It's 2017 Halftime: 3 Questions to Help Shape the Second Half

It’s halftime. Believe it or not, this week marks the end of the sixth month of 2017. Six down and six to go. As a sports fan, I love what can happen at halftime – especially when my team is not performing well.  It provides an opportunity to regroup, refocus and rest. A game is rarely won or lost in the first half, but many games have been decided by what happens in the halftime locker room. I can remember some amazing second half comebacks that had to have been the result of an inspired locker room speech. I lived in Buffalo when our Bills made the greatest comeback in NFL history by beating the Houston Oilers 41-38, overcoming a 32 point second half deficit with a second team quarterback named Frank Reich. I also remember my team being on the losing end of one of the most memorable college comebacks ever – I won’t mention the score or team because I am too immature to give credit to that team who got so incredibly lucky.

The point is a lot happens in the second half, and I want to encourage you to finish 2017 strong. If you had a good first half, you can move to an even higher level and make this your best year ever. If your first half was less than stellar, you have six months to make a memorable comeback.

Second halves are often repeats of first halves, but they don’t have to be. Winners use halftime to make strategic adjustments and answer critical questions.

Here are three such questions to ask yourself as you head into the second half:

What needs to stop happening so I can make progress?

This might include a character deficiency like anger, lust or jealousy. Name it and make a plan to move on to victory. The areas that may need attention could be poor work or personal habits, unhealthy patterns, ineffective use of time, or too much social media, TV or email. Sometimes what needs to stop is a good thing that is keeping you from pursuing the best things. For example, I’m planning on spending a little less time in the details of my work to allow more time to focus on long range planning.

What needs to start happening?

If you are able to eliminate unhealthy habits you move into a position to replace them with healthy ones like family time, reading, writing, exercise, friends, work projects, or serving at your church. What do you need to add to your life during the second half of 2017?

What needs to continue happening?

Are there areas in your life where you are starting to see a little momentum build? Keep moving in those directions. Don’t give up. Are there other areas that have consistently proven to produce good results? Keep them up, tweak them so they remain fresh, make adjustments where needed – but don’t stop. For me, I started this blog on January 1 and this marks my 26th weekly post. My plan is to finish the year with 26 more.

These three simple questions are asked by successful people and teams again and again. Then they are bold enough to answer in ways that keep propelling them forward. I hope you will do the same. Regardless of how successful you were during your first half, your second half can be one you’ll never forget.