Mid-Year Review: 5 Ways To Audit Your Life And Prepare For The Year Ahead

Trust me when I say I get it.

Stress and anxiety had a firm grip on me for years, and I was struggling… a lot. 

I wasn’t where I needed to be financially, and the decisions I made in an attempt to free myself from the mounting debt were habitual childhood tactics that were in dire need of a revision.

I grew up being taught that, if in need, it was okay to borrow. But, in what seemed to be a perpetual state of distress, I was panic borrowing for all the wrong reasons. Instead of earnestly amassing the money I needed to pay for the things I desired, I often borrowed money or refinanced my rental properties to keep my business going.

At my most desperate, I sold my assets. This included letting go of my prized Harley-Davidson for a mere $13k, all because “I needed the money for my business.” By subscribing to this strategy, I found myself in business debt to the tune of $96k. 

Ninety-six-thousand dollars! The weight of it was close to unbearable, and it was at that point that I finally decided to make some much-needed changes.

All of this sounds rough, I know. But stay with me, there’s a happy ending here, I promise! I felt it best to be as candid and transparent about my mistakes to truly exemplify that there’s such power in holding ourselves accountable. 

The Importance of Asking for Help

Since becoming a full-time entrepreneur through keynote speaking and workshops, and the Sledge Hockey Experience, approaching the mid-year mark always incited an overwhelming feeling of worry.

(Click here for tips on how to rapidly dismantle fear)

The year I hit $96k in business debt, I had to finally accept that enough was enough. I knew then that it was impossible to maintain any type of success by continuously refinancing or selling my things. I simply couldn’t continue to live in such an unsustainable way.

So, like many, while Covid-19 forced time to pause and reflect, I hired my first business coach, Codi Shewan. He is, single-handedly, one of the best investments I’ve ever made. In just a few years, Codi has helped me more than double my business, and become debt-free (I told you there’d be a happy ending!).

Getting to the point of hiring Codi, however, came as a direct result of sitting myself down and uncompromisingly reviewing where I was at. Again, though it wasn’t easy, it was entirely necessary.

Reflecting and Planning Ahead

The process of conducting a mid-year review has typically been thought of as a necessity in professional spaces. However, I’ve found that also applying the concept to my personal life can have equally beneficial results. I no longer anticipate the end of summer with trepidation due to my finances. I’ve also been able to abandon the heavy burden that came from the lack of summer sales I endured two years ago.

Refining my planning process allowed me to ensure I was able to get ahead of these slower months to come back stronger in September. Slowing down to see things with new eyes enabled me to learn how to appreciate the true value of taking a step back to reflect and prepare for what is to come. My advice is to do the same before getting to the point of desperation. It’s all about creating healthy habits.

(Click here for Tips on How to Regroup after Summer Vacation)

Though I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t always great at doing this, having accountability is an essential element of the self-auditing process. To help you stay focused and be productive, I encourage the use of calendars, to-do lists, or even employing the use of task managing apps. Testing out a few of these options can help you figure out what works best for you.

Personally, I use my body as a guide. After my spinal cord injury, I’ve been forced to truly pause to listen to what my body needs and to learn when not to ignore my pain. This process has also unknowingly taught me how to become more confident in my own intuition as part of my decision-making process.

Don’t be mistaken, following your intuition isn’t always an easy task. Learning to trust that inner voice requires a lot of introspection. A good example of this is the way we examine the relationships in our life. The longevity of some relationships, professional or otherwise, can often be confused with the idea that they have to remain firmly in place. On several occasions, I’ve had to dig deep down and thoroughly assess whether or not those who I spend my time with or give my energy to are actually helping or hindering my forward movement. 

If it’s the former, great! But if it’s the latter, learn how to say “no” and maintain your boundaries so that your well-being can be maintained and augmented. This perspective speaks to powerful components of my keynotes and workshops, and a broader theme of learning how to let go while managing change.

A quote that resonates with me and speaks to this idea came from a coach I follow online named Taki Moore, in which he says, “Create space to put magic in its place.”

I interpret this mantra as our need to declutter our life to make space for the things that matter. A question I often come back to is, “What do I need to let go of”?

Finally, I also can’t stress the importance of consistent journaling, not only as a tracking tool, but in the way it helped me recognize the signs and symptoms of an imminent downward spiral. It has provided a timeline of how far I’ve come (and continue to go) in my personal journey. Journaling is something I’ve maintained and will forever advocate for as a tool for holding oneself accountable. Through the use of my Five-Minute Journal, I’ve been able to implement a daily practice of gratitude, which I’ve found to be instrumental in maintaining a positive mindset. 

With this in mind, here are five ways to audit your life and prepare for the year ahead: 

1. Recognize daily moments of gratitude by utilizing a Five-Minute Journal
Positive psychology refers to character traits and behaviors that enable individuals to thrive and live meaningful lives. Additionally, when practiced consistently, gratitude journaling can have a powerful impact and contribute to a more fulfilling life. By setting aside time at the beginning and end of each day to acknowledge positive thoughts, such as what you’re looking forward to or what went well, you’re not only being intentional about nurturing your wellness, but you’re building an effective habit of fostering a more optimistic outlook on life.

2. Write your intentions down; it can literally change your life
Are you familiar with the Generation Effect? It’s a memory phenomenon where we remember things that we’ve actively generated from our own minds, as opposed to things we’ve read or had presented to us. This subconscious process occurs when we write. Whether you refer to it as the “law of attraction” or the power of positive thinking, writing things down does far more than simply help you remember. It helps you to prioritize, provide clarity, and bring your objectives into sharp focus. With such a simple task, you maximize the chance of your goals actually being achieved.

3. Evaluate your circle for the occasional reality check
Most of us are familiar with the phrase “you are the company you keep,” and for good reason! Though we interact with different people every day, we get to choose who we give a greater level of access to, and these people eventually become our inner circle.  Over time, this group has proven themselves to be the ones who understand you, uplift you, and who, time and again, have shown themselves to be reliable, respectful, communicative, and honest. Take time to ask yourself whether the people you’re surrounding yourself with are conducive to driving positive change, and helping you commit to your goals.

4. Prioritize your physical, mental, and emotional wellness
While you’re aware that you should be prioritizing these three pillars of focusing on your wellbeing, a multitude of reasons can often get in the way of practicing it. A lot of us are guilty of this, but it’s imperative we actively schedule time for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Think of it as doing something today that, in the long run, can impact critical areas of your life, and ultimately increase your productivity.

5. Give yourself grace, and embrace it
Aside from offering relief, learning how to forgive yourself and stop feeling guilty gives you permission to perceive “mistakes” as “failing forward.” The fact of the matter is that no one gets it right 100% of the time. This means acknowledging that course correcting or having to pivot is inevitable, especially when it comes to the considerable task of auditing your life and writing your next chapter. Be patient with yourself and concentrate on finding sustainable tactics that you can implement; these will be most impactful on the success of your long-term goals. 

Keep Moving Forward

In conclusion, take time today to pause and reflect on where you are in your journey. Before writing your next chapter, now is a good time to take inventory of what has been working well, what hasn’t been working well, and what you need to do differently in order to make the remainder of this year the best possible.

Regardless of where you are today, keep moving forward. Right now, it’s not about doubling down on your commitment to the next year, but evaluating where you are midway through, and taking steps on the actions above are a great place to start.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you prepare for the year ahead::

How To Turn Off Work

What To Do When Nothing Is Going Right

How To Focus Your Mind

Download your FREE copy of my autobiography, Still Standing: When You Have Every Reason to Give Up, Keep Going here.

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