2018 may have been a challenging and difficult year, but finishing strong can have a profound effect psychologically on your overall summation of the year and attitude towards embarking on the New Year. We all (conveniently) have short term memory to some degree, so if you can catch fire with success late in the year now, it can alter your perception on your final assessment for the year. It’s like the quarterback who plays three awful quarters of football – fumbling, bumbling, stumbling on his own two feet – but then flawlessly drives his team down the field for the winning touchdown late in the game. All anybody remembers the next day at work is the game winning drive. In real life, we traditionally set new goals with our New Year’s resolutions – often failing miserably by Valentines Day! – but perhaps now may be the opportune time to assess how you can win the game and set the table for a successful new year. Through reflection, evaluation and focus, we can resolve challenging areas with one eye on the rearview mirror while concurrently feeling optimistic prospectively.
But where to start? A good entry point is get clarity on some definitions. This is a personal endeavor requiring you to look inward as it can only come from within and be answered by you. What would qualify as a successful 2018 and how to manage this holiday season to complete the year as fulfilling and rewarding? What still needs to be accomplished, how do you want to shape the holidays, and what needs to change moving forward? We typically just shift into cruise control this time of year, raising the white flag and letting things happen, only to complain later that we feel out of control or things did not go as we had hoped for. By setting some goals in place now, looking both retrospectively and to the future, you can toast the New Year with a smile and renewed energy.
The key is having a clear vision of your priorities for the holidays while reconciling what you need to accomplish to chalk up the year as a success. This can include wrapping up projects, work commitments and other productive goals balanced with being social, making time for family and friends, vacationing, giving back to the community, etc. What is essential is to not let others determine what is important to you and your family, but rather take an honest, introspective look within. You may need some down time to recharge or, conversely, seek out new ways to connect with others in this social season. Without a clear vision of what we want this period to look like and proactively navigate with focus, we will be bouncing around like a pinball machine and before you know it, the calendar will show January and you did not get what you need on several levels. Engage the dynamics of Mind, Body and Soul in order to feel mentally and emotionally healthy and energized to kick off a healthy New Year.
So don’t rain on your holiday parade; carve out some time and formulate a strategy on how to proceed with a game plan in this critical month of December. Reflect on your personal needs and goals to assess what you need to do in order to qualify this as an amazing year and magical holiday season. Simultaneously, be proactive in teeing up the activities to allow you to hit the ground running for next year. You may have felt like you were losing all this year, but if you can march your team down the field deep here in the fourth quarter, the scoreboard may tilt in your favor and emerge a winner in 2018. After all, as in sport and in life, it’s not how you start but all about how you finish!