For some people the year is essentially over. Starting today, half of the remaining 2015 weeks have major holidays. Between shopping, parties, and closing out the end of year books, this time of year just seems like a time to close things up and accept the year for what it is.
Or, perhaps this is the best time to turn the power up a notch and make this year one worth remembering. Instead of cruising to the end, take a few simple steps that will make the difference between a forgettable year, or a year that was a notable milestone on your path to success. For the latter, just follow these actions.
1. Make a plan.
Don't leave everything to chance. If you want the amazing to happen you have to have some semblance of what it looks like. You'll need to take control of each day to get the most out of it. You will need to establish action steps, milestones and required resources if you really want great things to happen. Take a day and think it through. Then you'll be ready to improvise along the way.
2. Filter your projects.
The holiday season brings a number of days that are useless for business, offering some much needed down time. Some days will end early and others will have offices closed. There isn't likely time to get everything done you originally planned so focus on what's important and achievable. Get rid of everything else. Then apply the few working hours in a concentrated manner. Sit down this week and look at the year-end calendar so you can plan to make the most of every extra hour.
3. Refocus your strategy.
The end of the year is a great time to reassess your current business plan and start the New Year with a clear vision of where you want to go next. Take a slow afternoon to really think through your preferred future, and be sure to take notes so you are ready to implement some change in the coming year. Make sure what you are projecting is consistent with your values and goals for the future.
4. See everyone you want to see.
The holiday season means lots of parties and gatherings, which means many of the people you need to see will be conveniently gathered in the same place. Don't miss out. Go engage with the people with whom you haven't been able to network this year, and have fun doing it. Making time for the people who are important to you now will carry you into the New Year with feelings of connection and joy.
5. Recruit new talent.
Whether you are seeking new connections, employees, mentors, or partners, the holiday season is timely for finding the people who will help you soar in 2016. Many people are reassessing their year and thinking about what's ahead, and the generous, festive atmosphere makes them more open to ideas they wouldn't normally consider. Keep your eyes and ears open at parties and gatherings for those who can help on your journey, and make contact.
6. Establish healthy habits.
The holidays can be stressful and difficult, and with the cold weather it's prime time for physical and mental breakdowns. Take care of yourself first. Get the sleep, nutrition, exercise, and rest you need. "No" is a complete sentence; don't be afraid to use it to get out of holiday parties and invitations that don't make you happy and healthy. Don't wait for your New Year's resolution to start focusing on your health. Hit day one of 2016 with a healthy spring in your step.
7. Bring closure to loose ends.
Nothing makes you feel successful than completion. Make sure you finish projects rather than putting them off for later. What's better than looking back on the year to see all the wonderful things you accomplished? Every time you check the completed box your brain and heart will be lightened, leaving you feeling euphoric going into the New Year.