How to Stop the End of the Year Craziness

Are you overwhelmed yet? Do you need a break from wrapping up the year, preparing for the holidays and thinking about next year? I do. Before we lose ourselves in the craziness of the next few weeks, can we take a few minutes to just pause and breathe?

Here’s a better question … what can you stop doing that will allow yourself to be fully present for the people you love and the activities that bring you joy? Let’s engage in those fulfilling activities more!

Reflect and Make Goals Instead of New Year’s Resolutions

This year I’m not sending Christmas cards. Instead, at the suggestion of my clients, I’m redirecting the money I would have spent on cards to my favorite charities. Several years ago I quit making New Year’s resolutions. Most resolutions don’t work or get you what you want. Instead, reflect on the past year before you set goals for 2020. 

Have you thought about all the concerns and solutions you negotiated this year? What issues did you face with regard to family, relationships, health, business, volunteer responsibilities and real world problems? Where were you successful?

Reflect on Your Past Year

The end of the year is busy. Here are ways to help you reflect on the past year before planning for the next. These instructions will help maximize your efforts.

Take the time to write out your answers. Whether you prefer to write your reflections on paper or digitally, when responding to the questions below, remember to consider your personal and professional accomplishments as well as areas of possible stress.

Partner with a trusted adviser or a friend who is practical and insightful.

When you review your year with someone else, you’ll benefit. Having to articulate your achievements and setbacks forces you to organize your thoughts and hear them aloud as you share your review. Also, your partner will pick up on themes, issues and even breakthroughs you missed. 

Focus on being fully present instead of thinking into the future.

Your presence truly is a present to the other person. Listen intently, ask questions and reflect what you heard. Then, ask you partner to give you the same attention and insightful feedback. Often, you find you share similar concerns, opportunities and themes when your partner reflects.

For years, my former coach Elaine Morris and my Vistage mentors, including Admiral Jim Eckelberger, had me extensively review my last twelve months before planning the next year. Here is a simple and modified approach to the year-end activities they suggest.

Survive – Thrive – Alive       

Answer these short questions both personally and professionally. This year:

What did I survive?

Where did I thrive?

What bought me the most joy and made me happy to be alive?

What did I survive?

Specifically, what:

  • Challenges or issues did I face this year?

  • Changes did I create or encounter?

  • Issues or matters remain unresolved?

Where did I thrive?

Think about these questions when answering:

  • What 3-5 achievements did I accomplish this year?

  • How did I achieve each of those? (ex. New skills, different approach, taking a risk, or staying the course?)

  • What did I learn about myself and others through these achievements?

What bought me the most joy and made me happy to be alive?

When answering, think about these questions:

  • Whether it makes sense to others or not, what energizes me and what comes naturally to me?

  • What do I think about that makes me smile and feel good?

  • Who makes me feel the most relaxed, comfortable or encouraged?

The people who read these Success e-Tips are high performers and achievers. However, they don’t always appreciate what they accomplish and who they impact. Right now, please give yourself the gift of reflection. Make the time to pause, take a breath and consider all you accomplished the past twelve months. Reflect on your unique value, your talents and and all you influence.  

For the next few weeks, please concentrate on being present for who and what is important. Later, you can focus on successfully reaching additional goals. You are so important to this world. Reflect and enjoy the holidays my friends! 

P.S. One of my highlights of this year was working with ADL Speaker Management and with Michele Lucia and Nicole De Masi. Their expertise in speaker promotion and business management was invaluable. They improved my systems to deliver better results to partners and clients. While ADL won’t be representing me in business in 2020, the transition to new team members is going smoothly. Most importantly, our long-time friendship remains strong.

Thank you Michele and Nicole!

P.P.S. Are there areas you want to upgrade? Would you like to negotiate through a breakdown or prepare for a breakthrough? Please let me know how I can help you and your team review, reflect and create your successful future. If you want to know more about leading powerfully and negotiating next year for what you really want, please ask!