How do you assess how you are doing with your business timelines? I use the fireworks on the 4th of July as my annual business timeline checkup. YEP! Just like January 1st, while everyone is celebrating and watching the spectacular beauty of a fireworks display, I am going through my checklist of what I’d like to accomplish in the next 6 months.

Maybe you are asking why 4th of July? What’s so important about the fireworks? Yep! You got it! It is the 6 month mark of the year. So whatever goals I set out to accomplish, I have 6 months left to accomplish them. The 4th of July, just like New Year’s Day, seems like the perfect time to ask yourself what you have hoped you would do in the first 6 months of the year and consider what you are going to drive home over the next 6 months.

Most of the time, I reject unrealistic, control-drama-led business timelines, but I really like personal timelines and personal accountability. Call me old school, but every year I still put out there what I would like to accomplish in the coming year, especially for the impact investments or movements/initiatives that I support. My feeling is, if I don’t do that I will potentially leave a company or an initiative without my support or the energy to take it to the next level.

This is also a good time to evaluate whether you still feel like your goals and business timelines are even doable. I like to sort and sift, and yes, even narrow my list to only one or two items to get across the finish line, and put the rest on the 2018 list. Sometimes I take things off the list entirely because of macro-issues or maybe even micro-issues.

Okay, so as I evaluate by own business timeline, I am asking myself what have I done to promote regenerative agriculture? What have I done to democratize healthy affordable food for everyone? What have I done to make sure we have a circular economy and don’t waste precious materials and fill landfills? Oh, and how about the oceans, what have I done to further their protection? And let’s not forget scientific breakthroughs that will totally transform our medical and health care system?

As some of you know, when I get head-down into a company or initiative, I tend to ignore other ones. So today, I want to give you a few tools that have pulled me back from the brink of being hung several times by companies/initiatives/movements with which I have been involved.

Evaluate these 4 things as you assess your business timeline for the last half of the year:

  1. What’s the first thing you are going to do for the initiatives you want to drive home?
  2. For the next 6 months, begin a bi-weekly checkin call for each initiative.
  3. Set a standard weekly call to measure the team’s accomplishments and your personal contribution.
  4. Beginning now, take time every Friday to sit down and do a self-evaluation. Determine how you can do more. If the “juice is worth the squeeze,” double down on your efforts. If it’s not, consider quitting the initiative and give another your full attention.

In three months, on October 1st, evaluate again and consider:

  1. If you are getting momentum in the way you expected, move to daily checkin calls with your companies/initiatives/movements. Yep! This seems like I am saying the same thing as above, but put everything on this type of business timeline and make your best attempt to accomplish whatever you can in the amount of time you have available.
  2. Don’t be hard on yourself if nothing that you had in mind gets accomplished even though you have given it your best. If 10% of the companies/initiatives/movements meet your expectations, you are hitting it out of the park.

I believe giving it your best––both in business and in your personal life––requires a personal gut check, a 6 month timeline reminder like the beauty of fireworks, and a plan to get to the finish line.

Enjoy the fireworks tonight and just imagine the celebration for accomplishing your goals when the next round of fireworks goes off on New Year’s Eve! YEAH!

Happy 4th!