We know what you’re thinking; July is nothing like January. But hear us out because July is the fresh start you’ve been waiting for.
Why? Because the desire to succeed doesn’t have to start and end on January 1st. Nope, it can be resurrected any time, any place, and as we hit the halfway mark of 2021 we reckon there’s no better time to reflect, realign and refocus on those great big goals.
Whether the past six months have surpassed your expectations or haven’t gone as planned, now is your time to start over. Armed with the kind of enthusiasm that’s normally reserved for the first month of the year, you get to decide what happens next.
But before we dig in...
Where does New Year’s motivation come from?
To put it simply, a new year sparks anticipation, one of our core motivators. As we look to a brand new year, we’re filled with determination to make this year the best one yet and we feel inspired to make big changes. We reflect on the year that’s passed and decide that this year will be different.
The best news is, you don’t need to wait for the new year to roll around to make a change, you can harness that energy right now - July to December is yours for the taking!
Now’s your chance to make the next six months the best six months. Are you ready? Here’s how…
How To Make July The New January
Spoiler alert: motivation comes in waves and literally no one feels motivated every single day of the week – phew! But if you need an extra jolt of motivation to kickstart the last six months of the year you can try harnessing that ‘new year’ energy by anticipating and planning.
Think of the 6 headings in The Head Plan journal - Finance, Business & Career, Self-Care & Wellness, Family & Friends, Personal Development & Learning and Physical Environment... What goals can you achieve under each heading by the time you ring in the new year on December 31st? The more clearly you can anticipate the end result, the more inspired you’ll feel, so answer those questions, identify your ideal outcome and write it down.
Another pro tip? Most researchers believe we’re actually more motivated by the avoidance of pain than we are by the attainment of pleasure. So, consider what it means for you if you don’t work on your goals. What less-than-ideal circumstances in your life would persist and how would that make you feel?
Visualising your success can be a powerful motivator but remembering the circumstances you want to avoid and why you want to avoid them, can be an even more effective way to spur yourself on.
Reset your rituals
Has your morning ritual gone a bit stale? Is your bedtime routine no longer working for you? Don’t worry, it’s normal. Scientists call it hedonic adaption, the tendency for us to get used to situations over time.
But good news: You don’t need to make drastic changes to overcome it. Research says finding creative ways to ‘mix it up’ can make tired old routines feel exciting and new.
Something as simple as changing the order of your morning ritual or completing it in a different location can add enthusiasm for an old routine. Even purchasing a fancy new pen for journaling or lighting a new candle can make a tried-and-tested ritual feel fresh.
Researchers say the secret is finding new ways to interact with routine habits. Doing so prompts our brains to pay more attention to the activity and in turn makes it a more joyful and fulfilling experience.
Reconsider your goals
We want you to know something: goals aren’t set in stone. They evolve and shift all the time. What felt super exciting and aligned with you six months ago, may no longer serve the same purpose or you may have achieved so much since January that now the goals you set at the start of the year seem small.
Whichever camp you fall into, July is the perfect opportunity to review your goals and consider what still fits. Look through your list of long and short-term goals, take each item one at a time, and ask: is this goal still relevant to me and my life? Do I still feel super excited about it? Is it time to set a bigger goal in its place? Feel free to eliminate and edit as you go.
Manifestation coach Kathrin Zenkina has an excellent hack for deciding if something is aligned with you. She says, “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.”
Basically? If a goal doesn’t make you want to shout ‘hell yes!’ move on to something that does.
Create a plan of attack
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” We’re big fans of that quote at The Head Plan because we know that success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in day out and small affirmative steps towards your goals have a compound effect.
This July, double down on what you can do next. You don’t need to see the whole path in front of you, you just need to take the next few steps in the right direction.
So ask yourself, what can I do today that will bring me closer to my goal? How about tomorrow, next week, and the rest of this month? Have a think about it and make a list of action steps.
Now, close your eyes and imagine where those steps will take you in the next six months. Can you see it? Good – keep that image front of mind and if you’re ever not sure which way to go? Let it be your guide.
Make tiny changes
You don’t have to completely overhaul your life to make a fresh start. Behavioural change is actually more achievable and sustainable when you commit to making tiny changes day-to-day. Just ask Atomic Habits author James Clear. He teaches the one per cent rule.
It entails making a one per cent improvement each day. It doesn’t take a lot of effort in the moment but repeated over time those improvements add up to big, impactful gains.
So kickstart July with some small improvements you can build on over time: think drinking an extra 250ml of water in the mornings, getting up just five minutes earlier, reading for just 10 minutes more at night.
To put it simply, when it comes to goals, dream big. When it comes to changing habits, think small. It’ll get you much further in the long run.
The next six months are in your hands…
The first six months of the year have been and gone. Whether they went amazingly, totally meh, or somewhere in between, how the next six months pans out is all within your control.
Bestselling self-help author Melissa Ambrosini puts it like this, “If you don’t like the reality you’ve created, create again.”
In 6 months time you can either be in the same place or a better place. Focus everyday on improving your Health, Wealth and Happiness. It will take time but you can make it happen. There’s no time like the present.