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How To Perform A Mid-Year, HEART-based Check-in This Summer: 3G Framework

I love how the early days of summer allow us to pause. Our regular routines are interrupted as coworkers, friends, and neighbors everywhere press pause for vacations, events, backyard barbecues, and trips to the beach. 

And it’s a good thing, too. When our culture has conditioned us to work and “be productive,” that pause can feel like a strange relief—awkward and uncomfortable for some.

But there is power in the pause—because it holds the space you need for reflection and checking in. 

A mid-year check-in is the perfect way to make the most of the early summer pause. It’s a chance to celebrate how far you’ve come, review your HEART-based goals, and begin making changes that will subtly shift the direction of your life. 

This 3-step guide will help you check in with yourself and your intentions this summer.

Begin with Gratitude

Now, you might be thinking, what effect can gratitude have on your goals? A big one, actually.

In a 2011 study, “Why Gratitude Enhances Well-Being,” researchers Robert A. Emmons and Anjali Mishra had a group of students participate in a two-month goal-setting study. In addition to setting goals, the researchers tasked one random subset with counting their blessings, another with listing their struggles, and a third with completing a series of neutral writing activities. 

After ten weeks, they checked in. The results were clear: The grateful students were closest to achieving their goals. 

Their conclusion: “Gratitude enhances effortful goal striving.” 

The reasoning behind their results is related to mindset. When you focus on the good in your life, you will naturally feel more motivated and energized than when you focus on the negative.

To begin practicing gratitude that will push you in the direction of your HEART-based goals, you can follow Flourish Career’s Gratitude for Growth framework:

1. Flourish in your achievements.

Reflect on what’s working—and what isn’t. Write it all down. Make a list of your achievements and celebrate everything you’ve accomplished. 

2. Cultivate your connections.

Reflect on connections (mentors, collaborators, colleagues, etc.) that have been inspiring, helpful, or important to you. Send each one a note of gratitude. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just heartfelt.

3. Grow your skills.

Reflect on how you have recently grown your skills and knowledge. What do you want to continue learning in the next season? Make a “Learn List” of everything you want to know how to do.  

4. Nourish to flourish. 

Write about how you’re feeling right now. How have you taken care of your body? Your mind? Your spirit? What has worked for you? Express gratitude for how you’ve prioritized your well-being (including completing this check-in). 

Once you have laid a foundation of gratitude, it is time to explore what matters most to you and what you want your career and lifestyle to look like.

Next is Goal-Setting

With a forward-thinking mindset, it’s time to add some H.E.A.R.T. to your  S.M.A.R.T. goals and plant seeds for the next season.

Unfamiliar with HEART-based career goals? Here’s a recap: 

Realistic (doable in the next season/90 days)
Take tiny action to accomplish

We will use your gratitude reflections to spark momentum. Get your journal ready, and let’s go!

1. Flourish in your achievements. 

What is one thing you want to achieve this season? OR: What experiences do you want to gain? How will you *feel* when you achieve it? Write down your expectations and goals for the coming season. 

2. Cultivate your connections. 

Who do you want to cultivate/collaborate/connect with this season? Make a list of people you will reach out to or continue to collaborate with. 

3. Grow your skills. 

What’s on your Learn List? Pick 1 or 2 of the items to focus on this season. 

4. Nourish to flourish. 

How can you nourish your body, mind, and spirit this season? Look closely at which activities are cultivating your energy. Then, plan to do more of that. 

Now, it’s time to create a visual of your HEART goals. If art inspires you, this is a chance to get creative. Try crafting a visual of your goals for the next season using collage or other artistic means. Research tells us that those who visualize their goals are 1.4 times more likely to achieve them.   

Lastly, Growth 

Once you have expressed gratitude for the journey and set your HEART-based goals for the future, the only thing left to do is ACT.

A word of warning: This can sometimes be the part where people feel overwhelmed or quit before they even start—but there is a way to prevent that from happening!

Take TINY action. 

I love to reference this story from Anne Lamott. In her book Bird By Bird, she recalls a time when her ten-year-old brother faced the insurmountable task of writing a report on birds (in one day) that he’d been putting off for three months. 

She wrote that “he was at the kitchen table, close to tears, surrounded by binder paper, pencils, and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’”

One small task by one small task is the only way to overcome the overwhelm of making a change and start taking the microsteps that will move you forward and toward the flourishing career you crave.  

That’s why the final step of your mid-year check-in is to break things down into tiny actions. Once you know your step-by-step plan, it’s time to start taking one step at a time. 

Let me introduce you to our favorite way to make time for yourself and your growth. 

5 Minutes To Flourish: The Go-To Time Management Secret For Momentum And Consistency

You can continue working toward your goals throughout the summer, and it takes just 5 minutes daily.

Five minutes daily is enough to maintain momentum and keep you moving forward—and it’s my FAVE time management hack. 

Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes. 
  2. Take a deep breath and set an intention to do ONE thing to benefit your future career path.
  3. When the timer buzzes, decide if you want to continue.
  4. If you’re feeling a spark of momentum (and you have another 5 minutes to spare)… keep going for another round of 5! 

If you’re feeling drained…affirm that you took one tiny action for your future self and celebrate that! 

If you want more “5 Minutes to Flourish” motivation, I am hosting a special summer series on the podcast with the same name. I’ve intentionally designed each short + sharp 5-minute episode to support you in your work and well-being. 

Looking For Help Beyond The Check-In?

If you want guidance on incorporating lessons like these into your career planning, Flourish Careers is here to help. Together, we’ll create a strategic career plan that allows you to progress closer to the flourishing life you want to live, season after season. 

June 14, 2024

How To Perform A Mid-Year, HEART-based Check-in This Summer: 3G Framework

How To Perform A Mid-Year, HEART-based Check-in This Summer: 3G Framework

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