Mid-Year Goals Review: Refresh, Reflect and Reset

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Mid-Year Goals Review: Refresh, Reflect and Reset

Here we are, nearly halfway through 2024. How does that make you feel? Some of you are probably excited because it’s summer. Others are thinking, “WTF, how is that possible?” And some of you might not even know how to feel.

Whatever your reaction, it’s time for a fresh new game plan for the rest of the year. Forget what you think you “should” be doing or that plan you created in December; it’s time to refresh, reflect and reset so we’re ready for the rest of 2024.

Picture this: back in my corporate days, as soon as June rolled around, there was this collective ‘Oh no!’ moment. Every one of our clients would suddenly realize, ‘We’re halfway through the year, and there’s so much left to do!’

Let’s just say I wasn’t a fan, as it would create this environment where there were a lot of expectations and pressure to get things done just because nine months ago, they were added to an annual plan.

While the intentions were good, it made me realize how annual plans often fall short. That’s a big reason I was all in when I learned about quarterly planning: I wanted the power to reset and recalibrate based on how the year was shaping up.

Don’t get me wrong, having a vision for the future is important. Still, so much of the conventional planning wisdom for entrepreneurs, especially service business owners, wastes our time and energy.

Think back to January 2024. Or even January 2023. Think of how much has changed and evolved in your business. How you’ve changed and evolved, and everything you’ve experienced and learned since then.

That’s precisely why we should leave those massive, multi-page plans to the corporate giants. Shorter cycles keep things fresh and manageable, especially for service-based entrepreneurs like us.

That’s where the mid-year goals review comes in. We need to take a moment and reflect on what’s happened so far this year so we know where we need to go next. 

But before we dive in, here’s a quick reminder: the goal is to pause and take stock of what’s happening in your business. Think of it this way: it’s about curiosity, not comparison, and finding joy, not judgment.

Most of all, don’t fall for bullshit about what you should be doing, how much money you should be making, or anything like that. Keep your eyes on your own paper!

Here’s a simple way to reset and recharge your business for the rest of 2024.

REFRESH: Getting Clear on the Facts

Think of this as the fact-finding part of this exercise so you can get the data you need to look at where things are.

First, you’ll want to revisit any goals or priorities you’ve set for the business so far this year. Consider the following questions:

  • Which goals have I achieved, and which ones are still in progress? 
  • What have I not started working on? Why? 
  • Are these goals still aligned with my current business needs? 
  • What may have impacted these goals? 
  • Have I allocated enough resources (time, energy, money) to these goals?

As much as possible, stick to the facts here. You’re gathering information and can reflect on it in the next step.

Now, gather up the metrics you track for your business. This may vary, but we’re looking for hard data about what’s happening in your business including:

  • Cash: Revenue, expenses, profit/loss, financial trends. 
  • Clients: Number of new clients, client retention, client value.
  • Capacity: Hours worked, billable hours, non-billable.
  • Marketing/Sales: Lead sources, close rate, metrics by channel.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all of these numbers. Review what you already have, and take note of anything that stands out. Your goal here is to get curious and look for any patterns or trends that can provide clues about what’s working and what’s not.

What you discover here will help you decide what happens next for you and your business by grounding it in facts, not guesswork.

REFLECT: Wins and Lessons from the First Half

Your review was all about the facts, so now, let’s talk about feelings so you can celebrate your wins, learn from your lessons, and prepare for what comes next. 

Let’s start with the good stuff – celebrating our wins! Recognizing our achievements helps us see what’s working well and motivates us. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the biggest successes or wins I’ve had so far this year?
  • Which goals have I achieved, and how did I achieve them?
  • What projects or strategies yielded the best results?
  • What positive feedback have I received from clients?
  • What am I proud of and need to celebrate? 

Next up: The lessons. Consider these questions:

  • What have been the biggest lessons I’ve learned since Jan 1st? 
  • What lessons am I taking with me, and what am I leaving behind?
  • What constructive feedback have I received, and how can I use it to improve?
  • How did I adapt to unforeseen challenges, and what did I learn?
  • How have I grown as a business owner? 
  • Most of all, I encourage you to appreciate your journey. The reality is that the good, the bad, and the WTF of it all keep us moving forward and growing as business owners. 

I also encourage you to celebrate your wins and lessons, no matter how big or small, because they matter. It helps us slow down, recognize how far we’ve come, and motivate us to keep going.

For some of you, this may be easier than for others. So, if you think it’s cheesy or don’t need to celebrate, research from B.J. Fogg found that “celebrating small wins stimulates dopamine release the brain, a feel-good chemical that reinforces the learning experience.”

By celebrating, you’re making yourself feel good and learning as well, so celebrate often and in a meaningful way.

RESET: Getting Prepared for the Next Half of the Year

You’ve got the facts and examined your feelings, so now it’s time to pull that together to get ready for the rest of 2024.

The entire point of this exercise is to reset your plans so they’re relevant and realistic based on your current situation. As you think about your goals for the next month, quarter, or even through the end of the year, ask these questions: 

  • What are the most relevant and impactful priorities for me right now? 
  • Are these realistic? Can I make this more bite-sized and doable? 
  • Are these the right priorities for me in this season? 
  • What should I adjust or update based on my review and reflection? 
  • Is there anything new I need to add? 

The final step is for you to take all of this and put it into action. Goals and priorities are great, but you need a plan to make them happen.

This starts with breaking your goals into bite-sized chunks by identifying:

  • What specific actions are required? 
  • What resources do I need? What support? 
  • What time can I commit to moving these forward? 
  • What does success look like? 

You may not have all the answers right now, but the key is to start and commit to focusing on these areas in the coming weeks and months.

Listen, I get that that’s easier said than done. It’s a big reason I’m a big fan of getting outside support to help progress on those goals through accountability and monthly planning.

My secret weapon for this is my sister, Sara, our community director at BS-Free Business. And if you need a Sara, good news: She supports members of the Staying Solo Squad in doing this. 

The squad is now accepting new members for our cohort, which starts in August, and I hope you’ll consider joining us. It’s a tangible way for you to make progress in your business with a squad of solo business owners like you having your back.

join the staying solo squad
Maggie Patterson Abou the Author

I’m Maggie Patterson (she/her), and services businesses are my business.

I have 20+ years of experience with client services, am a consultant for agency owners, creatives, and consultants, and vocal advocate for humane business practices rooted in empathy, respect, and trust.

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