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Whether you’re kicking off this list mid-December (it’s okay… you’re not the only one) or you’re starting the year with a bang, it’s always a good idea to make note of the things you should do before the end of the year.
This doesn’t mean you have to add more to your plate, it’s not meant to make you stressed or make you feel like you haven’t done enough.
It’s simply to get you thinking about what you can do to make things easier (yes!!), reflect on what you’ve achieved (because you’re amazing) and remind you of what is truly important.
It’s so easy to get caught up in to do lists, the ‘silly season’ (there’s a reason they call it that) and even at the start of the year, it’s easy to brush things aside because the end of the year seems so far away.
Instead, choose a few things off this list, focus on them, and see how much more positive your year can be.
1 – Schedule Some Time For Self Care
Did you guess this would be number one? Of course it is! And it’s number 1 because it seriously NEEDS to be a major priority for you. Whether there’s a day, a week, a month or a quarter left in the year, you need to schedule in some time for self care.
You don’t necessarily need to book in a day at the spa (although if that’s your jam then go right ahead). We often overcomplicate self care, and in doing so tell ourselves it’s too difficult or too time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Have a think about simple things you love to do, and do more of them – it’s that easy.
For example, I absolutely love sitting in my favourite cafe, reading a magazine and drinking coffee… all by myself. So amid the chaos of the end of year rush, I’ve made sure to schedule in a morning all to myself so I can spend time on self care.
Remember, you need to recharge your batteries too.
Take the Self Care Challenge to figure out what self care means for you and how you can include it in your days.
2 – Write A Gratitude List
While many people practice gratitude on a daily basis I like to also take specific time to reflect on what it is I am grateful for in the year that has gone. A year can be quite a long time, and a lot can happen, so taking a few moments to be grateful reminds me of all the amazing things that have happened.
It can be as detailed or as simple as you’d like. You can write a ‘top 10’ list, of all the things you are most grateful for, or you can write and write until you cannot think of anything else.
There’s no ‘right’ way to be grateful – do whatever feels right for you, even if it only takes you a few minutes.
3 – Create A List Of All The Things You’ve Achieved This Year
Similar to acknowledging the things we are grateful for, it’s also good to take time to pay attention to all of the things you have achieved this year. Before you try and dodge this one and say you haven’t achieved anything. I bet that’s not the case.
Your achievements don’t have to be things like a job promotion, or buying a house, or getting an award, they can be the simple every day things that should also be celebrated.
Are you in less debt now than you were at the start of the year? That’s an achievement!
Are you happier now than you were at the start of the year? Another achievement!
Do you feel you’ve grown emotionally over the last year? Achievement!
Did you manage to get through the year without completely breaking down, rocking back and forth in the corner? That counts too!
We should celebrate our wins, both big and small, because every win is important.
4 – Declutter At Least One Area Of Your Home/Life
If you’ve got a bit of time up your sleeve you could set out a decluttering schedule (like one area a month, or each week) otherwise focus on decluttering just one area of your home or life.
Yup, that’s right, your life too, because there are areas (like toxic friends) that need decluttering just as much as our homes.
Whether it’s your closet or your overabundance of bathrooms supplies and 4 year old mascara, or your book collection, or your array of mismatched kitchen crockery, choose one area and go for it.
You will be amazed at how much better you feel and how refreshing it can be.
5 – Get Your Finances In Order
Don’t let the excitement of the holiday season (and end of year sales) railroad your finances.
Too often people get caught up at this time of year, putting all kinds of things on credit and store cards with the lure of paying them off later… but that’s such an awful way to start the new year.
A little effort and restraint now will pay off big time later on.
6 – Set Your Intentions For Next Year
While it’s good to reflect on the year that’s passed, it’s even better to look towards the year that is coming!
Instead of just winging it (because let’s face it, that never works) take some time to actually set your intentions for the next year.
What is it you want to achieve? Where do you want to be a year from now? How do you want to feel? What do you want to learn? Are there places you want to visit? People you want to meet? Jobs you want or businesses you want to create?
Whatever it is you want, make some time now to set your intentions for the next year. Write them out and keep them somewhere.
Whenever you’re feeling lost throughout the year, or whenever you feel like you’re not going anywhere, check back on your intentions to help you create your next action steps. I promise it’s powerful stuff.
7 – Choose a ‘Word of The Year’
Okay, this might sound a little ‘woo woo’ but stick with me for a minute.
At the start of last year, I decided I wanted to give myself a word of the year. Something that I could say over and over to myself that would help me keep on track.
The word I chose was ‘Simplify’.
I was over complicating every aspect of my life and it was draining – mentally, emotionally and physically.
As a self confessed over thinker, reminding myself time and time again to ‘simplify’ helped me keep moving forward instead of getting stuck in my own head and spinning on the spot.
It also inspired a lot of my minimalist lifestyle, helped me achieve my financial goals and helped me grow my business (instead of being distracted by all the shiny objects out there).
What word could help you keep on track to achieve what you want this next year?
8 – Take Time To Create Your Dream Life
Have you ever actually taken the time to think about what your dream life looks like? Not snippets here and there like ‘It’s my dream to live in this house’ or ‘It’s my dream to drive that car’ but actually how it all looks together.
How do you spend your days in your dream life? What does your financial situation look like? What do your relationships look like? What are you doing for yourself? And for others?
And don’t get too bogged down in what you think is ‘realistic’. This is your dream life. Make it as amazing as you want it to be.
When you start thinking about what your dream life looks like, you will naturally start making more choices that lead you towards that life… it won’t happen overnight but if you keep working towards it, and focusing on it, you will get there.
9 – Set Out An Action Plan For Your Goals
Be sure not to confuse your dream life with your goals. Your goals are specific things you want to achieve, but without an action plan they are useless. It’s all well and good to say that you want to earn x amount of money next year, but without a job, or a plan in place, it’s unlikely to actually happen.
Your action plan consists of steps you need to take in order achieve your goal. They are very specifc and sequential – for example if you want to be able to run in a marathon by the end of the year, you don’t start off by running 42km.
You create a plan, like committing to training every day at 6am, hiring a trainer to help you, starting off by walking 5km, then a little further, then adding some running in, then a little more (your plan is going to look far more specific than this, clearly I have never run a marathon).
The point is, you need to create an action plan that gives you step by step how you can achieve your goal so you can move forward one step at a time and achieve it.
Unless you’re reading this while the final 10 second countdown is happening on New Year’s Eve, then there’s time for you to do at least one or two things on this list.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the things you should do before the end of the year, it’s simply inspiration to remind you that a) the year isn’t over yet and b) a little mindfulness now can make for a much happier, motivated and productive year next year.