5 Ways to Finish the Year Strong
Every December I get to the end of the year and wonder where time has gone. It seems like the months go by slow but before you know it, you look up and it’s time to enter a new year. When you get down to the last couple months of the year, it’s easy to become lax when it comes to pursuing your God-given goals. Maybe you’ve coasted all year with your goals, so you've apathetically rolled them over to the next. Or maybe you’ve been working hard all year long and you’re losing steam.
Well, you’re not the only one. There is such a thing called the holiday slump. Researchers have found that productivity drastically decreases during the holidays. It could be the excitement and magic of the season. It could be the fact that you’ve eaten too many holiday cookies. Or it could simply be that this time of year is difficult for you. Regardless of what you are experiencing or where you stand with your goals, don’t let the holiday hustle and bustle keep you from finishing strong. Follow these steps below and you’ll be sure to finish out the year strong while setting yourself up to have a productive and purposeful year.
1) Sit down and conduct a year-end review.
A year-end review allows you to really assess how you made progress in your purpose and goals. By examining the past, we can see what went well and what didn’t so we can purposefully plan our next year. Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you sit down and reflect.
What went well in the last year?
What were some of your major challenges?
What were some key lessons that you’ve learned this year?
What is one thing that you want to focus on moving into the year ahead?
What does a purpose-driven year look and feel like to you?
Answering these questions will set a good foundation for you as you intentionally and purposefully plan out your year.
2) Set purpose-driven goals.
Now that you have reviewed your year, finish out the year strong by setting purpose-driven goals. I love how Lara Casey says that good goals don’t focus on doing it all, but doing what matters. So many times people set goals from a place of lack, believing that they will find success when they accomplish a goal. Goal setting isn’t about the goal in itself but who you become in the process of achieving it, so instead of focusing on doing all of the things so you can be successful, focus on setting goals that align with God’s purpose for your life. Ask yourself what goals will help you fashion a life that you and Him love.
3) Create an action plan for your goals.
Setting goals are great, but you achieve them when you take action. That’s why I love this quote by Bo Bennett, “A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement.” In order to make a goal happen, you must take action. That’s why every time I meet with a coaching client, we set action steps together to keep them moving toward their goals in between our sessions. It’s not enough to set the goals. You must do something about it. Try setting 3 to 5 starting steps that will help you take action toward your goals. I love the PowerSheets to set and create action steps for my goals. You can view the PowerSheets collection here.
4) Start tying up any loose ends.
As you are working on setting your goals for the new year, make sure you’re tying up any loose ends. Are there any hard conversations you need to have? Now is the time to have them. You don’t want to bring bitterness into the New Year. Are there any preparations that you need to make for the year to come? You don’t have to wait until January first to start making them. Preparing now will give you peace and momentum later.
5) Keep making progress on your current goals.
The holidays aren’t an excuse to stop making progress toward your goals. As Lara Casey says, there is nothing magical about January 1st. You still have time to finish out the year strong. What are some action steps that you can take in the next month to make sure you’re making the most out of the time that God has given you? While you don’t have to fill your schedule and to-do list to the brim, you can factor in some time to work diligently on your goals. Don’t let the magic of the season trick you out of making progress. Keep going and finish out the year strong.
The holidays are a great time to rest, relax, and enjoy time with family, but it’s also a great time to plan well and finish out the year strong. Be intentional and make sure you’re ending the year on a great and purposeful note by downloading the free Year-End Review Worksheets!