It's NOVEMBER, for Christ's sake! Can you believe it?!
I absolutely ADORE the end of the year.
(And it's not just because my birthday is on October 29th).
I just think that the last few months of the year are so gloriously jam packed with superfun activities and memory-making opportunities!
I always have grand visions of a perfect Thanksgiving with family, holiday decorating, sleigh rides and snow walks, sending hand-written holiday cards to all of the people who have made my year wonderful, and making gifts for the people close to me.
And then WHAM BAM.
The holidays hit at full speed and knock me right out of my snow boots.
Suddenly it's January 1st and I have NO FRIGGIN IDEA WHAT HAPPENED.
This year, I want you to make the end-of-year as purposeful and magical as you imagine it can be. Here's what you gotta do:
PLEASE BLOCK OFF AN HOUR OF TIME THIS WEEK (OR LIKE, RIGHT NOW) TO WALK THROUGH THIS ENTIRE POST. IF YOU DO SO I GUARANTEE YOU'LL EXPERIENCE A MORE MAGICAL, JOYOUS, STRESS-FREE, MEMORY-FILLED END-OF-THE-YEAR!
1. Get out your calendar and start with January 1, 2014.
Answer the following questions:
- How do you want to feel on New Year's day? (After the a hangover puke-fest I experienced on January 1 2012, I decided it's stupid to make resolutions for a healthy new year and then spend the first day of the new year unhealthily. I'm so much happier to start the new year feeling FABULOUS).
- How do you want to spend the last day of the year? What actions do you need to take to make that happen?
- What are your plans for the week between Christmas and NYE? Answer this even if you don't celebrate Christmas. Otherwise, the last week of the year will become a black hole of crazy.
- What about Christmas? If you celebrate this holiday, lay out how your going to spend it and make any plans now. (Yes, this includes gifts. More on that in a moment).
- What other holidays, parties, birthdays, and events need to get slapped on that calendar of yours in December?
- What's your gift budget? Who are you buying gifts for? What are you buying? When?
- Are you planning on working in December? If so, when? How much? What days will you take off?
- What needs to happen now so that you can take time off over the holidays? Think in terms of social media planning, putting together a holiday sale for your products, requesting time off, automating your systems, finishing a project you're working on right now...
- What are your plans for Thanksgiving? What are you planning on making and doing? What actions can you take right now to prepare? Who do you need to schedule a lunch/coffee date with?
2. Make gift-giving easy.
BUY EXPERIENCES INSTEAD OF THINGS!
Experiences don't require wrapping, can often be sent electronically (in the form of concert tickets, Groupons, Kindle books, real books, music etc...), and add more happiness than things.
I think a nice handwritten card from a friend is so much nicer than some knick knacks they picked up at Target at the last minute.
It's also nice to receive subscription services like Birchbox, Wine of the Month, or a great book.
Please, please, please don't become a stress-bot over the holidays or do any last-minute shopping just because you don't feel like there's ENOUGH under the tree. Opening gifts is a wonderful part of the holidays, but it's only a part of the puzzle that includes family dinners, laughter, watching movies, sitting by the fire and drinking champagne!
3. Plan 2014 now, not in December (though December's better than nothing!).
December has a way of making human beings absolutely delusional.
Get the grunt work out of the way for 2014 so that you can get back in action ASAP when the new year strikes!
You need to plan the following for next year:
- Where do you see yourself at the end of next year? Close your eyes and write down what you see!
- What are a few steps that you need to take in order to get there? (You won't know all of the steps, and that's NORMAL).
- What is your income goal for next year? (It's ok if you don't know how you'll achieve it. Just pick something that seems exciting, achievable, and a little scary). You can read my article on how to do this, here.
- What events do you need to block off of your calendar for the year? Vacations? Conferences? Long weekends? Time off?
- What are your three big goals for next year? Do you want to move? Get out of debt? Become a full time entrepreneur? Break into six figures? Write down the goals that sing to your soul, baby.
4. Reflect on the past year.
I know that you're full of excitement to put this year in the past and MOVE ON, but I hope you'll take the time to center yourself in the past year and feel gratitude for everything you've experienced.
I want you to take out your planner/calendar from this year and go month by month to answer the following questions:
- What goals did you achieve that month?
- What did you want to achieve, but didn't happen that month?
- What unexpected events rocked your life that month?
- How did this month play into the bigger picture of your life this past year?
5. Turn from "achievement mode" to "peaceful mode".
At this point in the year, it's time to recharge that creative tank, my dear.
Is there a list of spiritual books that you've been meaning to read?
Do you have the intention to start a meditation practice, but just...haven't gotten around to it?
Do you feel overwhelmed by technology?
When you switch from "achievement mode" to "peaceful mode" you'll feel resistance. You'll want to check Facebook.
Take a deep breath, read some Wayne Dyer, and chill out with your bad self.
Your next year's self will thank you!
6. Clear out!
Want all kinds of delicious magic to enter your life next year? Then I suggest cleaning out everything you own including:
- Your closets
- Your kitchen
- Your wardrobe
- Your office
- Your file cabinet
- Your computer documents
- Your junk drawer
- Your financials
- Your grudges
- Your purse
7. Do a little visualization.
Picture the last two months of this year going exactly how you want them to go!
(Bonus if you write down what you see so that you can take action steps to make it happen).
Picture your holidays going smoothly, the food tasting delicious, your tummy getting flatter instead of rounder, your bank account getting more money instead of less, your energy going up.
Picture yourself exercising during the holidays and taking a few moments for yourself to regroup when family times get hectic.
Picture everything going as splendidly as you want it to!
If you start now and practice this visualization every day until the holidays, you're sure to manifest the most wonderful end-of-year celebrations ever!
8. (BONUS TIP!) help your friends have a blissful end-of-the-year.
You can do that by sharing this article with them on Facebook and Twitter. The more stress-free people you have around you, the more relaxing your own holidays will be!
PSST! Do you have any special end-of-the-year rituals that help you prep for the new year? I'd love for you to add to the list in the comments!