Starting Over in July

Weirdly, July 1 is one of my favorite days of the year.

I love the possibilities that July 1 brings. It’s the beginning of a new month, but it also signals the beginning of the second half of the year. It’s like a mini-January 1.

Which means that it’s the perfect time to review, reset, and start fresh for the next 6 months. Especially if the year so far isn’t what you hoped it would be – if you feel stuck, frustrated, or overwhelmed, or you’ve lost sight of the things you really wanted to do this year – you can regroup and start fresh in July.

I love the feeling of being able to reset my life in small ways at the beginning of a new month (or even a new week). So when the beginning of a new month and a new half year fall on the same day, I’m thrilled by the triple opportunity to start fresh! And I want to encourage you to look at it that way too.

If you’re ready to regroup for the second half of 2023, to set yourself on a calmer, healthier, or more productive path, here are 4 things to do right now to set yourself up for success:

How to Regroup and Start Over in July

1. Set 2 or 3 goals for the second half of the year. I’m not very good at setting and reaching goals, especially big, grand goals that cover an entire year. I tend to get off track by February, and by October I can’t even remember what goals I set.

But I’m working on getting better at setting small, practical and achievable goals, writing them down, and making time to work on them (even if it’s only for 30 minutes) every week.

And I want to encourage you to work on setting and achieving those kinds of goals for yourself. Think about the things you’ve been wanting to do for a long time and set 2 or 3 of them as your goals for the second half of the year. Anything you want to achieve can become a goal – maybe you want to start exercising regularly, revamp your diet, complete a project, de-clutter your house, or start a business. All of those things, and many others, make great goals for the next 6 months.

2. Schedule time to work on a goal each week. This is difficult to do, but it’s critical if you want to reach your goals. You already know that your time, energy and schedule can get sucked into a black hole. It happens so quickly, and before you know it 3 months have flown by – poof – and you haven’t done any of the things you really wanted to do. (Ask me how I know this…)

So make a plan at the beginning of every week that includes time to work on at least one of your goals. This can really help you stay on track and move forward. I recently finished writing an ebook that I’ve been thinking about / working on / wanting to finish for months. The thing that helped me get traction and start making progress is that I started to write down at least one task I needed to do each week in order to move forward. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t easy, but it worked – the ebook is done!

You can do exactly the same thing with any goal you want to accomplish between now and the end of the year. But it starts with scheduling time to work on it every week.

(If you find it incredibly hard to make time for the things that are important to you, you may want to practice saying these simple words and take a serious look at your family’s schedule.)

3. Use a planner, calendar or system to get organized. I love planners in theory, but I tend not to use them well in practice. So for the second half of this year I’m committing to using my planner to get organized and stay on track with my goals. And I want to encourage you to do the same. You can use anything that works for you – a paper planner or calendar, a bullet journal, an online calendar, or an app – just start using it, make it work for you, and stick with it.

And if you need a new planner or calendar to help you get off to a fresh start for the second half of the year, you can get a June – July version at Target, Walmart, or Amazon right now. (I didn’t know until recently that planners come in July – June versions.)

4. Stop doing one thing that wastes time. I know you’re busy, and it seems like you just don’t have time to get organized, complete projects, or move forward on your goals and dreams. But if I pressed you on it, you’d probably admit that you waste time every day that could be devoted to your projects, goals, or dreams.

How do I know that? Because I do it too! I waste time every day, time that I could be using to get the things done that I really want to do. For me, it often takes the form of mindless scrolling through social media. Or getting involved in pointless discussions on Twitter or Facebook. For you it might be watching TV shows that you don’t really even enjoy. Or it could be something entirely different.

Whatever it is, decide to stop doing it and use that time to make progress on your goals. For me, it’s going to be social media. I’m going to make a concerted effort to stop using it as a way to avoid doing things I really want and need to do. I’m going to set time limits on it (like, 10 minutes) and get out of the habit of randomly checking it throughout the day.

And please know, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take time to relax and unwind every day – we should. Instead, I’m talking about things that we do without really thinking about them, things that waste time and don’t provide true relaxation. The goal is to be purposeful in what we do – if it’s time to get something done, ​get something done.​ And if it’s time to relax, ​do something that’s actually relaxing​. (I’m fairly certain that scrolling through Twitter or Facebook is ​not​ relaxing – at least not for me.)

Whatever has happened in the first half of this year, you can turn things around this week and plan for a productive, successful second half of the year. You absolutely can start fresh in July, and I encourage you to give it a try. And let me know what you plan to do – leave a comment or send me a note at [email protected].


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