As we get older, we start to avoid birthday celebrations like tax day. What were once excuses to eat cake are now reminders that we’re running out of time to complete our goals. We pass our mental deadlines for earning promotions, starting families, or buying houses, and we start to feel ashamed that the numbers attached to our birth certificates don’t match the numbers attached to our dreams. We wonder how we suddenly got so old with so little to show for it.
It’s true that birthdays are a great time to check in on our progress towards our dreams. The problem is that our biological clocks nudge us to evaluate our lives and measure our goals and then we wait an entire 365 days to do it again. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be reminded both of my mortality and my goal deficiencies all in one day once a year. Here’s where half birthdays come in.
It’s time that we take a cue from the four year old that jumps for joy when he’s finally six months closer to being five. A half birthday isn’t only a marker of time, but also an opportunity to give yourself a kick in the butt before the dial turns to another year. This mid year check in helps turn anxiety into motivation, as we are better able to refocus our goals to suit our current circumstances. Here’s 3 reasons why embracing your half birthday can change the way you approach your goals.
1) They give you a fresh start
When you celebrate half birthdays, you are given the opportunity to reevaluate your life every six months as opposed to once a year. By tweaking your goals more frequently, you will relieve the pressure of making large-scale adjustments only once a year. It’s no wonder we feel stressed when we expect one day to set the tone of the remainder of the year.
Taking the time to self-reflect every six months also ensures that your goals remain relevant and worth pursuing. Life moves fast and it’s rare that our desires stay the same for long. Giving yourself a fresh start every 6 months allows you to reconnect with the reasons behind your goals, which means you’re more likely to fight to achieve them.
2) They create a sense of urgency
When we know we have a lot of time to complete something, we get lazy. We become like the employee that shows up late for work everyday when he knows his performance review is eight months away, but starts to get to the office early once it’s only a week away. Half birthdays are a reminder that the clock is ticking. Having this reminder every six months, as opposed to once a year, gives us a sense of urgency in completing our goals, as we realize that our time is limited.
3) They give us an excuse to celebrate
Why only celebrate our lives once a year when we could be celebrating every six months? Half birthdays are a great reminder that acknowledging progress is just as important as acknowledging success. At that six-month mark, while taking stalk of what you still need to accomplish, also take stalk of what you’ve achieved. Realizing that you’ve come so far in such a short amount of time will give you that jolt of motivation to reach the finish line. And why would you ever turn down an excuse for cake?
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Author: Diana Fitts
A writer focusing on goal setting and productivity. Her two books can be found on Amazon and her website dianafitts.com