Its almost the end of the financial year already, how fast time flies! I’ve just come back from an amazing week’s holiday in Bali, which was one of my rewards for all I achieved last year. Yes, I am feeling very relaxed, refreshed and ready for the second half of the year.

I love this time of year. Halfway through the calendar year, a great time to check in, acknowledging how far I have come in the last 6 months, assessing whether I am on track to achieving my goals for the year and readjusting my course if necessary.

In my work, I have noticed that many people have an ingrained habit of focusing on the negatives and what they haven’t done. It’s an unconscious pattern and they are not even aware of it until it is pointed out to them.

They become very skilled at noticing what they haven’t achieved and have a lot of language around what they don’t want. When they are asked what they have achieved and what they do want, it takes time for them to find the words, it’s that unfamiliar.

When you are consistently focusing on what you haven’t achieved it becomes even more challenging for you to achieve your goals or make better choices moving forward.

When I first started out as a coach, I had many goals that I wanted to achieve. Being in a very new space of awareness, I didn’t know what to expect and I jumped in and got started.

As time went on, I would check in with myself and notice all the goals that I hadn’t quite achieved. I became annoyed with myself. I blamed myself for not doing it right and not being who I needed to be. I often ended up feeling disillusioned and losing motivation and this made it even more difficult for me to see the next turn in the road ahead. I felt like giving up.

Thank goodness I am blessed to have some amazing friends and mentors in my life, who helped me to see the pattern back then, so I could change it.

No matter what we haven’t yet achieved, there is always plenty more that we have and because of this, it is important to regularly glance back and acknowledge yourself for how far you have come. This helps you make better choices in the road ahead and applies to any aspect of your life.

Its kind of like driving a car, your focus needs to be on the road ahead, but you need to be aware of what is behind you, so occasionally you glance in your review mirror, especially before you make a turn.

Because of this, I take time each quarter to prepare myself with a 4 step process before I set goals for the next 90 days and in fact, I even do this every month:

• Look in your rear view mirror and acknowledge yourself – glance in that review mirror and notice all the goals that you have achieved. Acknowledge yourself for a job well done and give yourself a reward to celebrate. A reward can be anything from a nice relaxing bath with a glass of wine to a flash holiday overseas. What is important is that whatever you do is recognised as a reward for you.

• Adjust the rear view mirror and acknowledge the lessons – Along with all the goals that you have achieved, there would have also been some challenges and mistakes made along the way. This is where I like to reframe those challenges or mistakes and look at what you have learned from them. The lesson can be as simple as learning to develop more strength or more flexibility in perception and actions. When you do this, you begin to see the challenge as a gift, something you can learn from in the future.

• Be grateful for where you are and what you have – Write a list of all the things you are grateful for now and in the period just passed. The achievements and the lessons learned. Appreciation is the closest state to love and when you are in this state, you are in the best place to make decisions for the future and give yourself maximum opportunity to achieve your goals.

• Return your focus to the road ahead and choose your next turn – The great thing about noticing and acknowledging the lessons is that it gives you fuel to make better choices moving forward. When you focus on the road ahead, you can now see the things you can do differently, the things you can change or improve. Notice the opportunities you haven’t taken yet, where in the past you have procrastinated and how you can now make a choice to move forward in those areas.

The truth is, there will always be achievements and challenges, no matter what level you are at or how much your life is how you want it to be.

Challenges and mistakes aren’t meant to be an obstacle to keep us stuck, they are meant to help us learn and grow, so we can live the life we want to live and achieve everything we want.

When you follow this process, it helps you stay motivated and focused, so you can achieve what want. Notice what it is that you need to do next and make a decision to jump in and do it right now!