How To Do a 6-Month Reset

When it comes to routines that keep me organized and focused, resetting at regular intervals is probably the most important. As I’ve written before, I rely on several different “levels” of resets that I set time aside to complete at certain times. Now, as we head into the month of June, it’s time for one of the biggest of these: the 6-month reset.

I prefer to set my biggest goals for 6-month periods rather than once a year, so this halfway point is almost as significant as setting new year goals. It also happens to fall near my birthday, which gives me a chance to look back on another full year of life at the same time.

For this post, I decided to go into a little more depth about my 6-month reset process for transitioning into the second half of year: both why it’s so important and how to go about it, so you can be ready to dive into the remaining six months.

Why a 6-Month Reset?

6 o'clock

I’ve found that undergoing a big reset every six months keeps me on track to accomplish my goals much better than trying to set long-term goals for the entire year. Having only six months to work with creates more imminent deadlines and helps me resist putting things off just because “I have all year…”

In addition, I usually find myself needing to reevaluate my goals halfway through the year anyway, for one (or more) of several reasons:

  • My goals have been met, and I’m ready to move on to new ones.
  • I’ve realized the goals I set at the beginning of the year were unreasonable or impractical — or circumstances outside of my control have gotten in the way — and there’s no way I can achieve them without making a huge adjustment.
  • I fell behind and haven’t made as much progress as I’d hoped.
  • I no longer want to achieve those goals because something else has overtaken them in importance.

Whatever the reason, it’s helpful to reevaluate your goals halfway through the year, even if just to confirm that you are on the right track.

6-Month Reset Process

While it’s best to adjust your reset process to your current needs, the 6-month reset involves three basic steps:

  1. Close out the previous goal period
  2. Review your progress
  3. Set goal for the next six months.

Now, let’s break those steps down even further.

Step 1: Close Out the Previous Goal Period.

Store closing sign

Starting your 6-month reset now, at the beginning of June, gives you ample time to close out the first six months of the year before looking ahead to the next six months. This is a great time to look over your previous goals and decide which of them you can reasonably finish up before July begins.

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, then you may have seen my little challenge last week. This month, I’m challenging myself — and you — to choose one item from your 2021 goals list and complete it. This can be something small, maybe a task you’ve been putting off for weeks or months, or it can be a larger project with multiple steps. Just make sure it’s something that you can realistically finish within the month.

I believe this closing-out period is as vital as setting goals in the first place, because it gives you the satisfaction of a quick win and definitive break before you head into the next goal period.

Step 2: Review Your Progress.

Goals review

Now you’re ready to sit down and review all of your previous six-month goals. But where do you start? First, I recommend simply reading through the goals you wrote down first, and reminding yourself why you set those goals. Then take a look at which ones you have completed — and which ones you haven’t.

Celebrate the wins you have accomplished in those six months, no matter how big or small. Make note of what you didn’t finish, and what specifically prevented you from doing so. And be honest with yourself about whether all of those goals still matter, or whether any of them were unrealistic.

Step 3: Set Goals for the Next 6 Months.

Next steps

Choose your big goals to accomplish in the next six months, and break them down into smaller, actionable steps. If it’s hard to only identify a few main goals, I find it helpful to group my goals into three main categories instead (such as work, personal development, etc.), and sort my smaller goals into those categories. Don’t make yourself write them down in any kind of order; just list them as they come to mind.

Then look at the steps or groupings you’ve identified and see if there’s any kind of natural sequence. In order to achieve the overall goal or complete all the goals in each category, what must happen first? Second? What can’t progress until other steps are completed? Which steps can be completed out of order and independent of the others? Which would be easiest to complete first to give yourself a quick win right off the bat?

Once you have a rough order for completing the steps, assign approximate deadlines to each task or group of tasks. Schedule them on your calendar for the next six months, and challenge yourself to complete each step within its assigned timeframe. You may even want to map them out on a timeline like I do, for a visual reminder.

However, keep in mind that no prediction is perfect. It’s completely normal for you to adjust these timelines later down the road.

6-month reset: set aside a closing out period

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