July is here, which starts the second half of 2013. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering where the last six months went so quickly. New Year’s Resolutions might well be a hazy memory from days gone by, but it’s not too late to take back control of 2013 and make it a truly awesome year.
1. Set Some Goals
Goals might not sound that awesome, but they are a great way of sticking to your priorities. With just under six months to go until 2014, now is the time to take those ‘someday’ goals and turn them into ‘today’ goals. Whenever you create goals in any context, it’s important to make sure they’re SMART: specific, measurable, achievable (and attractive), realistic and timed.
For example, “Read more” is a goal, but it’s not a very helpful goal. “Read 10 new books by the end of December 2013″, on the other hand, is smart. It’s specific (all the details are there), measurable (when you put down the 10th book, you’ve met your goal), achievable and attractive (if you enjoy reading books), realistic (10 books in five months is two books per month) and timed (it has a deadline).
Six months might seem like a long time, but remember how fast the first half of this year went. Set no more than two or three goals for the next few months to give yourself the best chance of fulfilling them.
2. Try something new, just for fun
What is life for if not for its rich experiences? Many of us include new hobbies or activities in our annual plans. Yet, as the year progresses, we often get stuck in ruts and routines.
Make the second half of 2013 awesome by shaking things up. Try out that dance class you’ve been eyeing up, join a book club, or make a commitment to take a walk somewhere different each month. The exact activity you choose doesn’t matter as much as choosing something that will encourage you to break your current weekly routine and introduce variety into your life.
3. Educate yourself
As well as shaking up your weekly routine, taking time out to learn a new skill can also help unleash your creativity and open up a wealth of new possibilities.
Many of us have new skills we’d like to try, such as learning a new language, rekindling childhood hobbies, or taking classes in a new skill we’ve always wanted to learn. The most common reason for not doing this is a lack of time, so try limiting activities like TV and Facebook and give yourself the gift of education instead.
If you’re stuck for ideas, take a look at evening courses offered by your local community college: you never know what might catch your eye.
4. Start keeping a journal
Journaling has a number of benefits. Not only will it help you plan your next five to six months and stay more conscious of what’s really important to you, but it’s a great way of keeping a record of everything you do.
The act of journaling in itself can help keep us focused on our intention to make the second half of 2013 awesome. Reading back over previous journaling notes can also reveal things to us about ourselves that we didn’t previously realize.
Through journaling, we have space and time to explore our goals, ambitions and desires, both for the remainder of this year and beyond. We have a private space to express our deepest hopes, fears and dreams, and an opportunity to reflect on any obstacles that might get in the way of an awesome 2013.
5. Focus on what’s working
Perhaps the first half of 2013 felt like your best six months yet, perhaps you feel like the next five months are a chance for 2013 to redeem itself. Whatever the case, taking time each day to focus on what’s working right now will help you develop a deeper appreciation for all the good things that are happening for you this year.
One way of doing this is to keep a gratitude log, writing down five to ten things you appreciate or feel grateful for at the end of each day.
Sometimes, we don’t truly appreciate everything we’ve done and experienced until we have a chance to reflect back on how the last few months have gone. Without a written record of our day-to-day or week-to-week experiences, we tend to dwell on the more memorable challenges of the past, rather than things that went well or things we felt proud of.
What are your tips for making the second half of 2013 awesome? Leave a comment and let us know!
Gratitude is a word that is thrown around a lot. But what does it really mean? 20 Ways Gratitude Improves ProductivityFeatured photo credit: Awesome vivid sunset over the jetty in the Indian ocean, Maldives. HDR via Shutterstock