Our family welcomed 2022 with a rare thunderstorm in the UAE. Living on the 21st floor in the highest building in Abu Dhabi, the strong wind rushed into the cracks of our windows, making a high-pitched sound. That was when I felt thankful that we didn’t choose to live on the higher floor, or else we would have felt the building swing dance with the wind.

In a blink of an eye, this year has gone halfway, and no single raindrop has appeared again since January. Now is the time for a free sauna everywhere you go outside— extremely humid and hot. Thus, life in the UAE summer. 

Perhaps your summer is much more gentle and pleasant than mine. I wish you countless star-watching, backyard bonfire chatting nights. 

As the kids finish the school year, we have entered a slower phase. No matter where you live, the end of June is always a good time to reflect on the year’s first half so that we can adjust our goals and carry on well for the next half. 

Our experience won’t necessarily mature us, but the learning from our reflections on past events will. Here are some great questions for your mid-year reflection: 

In the past six months, in each of these categories— family, career, community, personal, 

1.What are the things you did that make you feel proud (If you have annual goals, what are the first two-quarter goals you’ve achieved?) Maybe you had a baby, congratulations! You have survived the first couple exhausting months of your baby’s infancy, which is a huge achievement! Maybe you moved to a new house or started a new job. Perhaps you finished a major project at work or picked up a new hobby. Whatever they are, write them down and take a moment to celebrate what you have achieved. 

2. What are you thankful for? Look back on the past six months, and write down 15 things you are thankful for. Maybe your neighbour brought you chicken soup while you were sick at home. Maybe your child’s teacher does a great job in her work. Perhaps your spouse gave your a pleasant surprise on a special day. Take time to revisit those moments and let the feeling of gratitude rise in your heart. You will find your life so much richer than you thought. 

3. What is life-draining? What you dislike is as crucial of an indication as what you like, and it tells a lot about who you are inside. In the past six months, what did you not like and don’t want to do it again? Maybe it was that late-night party you hesitantly attended because your friends pushed you. Perhaps it was that augment with a colleague you wish had never happened. Write them down, and ask yourself, how can you do it differently the next time? 

4. What are your plans and goals for the next half of the year? Subtracting the two months’ slower season of the summer holiday, we have four full months left until Christmas. Now it’s an excellent time to plan or adjust your goals for the next six months. When setting goals, look at all domains of your life: your job, meaningful relationships, and well-being. Don’t forget to schedule family time, date nights, and self-care. 

To give you an example, I’m going to share an uncomplete list of my mid-year reflection:

1.Some main things I got done in the past six months: I finished a surface pattern design course, got my UAE driving license, registered my business, and launched my online gallery shop. Even though growing my business is another ball game, and I still have a long way to go, I feel proud of the effort I made that has taken me where I am today. It is worth celebrating! 

2.I’m thankful for the international church community we are part of and its leadership that we get to fellowship with people from all over the world. I’m grateful for Bonnie Christine, who created the surface pattern design course. It’s the best online course I’ve taken so far. I’m thankful for my family’s health and our rapid recovery from Covid. I’m thankful for the stability and prosperity of the country we live. I’m thankful… 

3.We bought an electronic piano because I wanted to learn to play the piano. I set a goal to play five longer songs by the end of the year. I barely played on it in the past six months because of other priories. So today, I can still only play songs like “twinkle twinkle little star”. I’ve learned that learning to play the piano itself is fun, but setting an achievement goal on it makes it life-draining. From now on, I will treat it gently as a hobby. However, while I neglect it, my husband, with a bit of previous piano training, has been playing almost every day and has made impressive progress, which is definitely on his achievement list for the past six months. 

4.I don’t have any business-related work planned for July and August as my children will be home, and we will be travelling in Europe for a few weeks. I look forward to collecting inspiration this summer and creating some fresh artwork. I will reevaluate and plan for my business by the end of the summer.

Each of us is given this one precious life to live, and we want to live well. The habit of reflection deepens self-awareness and provides insight into what our life calls now and the future direction. I hope these questions will help you gain better clarity in your life. Now it’s your turn for your mid-year reflection. 

Before you go, I want to make sure you have checked out my Shop because, who knows, you may find something that inspires you or a gift for your loved ones. And guess what? If you haven’t signed up for my email community, now it’s the best time to do it because I will send out an email this Friday with discount info about all my artwork! 🙂 Will you sign up now? Thank you so much for your support! 

Until next time! 

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