Remember when we were kids and everything felt like it took forrrr-ever? Summer break felt like it lasted a year, it seemed like eons until your next birthday, and don’t even get me started on waiting for food at restaurants or your mom to get off the phone. (FOREVER.) But it turns out… our parents were totally right, and as adults now it feels like time absolutely flies by in the most jarring way. Truly, I can-NOT believe we’re approaching the end of another year (wasn’t it just January?!), and if you’re trying to catch your breath like I am after the last several months that breezed past way too quickly, you might be seeking out ways to finish your year on the right foot. I know I am!
This has been a good year with so many things to be grateful for, even if they’re small—but like most years, there have also been challenges and learning curves, and unexpected bumps in the road. If you feel like you’re a bit off-course with your goals or not fully feeling like yourself as we approach the end of the year, know that you’re not alone. And know that we can take tiny steps toward feeling more aligned, even before the new year arrives.
3 actions to focus on to finish your year on the right foot
While it’s easy to either want to sit the rest of the year out and wait for the new one to roll around or go crazy trying to tackle all the things you envisioned way back in January, my plan is to simply and methodically move through the remainder of the year. In fact, I’m planning on focusing on THREE things as we wrap up these next couple of months so that I feel good and ready for a fresh year. If you’re itching for the same thing, join me in prioritizing these three things to finish your year on the right foot!
01. Take a self-audit.
When’s the last time you slowed down enough to really assess where you’re at and if you’re headed in the right direction? This your invitation to take a little audit, do a little inventory, check-in with yourself and see if you need a reset or a pivot or just a refresh on your goals. This can be a beautiful time for change, but I’m not about fast, sweeping, drastic changes. Like, at all. Anytime I’ve tried that approach (crash diets, crazy workout regimens, jam-packed workweeks… BLEH), it’s always led to disaster. Aka, I end up being miserable and wanting to call it quits. Anyone else???
Lately, I’ve been into more of an intuitive, gradual approach to change, if I see it’s needed. And that starts with taking an inventory or a self-audit of sorts. I regularly ask myself the following questions, not just at the end or beginning of the year:
- What HAS been working for you? Do more of this.
- What is draining you or not serving you? Try to do less of this by outsourcing, automating, saying no to things you WANT to say no to, or taking on less if you can.
- What do you want more of in your life? Think both business and personal. How can you allow more space for these things?
I will literally get as specific as possible and write down a detailed list of answers for each of these questions. I recommend you do the same to get super clear on what you actually want more and less of in your life. It is really motivating and sometimes even surprising to see these answers written down in front of you, and we don’t have to wait until AFTER the year is over to take stock. There’s time right now (well, all year long really!) to make progress and see what you can do more of to move the needle forward and protect your peace as we transition into the holiday season.
02. Pick one big goal.
Maybe it’s even one that you come up with based on your lists from the questions above. 😉 Funny how that works out, isn’t it?! There’s something about a time limit that can light a little fire under my booty, and having a few months left in the year is the ultimate motivator for me to achieve something that’s long been on my goal list. I generally break things up into quarters because you can achieve so much in 90 days, so don’t discount this opportunity to end the year strong.
Pick ONE big thing that you want to achieve and prioritize putting at least a few minutes a day or hours a week toward it. Any successful person will tell you the “secret” to their good fortune isn’t luck. It’s consistency and it’s getting clear on what you want, and then putting a plan together to get there.
I like picking one thing to end the year with because it feels doable in the timeframe of a few months and sort of even recreates that initial energetic surge of the new year. To pick your one thing, think about: What is something you hoped you would accomplish this year but you haven’t taken (much or any) action on yet? A Harvard Business study found that there is a direct correlation between goal setting and success. It said that 14% of the people who have goals are 10 times more successful than those who do not have goals.
(Pro tip: Give yourself a little grace at the same time. It’s WAAAY more important to start your goal and set up a foundation and action plan than it is to check it off by December 31.)
03. Review your habits.
Just like we want to take an inventory of what’s going well vs. not going super well in our work lives, a little inventory of our personal habits, good or bad, can also help to energetically move into a fresh year already on the right food. (Or at least headed in a direction that feels good.)
Because, seriously… Who likes getting to January 1 and feeling like it’s time to overhaul their entire life? Not this lady, nope. I’m good leaving the traditional New Year’s resolutions in the ol’ trash can and opting for year-round check-ins to observe what I’m doing that feels good, restful, and supportive and what I’m doing that might be taking away from my joy and peace.
If you’ve never read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, holy moly, add it to your Kindle library ASAP. It helped me learn incredibly helpful (i.e., easy) ways to review habits and form new ones, like habit stacking and setting myself up for more success. Aaand, it also helped me notice triggers that might set me off course.
IDK about y’all, but I am just itching to whip out my journal and take stock of my business life, set a goal to wrap up the year with, and review my habits to feel good come the new one. Let’s all vow to practice little, bite-sized change whenever the heck we want instead of waiting for a fresh year to try to cram in all our hopes, dreams, and desires. We can create the lives we want, whenever we want, one micro-step at a time.