A Simple 4 Question Review for Getting Back on Track

June 16, 2024

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The middle of 2024 is fast approaching and whether you feel like everything is going to plan or if you feel like you need to hit reset, this is for you.


It’s not unusual to look back on 3, 6 or 12 months and realise that somewhere along the way life happened and you feel like you haven’t gotten a whole lot closer to achieving your goals, or that things seem to be taking much longer than anticipated.


Whether this relates to your career goals or life goals, putting aside some time to reflect and review is a critical step in getting back on track to making your goals a reality.


In this week’s episode of The Aligned Achiever Podcast, I’m sharing 4 simple questions that you can use to guide your own mid-year review and get back on track with your goals and intentions.

In this Episode We Explore:

  • How conducting a 3-6 month review and reflection can help you to realign your goals
  • 4 questions to conduct your own review at any time of the year
  • My reflections on the last 6 months in life and business


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Hello, and welcome to The Aligned Achiever podcast. I’m your host, Siobhan Barnes and coming in today with a little bit of a mid year review.

So we’re already coming up to the middle of the year. And whether you’re listening to this live as the podcast episode goes out, or you’re simply in a bit of a funk and you need to hit reset, then this is the episode for you,

I’m going to share with you four simple questions that you can ask yourself to do a review and get yourself back on track, whatever that might look like, for you.

Truth be told, life is busy, you’re busy, I’m sure you’ve got a lot on your plate, a lot of different things to get done. And so often we can find ourselves in places where we haven’t necessarily achieved or that we wanted to, or you know, we’ve got stuck and a project has taken much longer than we anticipated. And we’re constantly trying to reshuffle read, juggle and get all of the things that we need to get done, done. And so today, I really wanted to share with you these four questions that you can ask yourself to do a really meaningful review.

And before I share them with you just know that life is never going to be perfect. Life is a constant, it’s always moving. It’s always shifting, things don’t always go according to plan. And even though I’m a bit of a planner, and love to be organized, life very often throws curveballs, my way, as many of you know, I’m a mother of three, I run obviously run my own business. And you know, that can bring a lot of challenges, a lot of unknowns, a lot of uncertainties. And so whatever your circumstances, just know that these four questions are really designed to support you, no matter what you’re doing, right and what your job role is, these questions are really universal. So the first thing I encourage you to know is that, you know, this is simply a review. It’s a reflection, it’s not anything to do with who you are as a person, it’s really just an opportunity to take stock, shift some things and then get back on track onto your merry way.

So the first question I’m going to dive into is just to do a check in with, how do you feel as you reflect back over the first half of 2024?

And again, if you’re listening to this later on, in another period of time, looking back at the last three to six months, taking a moment to check in, how do you feel? And, you know, this might be a feeling that you’ve felt in general over the last, you know, three to six months, or maybe it’s something that’s more recent, just giving yourself an honest opportunity to reflect on how you feel.

I’ll be honest, for me, I’m feeling quite frustrated. And I feel like I’ve been moving through honey, these last few months, and I can’t explain why. But there’s just been this feeling of like, you know, you know, when you’re yesterday I did banded Sprint’s at the gym. So it’s like, you know, I’m running, but I feel like there’s something like pulling me back. That’s something that I’ve been feeling. And I invite you to reflect on what you’ve been, you’ve been feeling. And the opportunity here is really to let yourself feel the negative stuff, if that’s where you are, but equally to also, you know, feel the positive stuff, if that’s where you are as well. Because whilst I say I feel like I’m moving through honey, and I’m feeling a bit frustrated, as I say that I can also appreciate some really good things that have been coming into my life and amazing things that I’ve been doing. So, first question, how do you feel in general over the last three to six months?

Second question, what have you learned over this period?

What have you learned? And trust me, there’s always something that we learn when things don’t go according to plan, there’s something that we can learn in terms of what we perhaps have been doing or not doing. And also if things have been going well, that might be some clues in terms of like how you work best and what you might want to optimize for going forward. So I’m going to answer these questions along the way to be very frank and totally honest. But also to give you an example of what that might look like.

So for me this year, I have been dabbling more in the corporate space. And whilst I predominantly work one on one with my clients and absolutely love that work, I would say that at the end of last year, or even longer, I was feeling was pulled to go into corporates, because whilst there’s so much we can do on an individual level, and feeling like I really want to be a part of like culture change and organizational change. And I was questioning like, how do I do that? Like where practically what are the steps I need to do? Do I need to do a Masters, do I need to do a completely new program and these sorts of things and I’m still playing with with what that might look like.

I’ve enrolled in a new course that’s much more practical where I can actually start implementing and doing some of the things that I want to test. So more on that coming soon. But I learned that the power of intention and setting a goal or a desire in place, because simply and getting clear on what I wanted, some incredible opportunities have come out of that. And I’ve had the great privilege of working with a couple of really well known brands in terms of like leadership coaching and development, as well as you know, some talks and things like that here and there. And I have been absolutely loving it. And so what I’ve learned is that sometimes the power of holding an intention and loosely holding it and, you know, being curious and taking some, you know, curious next steps can open up doors. So I’ve learned that a light touch can be helpful when exploring something new, and I don’t have to overthink or overcook something. So that’s been my lesson learned.

But what has it been for you? What have you learned? Have you learned something about yourself in the workplace, maybe you took on a big project, and you can do hard things? Maybe you learn that you know, something isn’t the right fit. And you might need to tweak something at work or, you know, you’re learning how to balance the motherhood and the career thing like what is it for you? What have you learned?

The third question I invite you to ponder is what are you celebrating?

What are you celebrating from the last three to six months?

So often we have this negativity bias where we focus on all the things we still haven’t done, or the ways that we’re behind, and you know, aren’t making progress, which, you know, truth be told, you’re always gonna feel like that. Because you’re always going to be, you know, driving and moving towards different goals. But you know, in this moment, if we really are to be super cheesy, and enjoy the journey, how can you take a moment to celebrate what you have done?

So for me, I am celebrating these exciting corporate opportunities, they have been really joyful, really fun, and I’m really hopeful I can do more of this work, both with these organizations and to continue to expand into other areas. And I’m celebrating that I’m really, really enjoying it. And the feedback has been really positive so far. So that that feels really lovely. And celebrating working with some new clients this year who have been such a joy is such an inspiration to work with. And I honestly get to pinch myself that I get to collaborate with amazing humans and hear and insight into their lives and what they’re up to. And so for me, I’m really celebrating that. And also celebrating those clients whose time has come to completion, and they’re out there on their own doing their thing, it’s always really wonderful to see. And I celebrate that, you know, clients sometimes come back after a period of time, and they’re ready for the next thing. So I love that I can, yeah, I have such a clean detached energy to my clients and that I care and want the best for them. And I know that they can flourish with or without me. And when they are ready for support, I am there 100% of the way that feels really nice.

So I’m celebrating that in terms of like business side. On my personal side, I’m celebrating that I myself am getting some support and some personal challenges that I’ve been grappling with. And that feels really kind of edgy for me in terms of going into a different level of support that I haven’t received before. So that’s exciting, because I’ll be honest, as a coach, sometimes it can be hard to be the one to receive. I’ve always worked with coaches and things. This is a different type of support that I’m receiving. And so yeah, it just feels really nice to to be supported, and to be able to let go and to be held. So I’m really celebrating that as well.

And obviously celebrating some great personal bests in the gym with lifting weights, etc. So that also feels really, really good. And if you haven’t caught that interview with Steph Poelman, that I recorded a few weeks ago, where she shares her journey about strength training and running a gym here in Hong Kong, highly recommend it. It’s very motivational, not just from a, you know, inspirational perspective, to hear somebody who’s really unaligned achiever and pursuing their goals, but also to talk about the benefits of strength training. And I’ll link to that in the show notes. If you want to come on over and check that out. But that’s what I’m celebrating.

So what is it for you? Maybe you want to compartmentalize your celebrations into both the personal and the career, like I just did, like just came out intuitively, or maybe it’s just a general celebration? So yeah, taking a moment to note that and the kind of extra bonus step with this is like how can you celebrate yourself in this? Is it taking yourself out for a beautiful cup of coffee, and you know, having the time to reflect on this? Is it giving yourself a little treat or a reward, you know, whether that’s something sweet, something nice or a massage or a small token, it also doesn’t have to be something that you spend money on. Maybe it’s taking some time off just to be with yourself to be to go for a walk in nature, whatever that might look like.

So take a moment to think about now. Not only what you’re celebrating, but how you’re going to celebrate yourself.

And then the fourth and last question I would invite you to ask is, all right, as you reflect on the last, six months or three months, whatever time period you’re looking at, what is it that you want to either keep doing, stop doing, or start doing? So keep, stop and start.

This can be really helpful to look at some of the habits, the rituals, the behaviours that you have implemented in place to get you to where you are. James Collier has a very famous quote, where he says, we don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems and our routines, I kind of butchering it, but I shall look it up and pop that into the show notes. So you can see the proper the proper quote.

So this is an opportunity to really look at that your systems for actual implementation and execution. What do you want to do the same? What do you want to start doing? And what do you want to stop doing?

So for me, one thing that I have noticed that I want to keep doing is keep going to the gym, keep exercising, that is quite a big commitment on my part, I tried to work out regularly most days of the week. And whilst that can feel like time away from work from family from, you know, other competing priorities, it has absolutely been a game changer for me to feel better, and to have the energy and the mental capacity to show up to life and you know, being on for my clients and, you know, being able to show up and be present as a mum and all those beautiful things. So for me, I’m going to keep prioritizing that.

But on the health front, I might start to add in some more mobility and stretching. That’s kind of like the next step. And I go to physical health, because I really believe these sort of physical attributes and looking after our health really helps with the other things, right, we cannot do things like lead and pursue our purpose and do all these higher level higher order things if we haven’t got our basic survival and physical needs met. So that’s why I start there for me that that just makes sense.

In terms of start doing, I’ve fallen off the wagon with my embodiment and meditation practices, which are one in the same for me, I quote, I have a specific movement meditation practice that I like to use. Shout out to general ward, founder of the School of embodied Arts where I worked as a facilitator and coach trainer for four years. I love that particular practice. And as I look back on my diary, I see that I haven’t made quite as much space for it as I would like to. So I’d like to recommit and start that process again, and add that into my weekly planning routine and get some sort of structure in place around that, because again, that gives me the energy, the focus. I will probably help with some of that frustration that I mentioned at the start, when I was talking about how I was feeling in general. Something that I want to stop doing is ruminating and overthinking, I know that I am somebody who can tend to over plan over, analyze overthink stuff.

So for the next six months, as we look to the rest of 2024, I’d like to get into more of a action oriented, let’s do this, let’s make mistakes kind of mindset to see where that will take me. And this particular course that I’m doing that I’ll be able to share more about and you will see me sharing more about particularly on LinkedIn. Which by the way, if we’re not connected on LinkedIn, we’d love for you to come on over and connect with me. My name is Siobhan Barnes, you’ll you’ll see me there and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. But with this particular course that I’ve done, I’ve purposely chosen it because it talks about emotions and bringing that into the workplace. So obviously very near and dear to my heart. But equally, it’s very much got a lot of practical implementation in place, and a community to support me in doing that. So that’s what I’m going to start doing and start practicing. And that’s a particular skill. I’d like to practice moving from ideation and planning into more, you know, execution, messy execution, etc, etc. So that is me in a nutshell.

But what is it for you? What are you going to keep doing, stop doing and start doing? And again, you can apply this to any area of your life, whether that’s personal or whether that is career for you.

And look, I would actually really love to hear from you. If you’d like to share this with me. Come on over and find me at Instagram or LinkedIn or if you’re on the you know, email newsletter and you get updates when these podcast episodes go live, hit reply to that email and let me know I would absolutely love to know what your reflections are.

And of course, if you’re going through those reflections, you’re like, Oh, I’d actually really love some support with this in the second half of the year or you know this next iteration, this next chapter for you, feel free to book a Get Unstuck Call with me, I offer these free calls, every month, a handful of these calls. And if you’d like some support to get clarity on your next steps, we can have a call to explore what that might look like for you. And if I’m the right person, I will share how I would support you personally and what that would look like. So that invitation is always there, but I will reiterate that here as well.

So there you have it. This is a shorter and sweeter episode where I’ve spoken about the four key questions you can ask yourself when you’re doing a review and you want to get yourself out of a funk and back on track.

The questions were:

1/ How do I feel? Or in general, how have I been feeling over the last three to six months?

2/ What have I learned over this period?

3/ What am I celebrating? And bonus points for how you’re going to celebrate and then actually doing that?

4/ What did you learn from this past season? And what are you going to do the same? What are you going to start doing and what are you going to stop doing?

Thank you so much for tuning in. Please connect with me as I shared and pop on over to the show notes to get all the links if you’re not connected with me on all the socials.

And please remember before we go that you are here for a reason beyond merely hustling, grinding and merely surviving, you matter

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