How to Finish Strong in 2017

We have FINALLY come to the end of 2017!

I am wrapping up my birthday month (I turned 29 on December 2nd - last year of my twenties!) and like most other people at this time of year, I am starting to plan full steam ahead for 2018.   

In the past, I've been so excited by the prospect of starting fresh at the beginning of a new year that I don't take a moment to wrap up the current year.  And in my last post, I talked about making the most of every day, because I don't believe in wasting our most precious resource - our time. 

One of the things I've implemented over the last couple of years is using the last month of the year as an opportunity to do an annual review.  I look at EVERYTHING - work, family, friendships, love life, wellness, travel - to review what worked for me, where I can do better, and what support I need to reach my goals.  It gives me a chance to be mindful about where I've been over the last year, and intentional about where I want to go in the year ahead.

If you're serious about knocking out some goals or creating some positive change in your life in 2018, I highly recommend this process to you. The best way to set a strong foundation for 2018 is to do an honest review of 2017.   Here are a few tips for finishing your year strong:

1. Reflect on what you've learned.

Each year presents its own special set of challenges.   Instead of simply lamenting those challenges, I've tried to flip my perspective and look for the lessons that are included.  So when the frustrating, sad, unfair, exhausting things from the past year come to mind, ask yourself: What did you learn from it?  What did you learn about yourself in the face of these challenges?   Let these challenges contribute to your continued growth.

2. Celebrate your WINS.

Take some time to list our your accomplishments!  If you're starting this at the end of the year, go back and list at least one thing from each month that you're proud of doing (or maybe even something that you're proud of not doing).   Give yourself some credit for the shit you've handled over the past year, no matter what is still left on your bucket list.  For example, this year I: negotiated my butt off, booked the first of (hopefully!) many speaking engagements, and paid off my car early!  There might be plenty of goals you have left to accomplish, but you should definitely pat yourself on the back for the things you've already conquered.

3. Take It and Leave It.

Choose one thing you want to take with you into the new year, and one thing you want to leave behind in the present year.   This is my practice of being intentional about what I choose to cultivate in my life, and what I choose to leave in the past in order to be more fruitful going forward.   What's the one bad habit or negative emotion you want to leave in 2017?  And what one thing above all are you making room for in 2018?  Whatever it is, this should be your theme for the new year!

4. Start Now.

Whatever you have planned for the next year, start it NOW.   Enjoy the last few days of this year by working towards your goals and intentions for 2018.   There is nothing inherently special about the clock striking midnight on January 1st.   Your goals don't automatically become attainable after the first of the year, they become attainable once you start taking action to make them a reality.   So if you want to transform something in your life in the new year, begin today.


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