I am not generally a big thinker-aheader. I tend to roll last-minute in most things I do, and I generally like it that way. But so many people are not, and when you want to do something and can’t, because it’s sold out or the hotels are completely full or whatever, you realize that perhaps planning is a good idea. (Who are all these planners, anyway!?)
Lately, however, I have been thinking ahead quite a bit about how I am going to end this year. I’ve started to get some seriously concrete goals in motion and revise a few others. Here are a few thoughts on how not to panic that the year is almost over (two months to go! Eeeek!) and plan ahead to raise that glass at New Year’s with a huge smile on your face, knowing you’ve accomplished what you set out to do this year!
-Make a list. You may know of my love of lists. Seeing it- in writing- is the first step to actualizing it. Think about what you need to set yourself up for next year, and write it down. In my case, I have known for nearly two years that I want to do a new album in 2017. So I plan to have 5 new songs written and worked out before the end of the year. That’s huge for me.
-Prioritize action. Yes, perhaps another list is in order. One that has your baby steps on it. Mine, that I created a few days ago, looks like this. These are all things that I have to fit into my day in order to continue to progress and make money doing the things I love.
Maybe your action list includes figuring out where you’re spending money and making changes there, or maybe it means planning a holiday that doesn’t get excessive and taking steps to make that a reality. Maybe it means figuring out a savings plan to finally implement that retirement plan, or getting your will and living will done (very important). Or maybe it means renting a ukelele and finally learning it. Or figuring out how to travel more next year. Whatever it is, get it on your list in a general manner, and take some action several days a week. You’ll end up further than you expected in two months.
-When you just can’t, implement the 5-minute rule. One of my favorites! If you tell yourself you’ll do something for just 5 minutes, then you’ll a) feel like you accomplished it, and b) most likely do it for more than just five minutes. It’s true! Give it a shot- especially if it’s something you know that you enjoy or find relaxing.
-Cut out what doesn’t serve you. I read a quote recently that said joy doesn’t come from what we add to our lives, but rather, what we take away. Don’t be afraid to say no to the weekend guests, or to any external time and energy drain. Don’t be afraid to cut out a social media platform that is exhaustive to you. Or maybe you can cut out a few errands (that’s drive time, gas money, shopping time) by spending a few extra dollars using Favor or Amazon Prime, and use that valuable time to work on your blog, or simply take a walk. I’ve started using Instacart, and now my groceries arrive at my door, and it’s soooo worth the few extra dollars not to deal with that hassle and then arrive home beat, only to have to unload groceries, clean them and put them away (and deal with kids).
Remember: you can make the most of your time, simplify, and be happier in the process. I truly believe that, and it’s what this whole website is all about! Keep that carrot dangling: the one that shows you how you’ll feel on December 31st. Cheers (in advance)!