This year, I am that person who is saying, “How did it get to be December?” The end of the year has snuck up on me, so if you’re feeling this way too, I’m right there with you. Holiday planning, end of year planning and bookkeeping, time off, family flying in … My list of things to do, things to be excited about, and “extras” is longer than usual.
So who am I to be talking about three more things to do before the end of the year? Trust me. These three things won’t add a layer of heaviness to the next few weeks. In fact, they have the power to lighten them (and you) up and to help you lay the groundwork for an awesome 2019.
3 things to do before the end of the year
Take ten to twenty minutes and sit down with some paper and something to write with. I promise this will be well worth your time.
1. Decide now how you’d like to feel on the first day of the New Year. Create a mental picture of you waking up on January 1st. How do you want to feel – physically and emotionally? I’m not suggesting you create a resolution about what you want to do in the next year. I’m asking you how you’d like to feel, on the very first day. Do you want to feel energized, mentally clear, or that you’re growing stronger? How about light or optimistic or supported or grounded or calm? Take a few moments, close your eyes, and then write down what you desire to feel. See it in your mind.
Now, focus on what’s possible and do-able over the next few weeks. Make a list of anything you know you can do, plan for, or put in place that will move you in this direction and help you either create your vision or put yourself on the path to creating it. Want to feel rested or energized? Maybe you’ll want to prioritize sleep or say no to the non-essentials. You might want to commit to staying hydrated, or taking a daily walk.
Want to feel calm? What small practices or preparations might help grow this sense of peace? Can you spend a few meditative minutes alone each day, or are there plans that would feel great to already have in place before your New Year arrives? Maybe you’ll preorder your groceries or plan to take a mental health day early in the year.
Here’s how to avoid screwing this step up.
Don’t create a plan that feels too big or that you aren’t sure you can stick with.
Don’t create a picture of your first day of the year that’s based on all the things you will have done or achieved between now and then. Your vision is not a to-do list or a list of accomplishments – it’s the way you want to feel.
Don’t turn this step into an opportunity to beat yourself up for anything you didn’t accomplish this year. Again, how do you want to feel on January 1st, and what will help you build this feeling?
Still stuck feeling bad about what hasn’t happened (yet)? Here are some workarounds:
I want to feel like I know my next step.
I want to feel like I’m working on ____.
I want to feel like I’m learning to ____.
I want to feel like I’m building the habit of ____.
Now – pick a few things (small, do-able things)that you can do or put in place over the next few weeks to bring you closer to this feeling
2. Next, make a list of things you’re proud of that transpired in 2018. What went well? It’s so easy to get lost down the rabbit hole of what we didn’t finish or accomplish. The truth is, if you review your calendar, there’s a lot of amazing stuff that happened – thanks to you – this year. What did you create, accomplish, or survive? What were you complimented for? Where were you brave or unendingly patient or strong?
What did you do that no one else could do or volunteered for? Where did your strengths show up? Take credit. And if at first, you come up blank, never fear. The wheels in this part of your brain may be rusty. The answers are there and it’s so important to get these on paper!
3. What do you want for 2019? How do you want to feel at the end of next year? What new strengths do you want to grow, what new habits do you want to build? Where do you want more ease? Where could you use more help? Write these things down. Without getting stressed about how you’ll achieve them, write down anything you know – any steps you could take, or resources you could leverage to move toward your goal. Don’t worry about any blank spots or missing parts of your plan. Your key job right now is to create the picture – the vision – of where you want to aim your GPS.
Plug those instructions (your destination) into your brain and give yourself some time and space to decide on your next few steps. The clarity you just created –that was the first one. You already took your first step!
That’s it! You’ve done it. This is a quick easy way to align yourself for the beginning of the year, respectfully wind up the very full year you’re living, and set the stage for a year that fits you.
Yes, of course, there will be more steps to take. But when you take these three steps, you’ve created a great foundation on which to step forward.