the result is going to be guaranteed and I don’t think that’s a good mindset to be in especially, not with business because results are never really guaranteed and there’s so much uncertainty that if you only do things when it was certain to be successful, you probably wouldn’t do anything. And yeah, it’s been so interesting to just see myself trying to sneakily self-sabotage my impossible goal.

And there’s lots of reasonable reasons and I think that I’ve just really had to be so good at quoting myself around this because I can really justify pulling out of it. And most people say you should, aim for goals that are realistic and all of that kind of thing. But I knew when I set this goal that it was going to be challenging and the point of setting it was that it was a goal that extend beyond the belief that I had about myself, and it’s just so fascinating that the reason I’m trying to quit it is because I’m not going to achieve it, even though I set it knowing that it’s impossible as in I haven’t yet ever done it before, so it’s something completely new to me.

And the reason I said it as well was for the person of growth was to learn how to fail, how to keep putting effort in when you don’t know exactly how to do it. And to really just push myself beyond what I have pushed myself before, so, I re-committed to achieving my impossible goal in 2018 and I think that was very important to me to do. And if you’ve had goals that you said at the beginning of the year, if those goals were really vague this is a great time to really make them specific.

A lot of you guys have been doing these blogging workshops lately… and I have a Facebook group called The Smart Twenties Bloggers Facebook group, which is just for the people who have done the workshop and I did a post about, What Are Your Goals For July? And it was just really interesting to me because a lot of the replies that came back were these really vague goals and it just really reminded me that it is so easy to set vague goals and a lot of people also use words like, “I hope” “hopefully I’m going to try to do…” We just use this language so that we give ourselves wiggle room.

And also, I think part of the reason that we set really vague goals is so that we leave ourselves an excuse because if something’s vague, it is hard to tell whether or not you’ve achieved it, but also it is really hard to achieve a vague goal because if your goal is vague and for example, people were writing. Like I’m going to post on my blog and have a content calendar and it’s like, well, that means something different to every person, and it’s really hard to achieve a vague goal, because you can’t actually look at that result and say, “Okay well what would be the steps that would take me there” if it’s really vague, it’s hard to do that, but then we get to use that as an excuse. So if you did set a really vague goal for yourself like I want to be fit, I want to be more happy, I want to be… whatever. And if you couldn’t, if that would mean something different to different people, then it’s too vague, like $500,000 in my business in 2018 is very clear, it means you would look at the financial statements for my business and in revenue would be $500,000 it’s very clear what that is.

So yeah, I just had to really re-commit to walk into its my impossible, especially in the last month I’ve just found myself as it’s been like towards this mid-year point I’m kinda like, “Oh shit” the thinking I’ve been having around it, is it every day that I have that I’m not, it’s not looking like I’m going to achieve it, is kind of giving me this because of the way I’m thinking, giving me this feeling of is getting less and less likely when really that isn’t true.

And I have all of these underlying beliefs about it takes a lot of time to make money, it takes a lot of effort to make money which aren’t true, and they will feel true. I’m sure to a lot of you as well, that feels very true, but when you really think about it, there are a lot of people who make that money in a day or in a week, and it’s very easy and effortless and so if it’s like that for at least one person in the world, then it’s not true that it’s hard, and that it takes a lot of time, but they are beliefs that I’ve had repetitively throughout my life, and so it takes some re-programming to not have them anymore.

So once I re-committed to working towards my impossible goal and decided “Okay, I am going all in on this” I’ve still got… and this is the other thing with time, so I can either look at this as… half the year’s already gone, there’s no way I can achieve it, in the second half of the year. And that’s how I was thinking about it when I wasn’t being intentional with my thinking and it’s just not helpful otherwise I can be thinking about it.

There’s still six months of the year left. I still can really learn so much about myself, I can put in all the effort that I need to put in, and I’m going to get as close as possible to that impossible goal. And it’s so interesting because when you think about reducing a goal to make it more achievable it… I don’t know if I’m explaining it properly, but how is that any different when you really think about it, to me trying to work towards $500,000 and not reaching it, but making the same amount of money that I would say, for example, if I was like, “Okay, I’m going to make a hundred thousand” so say if I commit to doing my impossible goal and at the end of the year, it’s $100,000, is that any different really to changing my goal now to a hundred thousand. All the difference is what I make it mean at the end, if it’s my impossible goal and I’m not careful with my thinking that I can get create feelings of being disheartened and… that I failed and I didn’t achieve my goal, but that’s in my control, and I’m just really determined to change the way I think about this kind of thing, and to really just reward myself for putting in the effort and not be so caught up on the results and to not make lack of results mean anything because it’s so interesting when I have been trying to avoid failure, I actually create it. Like I’m failing now I want to give up on my goal now so that I won’t fail at the end of the year, but it’s literally like instead of I’m trying to avoid failing. So the way I think about it is I should fail now on purpose but then at least it feels within my control instead of this feeling of being out of control the end of the year.

I really don’t know if I’m making any sense the way that I am describing this. I hope you guys are picking up what I’m putting down. But yeah, I think there’s so many sneaky ways that we convince ourselves to quit and many of those ways sound extremely justified and very reasonable and most people would agree with them, but then there’s a thing as well, like if most people would agree with them, like most people don’t achieve their goals and so consensus isn’t really the best indicator of what will lead to success in a lot of ways and a lot of people would think that working towards an impossible goal isn’t a good idea because you get disheartened and all of that, but feeling disheartened comes from the way that you’re thinking and all of that kind of thing.

So I am just wanting to continue to step up to the level of my goals rather than reduce them down to where I am at currently, and do the self-coaching work to manage my mind around the whole process, which as you can tell from this has been a journey.

One, I’m still very much on but I’m glad to be showing all of these stuff with you guys because it’s really easy to think that like, when you see someone else being like… I achieved this big goal that it was a walk in the park for them. And I just want to share the whole process regardless of whether I achieve the goal or not, I want to be an example of working towards a goal until the last day and overcoming my self-sabotaging behaviors, and managing them and managing my mind and aiming for something that I think is beyond what I’m at currently, which means I need to evolve myself anyway.

So step one, I talked about a lot was just to recommit to the goal, because without that re-commitment I’d been allowing myself to feel confused and overwhelmed about it because I was having discussions in my head like, “Should I keep working towards this goal? Should I change this goal? Should I keep working towards it, should I change it?” And that is a form of self-sabotage in itself. Just being confused about it. So I was like, “Okay, I’m not going to be confused about it right now, I’m either going to decide to change it, or decide to re-commit.” And then once I journaled about it and I really wanted to be clear about the reasons I would change it and the reasons that I wouldn’t change it, not from a pros and cons perspective, but to just see, am I wanting to change it because I’m scared? And basically, yes, that’s why I was wanting to change it. So like, okay, we’re not getting out of this one.

Step two has just been to really review my progress so far and look at the results and outcomes and my behavior so often when we review progress, it’s very tempting to review our intentions and yeah, just our good intentions and be like, “Well I’ve been working towards it” but I think it is helpful to actually go, “Okay what have I achieved results-wise?” Like what have the outcomes being and then tracing that back to what’s the action I’ve been taking what’s the feeling that has been creating an action and what are the thoughts that have been creating that feeling?

So I mentioned how every podcast episode, swear to god but Brooke Castillo from The Life Coach School podcast, her model of Your Thoughts Create Your Feelings Create Your Actions Which Create Your Results which isn’t something she came up with it. If you pay attention, it’s what almost every personal development person speaks about the power of your thinking and that, that is what then creates your reality. But I just love the way that she breaks it down because I find it really easy to look at things when it’s just the way she describes it. So I’ve been having to look at “Okay what have I achieved?” “What have I put out in the world?” like my goal is to make $500,000 in my business and yet I have barely offered anything to anyone, the money. To just look at it that way and you say, “Okay, well, my intentions and my goal, my actions have not been matching up with that. I have not been putting in enough action enough effort and the right kind of action to achieving my goal” and just saying that a lot of that has come from thoughts such as, “I need to do this other thing right now, I’ll do that important thing later” which is actually one of the thoughts that constantly gets me off track, and I have been really working especially in the last few days on…

Even when I was at my part-time job, I’ve just been creating a list of all of the tasks that I need to do, and normally I have time to get everything done. And I don’t need to plan, but I find that even as I was saying, how you do one thing is how you do everything, so sometimes it’s easy to train your behaviors as well doing it in another area of your life. I know that might sound like I’m contradicting that whole thing of having goals, having a main goal just for one area of your life.

But what I have been doing is like, “Okay, well I need to get back into this habit of following all of my plans” so what I’ve been doing is creating a list of, “here’s what I’m going to do in the order I’m going to do it” and then just observing myself as, of course there are tasks I need to do for other people that come immediately but they never take long. So I’ve just been walking through my list in order, I’m watching myself want to jump around that list, watching myself wanting to do whatever the most comfortable, easiest task is first, and to skip– to convince myself out of tasks that are perhaps much challenging and more uncomfortable and just not letting myself and observing myself around that so that can be helpful too, if you like.

For my part-time job, it’s very different to my business, because for my business, I make it mean a lot more about me as a person and all of that kind of thing, but I’m at my part-time job I’m much more separate from it, in my mind, so doing that work and practicing it in something that, but just practicing that in one area of my life that the stakes feel a lot lower, just helps me get back in the habit of doing that for my business stuff too.

Another thing I’ve been thinking of doing is really advising myself, like I’m not myself, if that makes sense either but what I’m trying to say is, when I’m giving myself advice, I give myself different advice to the advice I give other people, and most people I like to think I give other people great advice and most people, I don’t follow all the advice that I give other people, and I’m just trying to disconnect when I’m giving myself advice, thinking of myself, like what would I tell a different person because when I’m giving advice to myself, I’m judging whether or not I want to do it at the same time I’m giving my advice, so I end up giving myself different advice then, what I give someone else.

But when you’re giving someone else advice and this is why I think a lot of us give other people great advice and then give ourselves, not so great advice. Because when you’re giving it to someone else, you don’t have all of that drama involved, the mental drama and the fear and you can tell something to do something that you’d be totally scared to do but you know it’s good advice, and it’s what they need to do, so I know you need to do that thing that scares you, but then when it’s you giving the advice yourself, “Oh wait, but that things really scary” so I’m just going to convince myself that I shouldn’t do that.

So I’ve just been trying to advise myself like I would if I was a different person. And then being me and taking that advice and it just… I don’t know if that made sense but just kind of like separating out the drama and removing the question of life, but do I want to do that when I give myself advice because if I’m giving myself advice, “Okay, we need to do this and this and this” I’m at the same time thinking “Oh but that’s scary as shit and I don’t want to do that, so I’ll just commit myself to do something else.”

Don’t think this is making any sense but I hope you guys are getting what I’m saying. So yeah, the second step is being, reviewing my progress and really seeing that, the reason I haven’t yet achieved my goal is because my thinking isn’t creating the right feeling to create the action I need to get the result that I want to get. And I can see that because I can look at my results and they are not what I had planned them to be, and I can trace that back to having thinking like, “Oh wait, I’ll just do that other thing instead. I’m not going to be good enough to achieve this goal, there’s not enough time, I don’t know how to do it.” Just all of these fear and confusion and this is why it’s really interesting to set an impossible goal because it brings up all of your crap. So that’s been fun.

So yeah, I’ve just reviewed my progress and seeing… “Okay, well what has been working, what hasn’t been working” and then creating a plan which I am actually doing today and I feel like planning is something… so if you’ve been following along you will know this, but just a brief update for you guys who might be a bit newer. So at the beginning of the year, I shared this as well in my blog, on my Youtube channel as part of setting this impossible goal, which I am in Brooke Castillo’s Self-coaching Scholars Course… a lot of you guys email me, asking if I recommend it. Yes, I do, it’s amazing.

So yeah, part of that was you create this impossible goal for 2018, not everyone in that is doing a business goal. A lot of people were doing weight loss and things like that. So you have your goal, and then you break it down into, “Okay, what will I need to achieve each quarter of the year?”

So if you have a monetary goal that’s really simple. So 125,000 each quarter and then you break that down into, “Okay well, what other steps that I’m going to need to get there” then you put every single step onto your calendar for three months, which was like the most overwhelming and freeing experience I feel like I’ve ever had because it was so challenging, the beliefs I had about whether I could plan three months into my calendar.

And if you’re listening to this would be like, “Oh there’s no way I could do that. There’s just too many things that change” yet that’s the same for everyone. And it’s… also a lot of tasks that I’m doing, or task that I’m doing for the first time, so I don’t even know how long they take, but Brooke talks about, instead of seeing how long they take, you’re in control of how long they’ll take and you work towards your deadlines and you own your plans. And of course, there are things that you can’t always predict but then you just change it instead of like, what I’ve had the habit of doing.  So I did that— I’ll get back to what I’ve had the habit of doing.

What I did was… I plan the first three months, January to March, end of March, I followed January like a boss, and it was the most incredible experience. I didn’t procrastinate at all, I just followed my plan, but then I hit a failure and I made that mean all sorts of things and I let myself get disheartened.

Even though Brooke talks about– the way we did it was, instead of having, here are the steps, she wanted us to create 25 mini goals that were sent to like 25 things that we’re going to do our best at, but could fail at, and not fail at because we didn’t put in the effort. Like say, for example, if one of my goals was to be on 5 podcasts, like interviewed on 5 podcasts, if I failed because I didn’t ask anyone if I could be on their podcast that’s like an escape fail is what she called it. Because I haven’t put it in the action, but if I emailed 100 people and everyone said no, then that’s a worthy fail. And we were aiming towards these worthy fails. Just to change the way that you think about it.

So failure is not actually a bad thing, that’s kind of what we’re aiming for but then a lot of the time you don’t fail because you are taking massive action, because you’re not scared of failing if that makes sense. So that was a really interesting learning experience because I hit a failure, which was basically just me, my brain going, “that didn’t work as planned” I made that mean something about all of the other plans, I had made like, “Well, if that didn’t work, nothing else is going to work” and then I just… and I talked about this in my episode on the Messy Middle, which is when I was right in the middle of going through this, I just really fell into this confused, overwhelmed state for two months and really struggled to pull myself out of it. And that has been a really interesting to just go through that and see that I need to do a lot of work, mentally on this, like being comfortable with failure and it’s all just what I am making it mean is what’s making me try to avoid failure because people who are in a growth mindset don’t make failure mean anything, and we all know intellectually, that failure is going to happen on your way to achieving a goal, but it’s much different to really get it, to really know it because as I was saying, we all know that, but then a lot of us withhold effort and wiggle our way out of our goals, so that we don’t have to fail. So that’s just being like, it really just showed me like, okay, I’m really going to need to work on not wiggling my way out of things just to avoid failure because even though I’m mentally, intellectually comfortable with failure, my actions aren’t showing that.

So I’m creating a plan. I’m also doing a coaching session with an Erin May Henry because I just felt I needed someone to show me my thinking as well. I think self-coaching is great and very important, but I also just want someone to ask me things that perhaps I hadn’t already been thinking. And I am a big believer in coaching, and the power of coaching and that is something that I’m going to be talking to her about as well because I do want to do coaching and I just feel like I’ve just been stopping myself for all the wrong reasons that don’t make any intellectual sense. So I’m having a coaching session with her and like an hour and a half and then I’m going to be planning out– I’m not going to do 3 months, I’m going to plan out the next month.

I don’t know if that’s me just wiggling out of that one, maybe, but I am going back to planning because looping back what I’ve been in the habit of doing is convincing myself that I can’t plan because there’s too many things going on and it’s going to limit me and all of these bullshit reasons that sound really great for not planning but really it’s just because after I had that experience at the beginning of the year that I was just talking about, that I wasn’t following through with the plans I had made.

And it’s very uncomfortable to have plans and not follow them. So often what we do instead of following the plans, is we don’t make any plans at all so that we can’t have that discomfort. And that’s kind of where I’ve been and even though I get stuff done, when I haven’t planned out my time really thoroughly. I know from experience, like I was productive, next level in January like I couldn’t even believe how quickly I was getting things done, the standard that I was getting things done at, it was just beyond what I ever been able to do before, and it was because I had no confusion. I knew exactly what I needed to do, and when I was doing it, I wasn’t like, “Oh should I do this task of this task or this task?” Because when it’s in your calendar, you don’t have to– it’s so much better working off a calendar than a to-do list because the to-do list, you’re constantly like– you don’t have any time-frames in that. Also from a to-do list, you’re like, “Oh which task should I do? Should I do that one or that one, or that one?” there’s all this mental confusion, but when you have it in your calendar that there’s nothing else to do, there’s just like you’ve already prioritized, you’ve already allotted times ahead of time, so you just have to follow through and following through is a skill.

A lot of us, I know, talk about it as though it’s something you’re either good at or you’re not good at and you can’t change it. So if you haven’t been good in the past, and that means you can’t be good in the future, but it is a skill that can be learned and it comes the way that you develop that skill is to feel all the discomfort that comes when the time comes to do that thing and you don’t feel like it and no one feels like it, in case you’ve been thinking, like maybe I felt like recording this podcast, episode, I did not. I love recording podcast episodes, actually the favorite– my favorite thing that I do. But I woke up a couple of hours ago, I’d slept in and then I was like, “Oh I just don’t feel like my brain’s working properly” but I wanted to get this done today. And so, here I am chatting to you. But before this, I was like, “Maybe I’ll do it on Tuesday” and all of that kind of thing, which is why deadlines are helpful because I want to have this go up on Monday, so it means I need to do it today.

But yeah, I don’t really ever feel like doing what I plan to do and you just– for me, I just have to be like, “Okay, well, but I have already decided that I’m going to do this and I’m just going to deal with the discomfort of doing something challenging” and yeah, it takes practice, it’s a skill takes practice, to develop the skill and that’s why I’m saying I’m using my part-time job as well to develop the skill of following through because I feel like it’s a muscle, as well the same as self-discipline is that the more you do it, the better you get, the easier it gets, and then when you’re not doing it, it’s just like really challenging. And I’m just building that muscle back up with following through with my plans because I have already tried at my impossible goal without a plan, I’ve seen that it’s not effective that I have spent a lot of time in confusion, fear, self-doubt.

I spent a lot of time being busy with things that don’t matter and I’m committed to making a plan, putting it in my calendar, I just use iCal on my MacBook and following that, regardless of whether I feel like it and part of that as well, if you’re hearing me say this you know like… oh, that sounds horrible. A big part of that is adding in adequate downtime…

What I’ve tended to do in the past when I’ve done this and failed at it is that I’ve filled in every inch of my calendar. I haven’t given myself any downtime. I haven’t given myself enough time for exercise and all of that kind of thing and I gave myself, say right in a blog post I’d be like, “Okay it will take two hours” instead of being like, what I do now is I give myself a bit of extra time, not even so that I can procrastinate but because it is so satisfying finishing something before the time is up. And then as I continued to plan just reducing those times down. But part of planning and having a plan that you can follow through on is that it’s actually something you can follow through on. It accounts for the fact that you need sleep, it accounts for the fact you need to eat lunch. It accounts for the fact that you need a day off that.

I think I’ve been talking about it quite a bit in the last few episodes but I have put back in my day off, which is going to be tomorrow for me and just really honoring that plan, and I was actually reading this morning Brooke was saying that when it comes to planning, she recommends first planning your downtime, and then you add everything else in. And I think that a lot of us struggle with this because we plan on all the work and then there’s no time left for down time, so we just don’t have it. So, what you do first, is for me, I say, “Okay well, I don’t work Sundays” and then there’s a time I’m at my part-time job… and I don’t work after I get home so I got home at like eight-thirty, and I prefer it in my work in the morning. And that’s my time to chill, Steve or if he’s at work to read a book or just not do work stuff so that I’m refreshed in the morning and I can just get up and go which doesn’t mean I love waking up early, it’s a struggle, but I always am grateful when I do it, so that I hope this is making sense…

But in the process of planning, so I’m going to be talking to Erin shortly and clarifying a few things, and then I am committed to putting all that in my calendar and following it. I will, of course, updating you guys on all of that, and I can feel quite a lot of resistance to it, which I did last time I felt so much resistance. I had so many reasons why I couldn’t plan, so many very justified reasons and some of them were like, I went, “If something amazing comes up, I won’t have time to do it” but the reality is that is something amazing did come up, I can’t shuffle around my plans but by not planning at all, I’m like… just not going to achieve nearly as much. I’m going to be much more confused and overwhelmed. So that’s kind of where I’m at, at the moment.

The next step after that is follow the plan and if it doesn’t work, make a new one. I was talking about this in my episode that I did on Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He talked about… most people fail because they make a plan, it doesn’t work and they quit and I know that that’s been me in the past, but I don’t quit, as I’ve been saying, I don’t quit like, I quit as in saying, “I quit!” and being really straightforward and blunt about it. I convinced myself actually I’m going to work on this instead. Like say for example, a really sneaky way of, quitting. My impossible goal would be like, actually my health and fitness is really important to me, so I’m going to focus on that instead of my business that’s quitting, but it doesn’t seem like it because it’s very justified and it seems like there are very good intentions but if I was to say that, then to me that is actually quitting because I am taking my focus completely off it.

So yeah, my plan is to make a plan and then fully the plan and if it doesn’t work, make a new one. And Napoleon Hill and many others say, “We all not intellectually make a plan. If it doesn’t work, you make another plan if that doesn’t, you make another plan if that doesn’t work, you make another plan, if that doesn’t work, you make another plan if that doesn’t work, you make another plan.”

Most of us make a plan, it doesn’t work we quit and we justify that we like, sneaky quit, instead of, “Okay, well, that didn’t work. Let’s try this, that didn’t work, let’s try this.” So I know for sure that working towards my impossible goal really build a lot of resilience in me and even now when I’m being like, “Okay, how am I going to make like… how am I going to achieve that goal?” my brain is like on the how. And of course, I haven’t achieved that before, so my brain just shuts down on me and it really takes a lot of effort to be like, okay, but let’s just think “Okay, I’ll think about one who’s already making that money” what are things that they’re doing and just kind of remove all of my doubt and my drama, my mental drama that I’m having about it being like I’m not good enough for it, blah, blah, blah, thinking like, “Okay, well who’s someone who’s making that money. What plan would they make to make that to achieve that goal?”

And for them they wouldn’t have all this drama around it, they’d be like easy done, I had done this before, but for them too, there was a time where it was a first time for them. So yeah, I hope this is being helpful. I’m just going to quickly recap and as you can see and I hope that by me showing the messiness of a lot of things that it gives you some… just, I don’t know that it just reminds you that all of this personal growth stuff like when people give you checklists and do this and this, like often it is a really messy process to work through things and I do like showing things in the middle like this, so that you guys can just really hopefully get that it’s messy, all of this stuff is really messy. And there’s a lot of mental stuff to work through, and I don’t know, I do like showing the messiness of stuff.

So step one, was just to re-commit to my goal and really decide, “Okay, we are not changing this goal, I’m going all in”. Step two, review my progress so far, look at the results and outcomes. So, instead of thinking like, “Well I’ve been trying my hardest” looking at the results and be like, “Okay, that isn’t achieving my goal, and I need to go back and I need to change that I’m thinking about it, I need to change the way that I’m feeling about it, the actions I’m taking and that will change the outcome”. So step three is creating a plan which I am doing today and not letting myself convince myself that it’s better to wing it because I always try to convince myself that even though I love planning. Planning brings up a lot of discomfort when it’s time to follow through and part of that has been practicing planning elsewhere and practicing following plans and developing that skill and then step four is, follow the plan and if it doesn’t work, make a new one and that’s kind of what I’ve been going through at the moment.

I’m also going to be doing the next episode, it’ll be on The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss which I have been chatting about quite a lot in the last few episodes. I am glad to be doing the episode all about that one. And there are some great questions in that book that I’m going to be sharing as well that will help further but I also want to say just because it’s not the first of July, it’s always a good time to do a review. It doesn’t need to be the perfect golden day of the year to do it, and even if you’re listening to this, not in the middle of the year, whenever it is, it’s always a great time.

So I just want to say that you don’t have to wait until it’s like– this episode is going to come out on the… what would be the 9th of July. Don’t think like, “Oh well, it’s not the middle of the year anymore” yes it is! But even if it’s not, it’s still just a good time to it. So I hope this has been helpful. I really do feel like I’ve just kind of talked around in circles and whatever, but it’s often episodes like this actually, that I feel aren’t the best that you guys seem to relate to the most. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have, screenshot this, send me a DM on Instagram. My Instagram is @smarttwenties, all spelled out.

I love hearing from you guys. It makes my day when I get messages from you and emails from you and I absolutely love it. So yeah, that is my process for doing a mid-year review. As you can see, messy and currently incomplete, but I will be keeping you guys updated and especially updated as well on how the planning goes, and the following through with the plan and what I’m learning and all of that stuff as usual. So if you want to find anything that I’ve mentioned in this episode, you can go to the show notes at smart-twenties.com/episode36 and I will talk to you next time, bye!

Author: Sam Brown