It’s amazing how fast each year comes to an end and a new one starts again. Can you believe we have less than 20 days left until the end of the year? In fact, we have less than 20 days left until the end of the decade.
Interestingly, it’s usually this time of year when people start putting things off. My husband, who works in sales, talks to dozens of people a day. Do you know what happens in December? Yep, everyone says the same thing, “Call me in the New Year”. I’ve been hearing this a lot from friends and clients too.
How many times have you thought this to yourself in the past couple of weeks: I’ll do that in the New Year.
I’ll start that new exercise routine or diet in the New Year.
I’ll apply for that job in the New Year.
I’ll have that conversation in the New Year.
I’ll sign up for that course in the New Year.
I’ve been hearing this a lot from friends and clients too. My guess is that most of those things you haven’t finished on your list for this year have now gone onto the list of “Things to do in the New Year”.
But what if you could take a few of those things and cross them off your list NOW?
What if you could finish strong and set yourself up for an even better 2020?
Have you ever run a race or played in a sports game? What happens towards the end of the game or the race? Do you slow down, get distracted and want to give up? No, you do the exact opposite; you dig deep, garner all the energy you have and push to finish strong. How many championships are won in the last 30 seconds with a crazy shot on goal, 3-point basket or sprint to the end?
You’ve put a lot of time effort and energy into this year already and now’s your chance to reap the benefits and rewards.
Yes, I know it’s a busy time of year. I’ve talked to many folks in the last couple of days who are feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and challenged by the busyness of it all. Holiday Parties, check. Shopping, check. Kids’ events, check. Travelling, check. Keep everything in control at work, check. End of year rush, check. I get it. With three active kids, clients, a business to run and a home to take care of, I know just how busy it can get! With so much to do, it’s easy to put things off, get distracted or feel overwhelmed.
Instead of using December as a reason NOT to do all those things on your list, why not use it as a DEADLINE to get stuff done?!
Take control of the end of the year; don’t let the season sweep you into a shopping, party-filled, too-much-to-do frenzy; live this December with intention and a focused mindset.
Here are 8 ways to help you finish the year strong
1. Look at your goals from the beginning of the year. Is there anything on that list that hasn’t happened yet, but you know you still have time to achieve? Something important that you wanted to do or accomplish this year? You still have time. What can you do?
2. Identify one thing you’ve been procrastinating on. You know what it is. For some reason, you just keep pushing it off. That website you wanted to finish? The article you wanted to write? That call you need to make? What’s the one thing you want to get OFF your list before you head into the New Year? What would make you feel proud, excited, or relieved to know you can mark it off your list before the clock strikes midnight?
3. Imagine yourself on December 31st. When you look back at the year, what will you wish you had done? This can be big or small. Was it talking to your boss and asking for that raise or a new project? Getting that new haircut that’s been pinned on your wall? Forgiving someone so you can enter the New Year with that off your chest? What do you need or want to do so you can look back and feel awesome about the year just gone, not with regret or disappointment about what didn’t happen.
4. Set yourself up. What do you need to do to set yourself up for a great new decade? Part of setting yourself up is finishing this year strong. If you let go of everything, eat crap, stop exercising because you’re too busy, drink too much, eat too much and pile on the stress, how are you going to feel? If you wake up January 1 hungover, 10 pounds overweight and exhausted, what impact will that have on your ‘fresh’ start?
Aim to finish this year strong. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy a glass of wine or a couple of pigs in a blanket, I’m just saying that if you’re thinking about what you want in the New Year, you can start setting yourself up for success now.
Take that yoga class. Start meditating. Schedule that hike with a friend. Identify a clear vision for the year ahead.
5. Shift your mindset. Is there a negative attitude you want to shake; a limiting belief that keeps getting in your way; self-doubt or insecurities that prevent you from achieving your dreams? Maybe you want to finish strong by going to see that therapist you’ve been meaning to see or booking an appointment with a coach you know can take you to the next level in your life or career. I just had a new client book today, ready to start the new year with energy and clarity.
6. Identify what’s in the back of your mind? You know, that thing that is always nagging away in the background. There’s likely something you’ve been beating yourself up for not doing. Is reading that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand? Read the first chapter. Cleaning out your closet or junk drawer? Schedule an hour and donate that stuff. Booking that trip you’ve been talking about for years? Do it. Do it now. Get it off your list. Or, make a decision NOT to do it and take it OFF the list. That’s a powerful decision in and of itself. But letting it hang over you, stressed out that you haven’t done it or finished it is not healthy, drains your energy and just makes you feel bad.
7. Stop it. Sometimes it’s as much about what we stop doing as it is about what we start doing. What bad habit do you want to stop? What would bring greater peace, joy, and ease to your life? Stop worrying so much. Stop criticizing yourself. Stop saying ‘yes’ when you really mean no. Stop over-committing. Stop complaining. What do you want to stop doing?
8. Chill out. Yes, amidst all of the suggestions of what you’re going to make happen, one of the things that you may need to do is relax. Especially during this busy time, it’s especially important to take care of you. Get that massage. Go to bed early. Take the yoga class you’ve been wondering about. Say ‘no’ to that party you really don’t want to go to. Take the time to meditate, self-reflect, practice gratitude. In fact, winter is naturally a season when we start to wind down. In Ayurvedic tradition, this season is all about embracing stillness.
Use the natural rhythm of the season to ground, to connect to be still for a few moments. If you only practiced this, you’d start the New Year in a better mental space.
“Everywhere around you the natural world is withdrawing, going dormant, and embracing a long, dark, season of slumber. There is a particular stillness that characterizes winter, and with it comes a subtle invitation to redirect our own energies. The winter season holds the perfect antidote to the fast-paced mobility of the summer and fall. This is a time to rest, reflect, hold space, vision, hibernate, withdraw some of your outwardly-focused energy and redirect it inward.”
Pick One Thing
Now, it’s about deciding what’s most important for you and taking action. Pick just one – okay, maybe two – things to take action on before the end of the year.
What will make you feel accomplished? What will make the biggest difference to your health, wellness, happiness, or success? What will make you feel more in control, more confident, more relaxed or at peace as you finish this year and start the next?
There’s a saying,
“How you do one thing is how you do everything.”
Make December how you want to do everything.
Make December how you want your next year to look.
Finishing the year strong will bring you strength, momentum, intention and focus into the New Year.
It’s the last 30 seconds of that game, the last 100 yards in that race. Now is your opportunity to push, to take advantage of all the work you’ve put in this year so far.
Now is your time. Let’s finish STRONG!!!!