6 Tips to Finish the Year Strong : A Year-End Survival GuideDec 01, 2021
December has a way of laughing at the plans you make.
Plans to stay the course and end the year on a high note. Plans to prep for a bigger and better new year. Plans to not gain 50 lbs from gingerbread cookies and eggnog (good luck).
The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year; but between the decking of the halls and the roasting of the chestnuts, it’s easy to lose yourself in all of it.
- Saved up all year to hire a personal coach. Then, the holidays hit. And in the blink of an eye you’ve maxed out your credit card.
- Somehow manage to squeeze in a family vacation, but it’s bookended by weeks of working overtime and covering for colleagues.
- Wake up motivated to work out, then your plans get derailed once you see the size of your to-do list.
- Desperately need time to yourself but keep postponing it to attend to the needs of others.
The truth is, many of us make big plans without really making big plans. I’m talking about “Plan” with a capital “P”. We have an ideal way we want our lives to go, but we don’t actually build structure around to support it or plan ahead for how we’ll stay-the-course when we no longer feel like it.
This blog is a plea to resist the urge to throw in the towel in December.
In a month where everything demands your attention and it’s so easy to live reactively, I’m here to tell you that there is a better way.
All you need is a Plan.
6 Tips to Crush December
1. Set Clear Boundaries
This one might sound obvious, but hear me out.
If you never say NO to anything, you’ll never truly say YES to anything.
Read that again.
Reframe the way you think about the word NO. Recognize that while it may feel like you’re letting someone down, it ALSO means you’re carving out intentional time to show up for someone else (even if that someone is you)
So resist the urge to overcommit. When you say no to something, remember that you are actively practicing self-restraint and showing up for yourself.
2. Choose One Thing
Here’s the truth, you will drop something in December. So don't pretend that you won't. Instead, choose the ONE thing that you’ll definitely, 100%, hand-on-your-heart, get right.
What’s your ONE thing?
It can be as simple as getting enough sleep, or as extensive as planning for 2022. It can be the choice to relax on your vacation, or show up for your immediate family.
When you choose your ONE thing, it keeps everything in perspective and makes it easier to say no.
3. Practice a Healthy Daily Habit
What’s one daily habit that you can commit to that will anchor your day?
Some examples are:
- Drinking more water
- Taking a bath
- Reading a chapter from your book
- Taking a morning walk
- Writing in your journal
- Doing The BRAVRTM
Choose to do something every single day that fills your well, gives you strength, and reminds you that you’re in control.
4. Prioritize Your Mindset
I don’t care if you’re a straight up warrior for mindset work, it is the easiest thing to de-prioritize when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Months like December, when you’re exhausted and feeling pulled in a million different directions, are what you’ve been training for. Your mindset is your very best tool to help you become clear on what you really want so don’t let it fall to the wayside.
Here are a few ways to easily add mindset work to your day:
- This Guided Visualization - Simply press play and enjoy. Do it every day for a week and whenever you need it after that to feel grounded, focused, and capable of anything.
- The Inner Game Podcast - if you prefer to do your mindset work on-the-go, check out our podcast! We release new, 10-minute episodes every day. Each episode offers you a nugget of mindset wisdom and an actionable way to improve your life a little bit at a time.
- The BRAVRTM - Our most popular 5-minute focusing exercise that incorporates a number of powerful, mindfulness disciplines such as positive self-talk, deep breathing, affirmations, and visualization.
Don’t start your year at a deficit, carve out time to prioritize your mindset.
5. Be the CEO of Your Life
In other words, play offense, not defense.
Plan your week, carve out time for work, shopping for gifts, partying with your family, and baking that pie, Perhaps most importantly of all, schedule down time.
Making a schedule that you can anchor to will help you clear your mind and put you at ease. It’ll help you stay in the present moment and enjoy what you’re doing when you’re doing it. Whether that’s planning to take over the world in 2022 or making cookies with your kids.
You can only do one thing at a time. So make your time count, stay consistent, and finish strong.
6. Do an Energy Audit
Your energy is going somewhere, so pay attention!.
- Are you checking your work email or social media every 30 mins? Put your phone away.
- Is one friend draining all your energy? Limit your time with them.
- Are you feeling bad about not going to the gym? Either go to the gym, or decide that your mental health matters more than a few lbs. Don’t let guilt rob you of your joy.
- Is your family holiday card hanging over your head? Maybe don’t send one this year.
- Is holiday shopping putting a burden on your finances? Make cookies, shop secondhand, or cut down your shopping list and prioritize what matters most.
December doesn’t have to be a throwaway month. You don’t have to start the New Year with a million resolutions just to balance the scales. It IS possible to keep moving forward and enjoy the holidays.
You can stay the course... I’m living proof.
Last year, I wrote the copy for my book between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And yes, I still went to parties and took a vacation. Writing a book is a dream I’ve had since I can remember, and I did it. All thanks to the tips I shared above.
I created a plan, exercised discipline, and executed that plan, a little bit every day. Most importantly, I made a commitment to myself to be intentional about finishing my year strong.
I’ll leave you with a few journal prompts. I encourage you to really take time to think about them and write down your answers:
- What’s the ONE THING you’ll prioritize (say YES to) this month?
- What’s ONE healthy habit you can do every day?
- How will you practice mindfulness every day?
- Where are you spending your energy (and what can you let go of?)
- What’s a boundary you should set (and how will your life improve when you do?)
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