WORK-LIFE BALANCE

7 Things to Do Before New Year's

Don't let the year end without taking care of these important to-do items.
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There's only half of a month left in this year.  Here are seven things that you should definitely do before you go back to work after the long holiday:

1. Avoid making resolutions.

Nobody follows through on New Year's resolutions because they're usually about not doing stuff that you enjoy doing (e.g. "I resolve to eat less sugar") or doing stuff that you don't like doing (e.g. "I resolve to make more cold calls"). Resolutions set you for failure and leave you feeling helpless.

2. Set inspiring goals.

Rather than resolutions, set powerful goals that tap into your deep emotional desires. Example: "In 2014, I will look and feel fabulous by achieving my ideal weight of 175lbs." Example: "In 2014, I will generate strategies and tactics that will achieve $1 million in sales."

3. Take an entire day off.

Spend at least one entire day (yes, 24 hours) without answering your phone or reading emails. Instead, spend time with your friends, your family, and yourself. Read a book. Attend a community event. Have a fancy meal with no electronics allowed (sorry, kids!). Hug somebody.

4. Celebrate your victories.

Even if this was a tough year, there were times when you were at your best and when things came together in just the right way. Review the year, write down the events that you remember and recall how good they made you feel. With all that in mind, drink a toast to yourself.

5. Reframe your failures.

Even if this was a fantastic year, there were things that didn't go the way you'd prefer. Review those events and what you've learned, and what mistakes you'll be able to avoid in the future. Remember that, like flowers from fertilizer, success is always built on "failures." Drink another toast to yourself.

6. Thank those who've helped.

Unless you've been living on a deserted island, you've encountered people over the course of the year who have helped you, sometimes just because it's their job, but sometimes because they care. Take some time and thank them. Because they deserve it.

7. Give an anonymous gift.

Giving gifts to friends and family is fun, but if you want to feel the pure joy of giving, give a gift to someone in need without any accompanying obligation, even to say thanks. This simple act as close as you can come to being an angel, while still inhabiting the earth.

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Last updated: Dec 16, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed over a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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