As we move into Q4 here, and get all hyped up for pumpkin spice lattés, fall bomber jackets, movie nights and warm checkered blankets, now is not the time to completely take your eye off the ball.
The end of the year is a rare time. It is when you will start to really see the culmination of whatever intention you had set at the beginning of the year come to fruition. It is when you will start to catch glimpses of what it is you will need to focus on next year. But before you start making big plans and "setting the vision" (that's what the end of December is for), realize where you are. You are in the last quarter of the last game of the season. It's a tie game (or maybe you're down a few points--or even a lot of points). You know what goal you had set back in January, and now is the time to see that goal through. Nobody "slacks off" at the end of a championship game. And you shouldn't do the same.
It's very easy to get tired right at the last second. It's easy to decide, "You know what, we didn't quite get to where we wanted to go, let's start thinking about next year." It's easy to relax, kick back, and shy away from the challenge.
Don't take the easy route.
I am all for reflecting. I devote the last 15 days of every December to almost pure reflection. I read my journal from the year prior. I make a list of what I accomplished and didn't accomplish. And then I set a very clear intention for the year to follow. I fully support this as a practice--for anyone.
But before the end of December, before those last 15 days, I challenge you to push yourself to finish your original goal--or, if you reached that goal, set another major goal. Do not kick back and relax. Do not accept wherever you are on October 1st and then take November and December to settle for that. If you didn't get done what you wanted to get done, great. You now have 3 months to make it happen. And if you are ahead of schedule, great. Do in the next 3 months what you had planned to do Q1 of next year.
Get stuff done.
If you've ever played sports (I played hockey), or any other competitive hobby (I competed in World of Warcraft as a teenager), then you know what those last few weeks, days, hours of the season feel like. Use that to your advantage. Don't shy away from your goal. Dig deep into that goal. Make it happen. Do not do what everyone else does and chalks it up to something that will happen next year. There is no "next year." It's right now. Because you don't know where you're going to be next year. You don't know what other things in your life will pop up, what team members will or won't be around, what sudden event or opportunity will steer you in a completely different direction.
It's the end of the season. Get hyped. Get centered. Figure out what you need to do to get done what you had said you were going to get done back in January--and then go do it.