All’s well that ends well. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Glory awaits you at the finish line; When facing the final month of the year, these old sayings aren’t always helpful. Some of us feel less like an Olympic sprinter and more like we’ve hit a runner’s wall.
The big existential questions come home to roost right at the time when we have a packed month of planning, performance reviews, projects to finish and family visits to plan.
What if we used the time usually spent getting trampled in pre-holiday sales to reflect and plan in peace? Here are three ways to wind down the year so you can start 2020 firing on all cylinders.
1. Think bigger picture
Everyone has a productivity tool or method that works for them, whether it’s an app, project management tool or good old-fashioned notebook.
Instead of the drab daily to-do list, try a method that uses positive psychology and and helps you develop habits that improve your life. Investigate bullet journaling or planners like the Best Self planner. They’re structured to help you achieve longer-term goals.
2. Make your gadgets work for you
Our phones are specifically designed to do one thing: grab our attention. You can configure your phone to do less of it. Use the settings to turn it from color to grayscale, set a night shift schedule and turn off notifications and ad tracking so you get fewer alerts.
Declutter your digital life by deleting apps you haven’t used in the last six months and unsubscribe to unwanted emails manually or with a site such as Unroll.me.
Install apps to streamline your life on the road such as a currency converter, translating apps and the myCWT travel management app.
3., Reflect well, resolve well
Several research firms cite a failure rate of at least 80% when it comes to New Year resolutions. Yet we still make them, often on-the-cuff when pressed by a fellow NYE party guest.
Are there alternatives to resolving to shed a quarter of your body weight by February and publish your first novel at the same time?
Replace the old resolution-setting with a new method. Identify a word of the year such as ‘clarity’ or ‘health’ and journal why the word is meaningful for you going forward. Stick it on a post-it note and consider the word when making choices. If you inspire yourself rather than set daunting tasks, you’re more likely to succeed.
Similarly, review the last year for signs of growth instead of singular moments of success. Did you become more assertive or better at negotiating? And how can you build on these skills going forward? After all, life’s a marathon, not a sprint.