The end of the year is often a time of accounting, when people look back and consider their successes and failures. Often, people are harder on themselves than they need to be. As a result, they waste valuable time at the end of the year. Instead of getting energized by the time left and taking steps towards success, they wallow in disappointment at their failure. But just because you haven't achieved a goal yet doesn't mean you've failed permanently. Maybe the last 11 months haven't gone the way you'd hoped, but there's no need to despair, and there's certainly no need to give up. There's still a whole month left - that's 31 full days to accomplish important goals and close out the old year on a high note.
Here are tips on how to get every bit out of the next 31 days:
1. Conduct a Review
It's likely you had goals you wanted to achieve going into 2018. What were they? Be honest about what you didn't achieve, and carefully examine why. Be honest with yourself - remember you don't have to tell anyone your analysis! But consider the good things as well. Whether you fully completed the goal or not, what worked well? It may be easier to spot the lessons in the failures, but they exist in the winning, too, and they might just make you life easier next time.
2. Make a List
You've reviewed your goals, and compiling an honest accounting of what worked and what didn't. Look at what you failed to achieve, and think about what it would take to achieve some or part of that goal between now and the end of the year. Is any of it salvageable? You may be surprised to find how much headway you can make towards achieving an annual goal in only one month. Then consider what goals you developed as the year went on, and what opportunities came into existence. What can you do towards these newer aims?
3. Create a Realistic Action Plan
For the old and new goals you've identified that are fully or partially achievable, consider the next steps. What are small, quantifiable, achievable goals you believe you can accomplish in the next 7 days? What's the next step after that? For each goal, identify 4 steps - one for each week between now and the new year - that you believe are reasonable. Even if that fourth step doesn't complete the goal, it still means you've made real headway. It will end the year on a proud note, and generate energy you can take into 2019.
4. Check In
Every week, review the progress you've made on each action step towards your month-long goals. Did you complete the step successfully? Do you need to reconsider that step, and take a different approach instead? Even if you miss a goal, don't write off the whole thing. Adjust your action plan for the time you have left, and update the step to make it achievable. This is a process, and you're still making progress!
The last 12 months weren't a total failure - you're still here, still kicking, still ready to take on a new year. Celebrate what you achieved, pour one out for what you didn't, and gather your family and friends close. It wouldn't mean anything without them. Celebrate your relationships and the little daily blessings you receive.