As the holidays roll around and the season settles in, most people begin reflecting on the past year and setting plans for the year to come. Thoughts about New Year’s resolutions occupy our attention span, while crowded malls are jam packed with shoppers searching for the best sale. This time of year can get so hectic and chaotic that it can be difficult to make the most out of the remaining year. Don’t let 2017 slip through your fingers; follow these suggestions for advice on how to take full advantage of the last days of the year.
Reconnect with a Friend You’ve Lost Touch With
Sometimes – despite how well-meaning our intentions may be – life gets in the way and causes us to lose touch with a friend or family member who matters to us. What better occasion to establish a reconnection than the holidays? Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, let them know you’re thinking about them, and wish them good fortune in the upcoming year.
Make a Clean Sweep
Everyone appreciates the new beginning provided to them on January 1st. Karma slates are wiped, consciences are cleared, and the New Year provides the opportunity to reinvent oneself. If you really want a fresh start, be sure to do a clean sweep of all the clutter that’s accumulated in the past year. Clear out your inbox by following up on unanswered emails, deleting spam, and organizing your folders to make life easier on yourself when it’s time to get back to work. Deep clean your home and concentrate on any unfinished projects to give yourself a sense of accomplishment. Pro tip: round up anything you don’t want anymore and send it off to an organization that can make better use of it. You’ll feel charitable, and your last minute donations will boost your tax deductions.
Have a Good Laugh
If you’re like most people, your December calendar is filled to the brim with holiday obligations. Office parties, charity events, and out of town visitors can make finding a quiet moment seem impossible. Don’t let the constant calendar reminders stress you out; find enjoyment during and in between your various events by keeping a lighthearted spirit. Don’t take anything too seriously; buy an ugly Christmas sweater online and spontaneously wear it to work one morning. Spread the laughter and you’ll be sure to feel the cheer yourself.
Take Care of Your Health
By the end of the year, most people have fulfilled their health insurance deductibles. This means it’s the perfect time to tackle those health issues you would have needed to cover out of pocket. Take care of that dental work, or finally go get that yearly physical you’ve put off. You’ll save yourself some money, and ensure that you enter the New Year in the best health possible.
Make Short Term Goals
More often than not, resolutions are a complete waste of time. We set lofty resolutions which may inspire us, but are often unrealistic to fulfill. Not only that, but a resolution indicates a futuristic attitude; the change is something you should do and “will” do, even though you should be enacting these changes now. Instead, make short term, relatively attainable goals that you’re more likely to have success achieving, and start concentrating on them now – not after the ball drops.
Meditate for a Moment
Take a few moments to reflect on the past year: How have you grown? How have you changed? What new jobs have you started or promotions received? Consider jotting down these reflections in a journal to look back on in a year’s time. While it is important to think about what you might have done differently, don’t let your past mistakes or regrets consume you. Instead, concentrate on all of life’s accomplishments and how far you’ve come thus far. Celebrate moments in which you overcame adversity and prepare yourself to face new challenges with zeal.
Before you know it, you’ll blink and it’ll be the dawn of a New Year. Don’t get caught asking yourself where the time went. Practice mindfulness and appreciate every moment within this at-times turbulent season. Too many people get caught up in their eager anticipation for the New Year that they forget to tie up their remaining loose ends. Follow these steps to make the most out of the remaining year and set yourself up for success in 2018.