The 4th of July is always a really important holiday for me, but not for the reasons you may think. It has nothing to do with picnics, barbecues or fireworks, although I certainly find such festivities enjoyable. It’s rather an opportunity to review my personal performance over the first half of the year—a sort of “halftime” to rethink strategies, reassess goals and just to reflect on life in general.
This midyear self-evaluation has served me over the years really well. I have never mentioned it until now, but since I am having the family barbecue at my house this year I thought maybe I should let them know in case I burn a burger or seem slightly ‘spaced out’.
While I use the occasion to examine how I’m doing on many levels, there are five essentials that I always rate myself on: (1.) healthy eating (usually organic); (2.) getting adequate sleep (at least eight hours a night); (3.) getting daily exercise; (4.) spending quality time with family and friends and, finally, (5.) maintaining a sense of purpose in life.
So far this year, I seem to have done OK on the first two areas, but have come up a bit short in the third because I haven’t been stretching nearly enough, so I’ll have to make a point of correcting that in the second half of the year. Where I’ve really been deficient is in number 4, but that, I realize, is because number 5 — working on projects that “are on the side of the angels” in terms of helping people and the planet – seems to consume most of my waking hours.
Incidentally, a friend asked that I write this because he thought it might be a useful system of self-evaluation for others to adopt as well. If you do, just remember that the 4th of July is one of the most opportune times to accomplish No. 4 – spending quality time with family and friends which, as I said, is one that I really need to work on. So starting this Friday, that’s what I plan to be doing, along with taking stretching up a notch. Happy Fourth