How To End The Year Right
It’s a few days before Thanksgiving. I can already smell the turkey cooking. I keep catching myself staring out the window or snapping back to attention after scrolling Best Buy’s black Friday ad for the 200th time.
We’re all in the same boat. Do we go hard for the last 40 days in the year, or do we give ourselves a pass and simply enjoy some time off? My question this time of year is always the same. Why not do both?
Here’s how to end the year right and hit the ground running in Q1.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
We’re all burnt out. This year has been exhausting. Whether it has been financial stress, work stress, social stress or a combination of all three, the past 10 months have been some of the hardest any of us have faced in years.
One of the best ways to avoid burnout is to prioritize self-care. This doesn’t just mean getting enough sleep and eating well, this means extending some grace towards yourself.
You’re not a robot. There’s to being human than filling up with gas and hitting the manufacturer recommended oil changes. We have a complex emotional life and this year has done a number on us all.
Before you start stressing out about how you’re ending the year, take some time and cut yourself some slack. You made it this far and that’s worth celebrating. There is no such thing as a perfect end to the year, there’s just the best you can do and that’s enough.
Create A Reasonable Plan
One of the biggest reasons New Year’s resolutions fail is because of overwhelm. We start the year off full of hopes and, by the end of February, we’re right back where we started, or worse off.
Most people think that they’re setting reasonable goals, but usually their goals are the furthest thing from attainable. It’s not reasonable to expect to lose weight, start waking up at a good time, read a book a week, and find 4 new clients for your business, all in Q1 of next year.
This is a recipe for disaster. We set ourselves up for failure and then beat ourselves up when it inevitably happens. Real progress is much more linear and slow than the average person wants to believe.
If you want to see changes in yourself and your business, you need to pick one thing in each area of your life and focus only on that. Here are the categories on which you should focus.
In each of these 4 categories, pick one thing that you want to do differently. Your mindset is important here, you have to be okay with not making progress anywhere else, only in the area you have chosen. We tend to significantly over-estimate how much willpower and energy we have to devote to progress in our lives.
One thing in each of these areas will more than challenge you. It may be necessary to only pick one thing from two of these categories or even only one thing from one category at a time. Depending on where you are in your life, progress is unique to each person.
Even if it’s at a snail’s pace, progress is progress. It is much better to move forward slowly than to ride the roller coaster of two steps forward, three steps back.
Don’t Wait To Start
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in business is to see the end of the year as some kind of cutoff point. It’s true that we’re all winding down for the Holidays, but it’s not true that this period of time has to be unproductive or slow.
At the end of the year, people are way more open to having conversations. If you’re trying to grow your business, now is the time to be setting meetings with potential customers for January.
If you find yourself with downtime or slow periods, this is the perfect moment to look at planning your Q1 so that you’re ready to hit the ground running. What is your plan for finding new business? What’s your marketing strategy? What areas in your business need improvement? Are there hires you need to be making?
All of these questions are the kind of work you know you need to do, but can never “find the time.” If the end of the year is slow for you, spend it on meaningful activities that further your business goals and growth.
There’s No Right Answer
The only thing that’s certain at the end of the year is it’s different for everyone. We all need different things, we all have different goals and desires. The best way to end the year is the way you want to end the year.
You’ll see so much information on LinkedIn, Forbes, or Harvard Business Review. Most of this will be re-hashed, tired, and, in some cases, bad information. Just because an article is online doesn’t mean its the right thing for you.
You know who you are, you know what you need and you know what you want to get out of this end of year period. Good luck!
Register For The Webinar
PS. I’m hosting a webinar on December 10th called the Business Planning Boot Camp. This is for anyone who wants to start off next year right!