Here we are at the end of another year—a time that leaves many of us feeling defeated and discouraged by unmet resolutions or goals, or shifting priorities or setbacks. It doesn’t have to be this way! Want to begin 2018 feeling bigger and more expansive, like anything is possible? It starts with a few simple shifts and discovering what lights you up—and most importantly, taking action!
Read on for our top 4 ways to finish strong in 2017.
1. Do a 60-day sprint! (Or, if necessary, a 40-day or 30-day sprint.)
Choose one area of your life where you would like to see some meaningful change—something that really matters to you. Create a realistic goal that can happen in 60 (or 40, or 30, whatever number) days. This is not the time to make 12 goals for every area of your life. Choose ONE area and ONE goal in that area. Do a quick gut check with a mentor, friend or colleague to make sure it’s realistic, and also ask for their support and accountability. Choose something that would feel like a real accomplishment for you, and get you charged up and ready to end the year on a high note. This will also set you up to begin 2018 with a mindset of possibility and hope.
2. Write a “do not do” list.
Take stock of how you spend your time. In these last 60 days of the year, try eliminating activities that don’t move the needle on your goal(s). Here are some some ideas for things you can stop doing:
- Stop stressing out about cooking for a night or two. Order out or pick up a healthy dinner.
- Stop feeling tired: Go to bed an hour earlier (cutting back on binge watching TV should help with this!)
- Stop wasting your time and delegate already! Use a virtual assistant or task service to help you to deal with some of life’s annoying little details. VA’s or “taskers” can sort through your out of control inbox, research travel options for your upcoming vacation, or anything else that you’ve been putting off. We recommend Uplevel VA (20 hour/month minimum). If you prefer an in-person assistant, use this code for $20 off a tasker @ TaskRabbit who will work at your home or office (or home office) so you can be available for things that really matter to you.
- Stop agonizing over holiday shopping. Of course gift giving is an opportunity to surprise and delight our loved ones. But rather than spending endless hours shopping, ask the people on your list what they want within a certain price range. You might miss out on the thrill of surprising a loved one, but this year, you can put that time toward your 60-day sprint/goal.
These are simply suggestions of things to stop doing. Add another 5-10 hours to reach your goal each week and you’ll be less likely to look back with regret. Plus: you’ll be helping out our fine friends in the gig economy.
3. Clarify where you want to be a year from now.
Make a side by side list: take a blank sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle: At the top of the left column write: What I DO NOT want to be experiencing/doing/known for this time next year. And at the top of of the right-side column, write: What I WANT to be experiencing/doing/be known for this time next year. Fill out your list honestly and to the best of your ability without judgment, shame or expectation. Just come from your heart about where you want to be a year from now.
Then take a moment to set your inner compass towards the I WANT list. What do you need to get started now to make that happen? Who do you need to meet to make that happen? What is a habit you can develop now that would get you closer to making that list a reality? Now: Take Action!
4. Make time for self-discovery.
The end of the year is a great time to reflect on what motivates you, your strengths and your purpose. Here are our favorite exercises and processes that can help you assess your progress or help you figure out your next step.
We love Simon Sinek’s Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and his recent release Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team. Find Your Why is a great workbook with activities on how to articulate and implement your WHY, your purpose, your motivation for getting out of bed every morning. As Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
StrengthsFinder was developed by Gallup and based on the book Now, Discover Your Strengths, which has helped millions of people figure out their top strengths and how to apply them for more satisfaction at work. When you buy the book you will get a code to use on their site, or your can purchase access to the test and your results. Given Gallup’s technology, accuracy in polling and the additional resources provided, it is well worth the expense, and offers insight into doing/using your strengths and building teams with people of complementary strengths.
Myers-Briggs is a classic personality assessment that identifies how you rank on four spectrums: Introvert/Extrovert, Sensory/Intuitive, Thinking/Feeling and Judgment/Perception. Knowing your personality type (and the types of people around you) using this multi-dimensional tool helps you understand yourself and what energizes/depletes you, and much more.
The Enneagram is based on 9 archetypal tendencies, or personality types. The Enneagram can help you understand your tendencies under states of stress and security, and gives you another lens to view your patterns of thinking and behaving.
All forms of understanding ourselves lead to better insights into how to get more out of the work we do and the lives we lead.
So, who’s in? Let’s slay 2017 and finish strong. No excuses for what didn’t get done, just taking action on making these last weeks the best weeks of the year!
If you have any ideas to share, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share the best ideas with our community.
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