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Finish the Year Well: 2021 Edition

Several years ago, I went through a "Groundhog Day" moment every single December 26th.
 
I'd wake up, complete with a sugar hangover from excessive holiday sweets consumption, and think to myself:

What did I do with this year? Where did it go? How did I not get done what I said I was going to get done? How did I not spend time with xxxx friend like we said we would? How did I not get the Christmas cards out again???

I'd think on this a bit, sometimes have a good cry (a whole year has gone by again?!?) and then recommit to doing "better" the next year and write out a list, always way too long, of what I'd do the next year.

Groundhog Day refers to a movie released several years ago where the protagonist repeats the same day (February 1) over and over and over again until he gets it right.

While the move is amusing, repeating unhealthy habits in real life is not!

So, instead of being such a drama queen and mourning the year's end, I started to do things differently, especially as we get towards the end of the year.

So much happens in a year and who is to say what curveballs will be thrown our way that throw absolutely everything off track? (Hello 2020 and 2021).

BUT, what I've discovered is there is an incredible amount of energy in the last quarter of the year and especially as November hits. Something in us revs up with more energy and focus than the rest of the year.
Ride the Wave of End-of-Year Energy
There is something about the lack of time that gets us very focused on what is important to get done and what is no longer important.
 

At the beginning of the year, it feels as if we have alllllllll this time to do alllllllllll the things. But when November 1 hits, we realize we can't get it all done, we can only get a few things done. We shorten our lists quickly and with an efficiency that surprises ourselves (or at least it surprises me!)

So, grab a pen and paper (or print out the download I've created for you here) or your laptop, and let's look at finishing the year well.

There is something about the lack of time that gets us very focused on what is important to get done and what is not.

At the beginning of the year, it feels as if we have alllllllll this time to do alllllllllll the things. But when November 1 hits, we realize we can't get it all done, we can only get a few things done. We shorten our lists quickly and with an efficiency that surprises ourselves (or at least it surprises me!)

Also, I want to plan for an amazing holiday season. This planning time is also included in that. Again, we're going to keep it simple.

So, grab a pen and paper (or print out the download I've created for you) or your laptop, and let's look at finishing the year well.
5 Steps to Finish 2021 Well
You can figure out what is the most important projects to finish and how you are going to finish them quite quickly.
 
Start by downloading the pdf guide I've created for you here
 
Print it out, fill it out, then stick it somewhere you can see it.
 
OR, grab your calendar and follow the guide below.
 
1. Make a list of all the projects you wanted to finish this year. (Or flip back to January and look at your list of creative goals).
 
Writing everything down is a great way to get it all out there. When you see it in front of you two things happen:
 
First, you realize what doesn't need to be done. There are things no longer important or urgent.
 
Second, you figure out what you really do want to complete.
A Simple 15 Minute Plan to Finish
2. Figure out what is important to you
 
What's the biggest difference-maker in your life? What project, if completed, would really make you smile at the end of the year?

Go through your list and pick no more than three projects to complete. (More on the limit in the tips section below).
 

3. Figure out how much time it will take to complete.

Guestimate the number of hours you think you'll need. 

For example, I'm working on making Christmas gifts for friends and family. I figure I need about 8 more hours to complete everything.

Once you have your hours, look at your calendar. When can you schedule time in?

How many 1-2 hour chunks of time (or even less) would get you to your goal? We still have almost two months before the year is out. Working on our creative projects, even 2 hours a week would be sixteen hours of time. That is a lot of time!

4. Now that you have how much time you need and when you'll get it, schedule it on the calendar!

Treat this time like you would time at work or an appointment with a doctor. This is scheduled time, only to be canceled if something really urgent comes up.

5. Finally, celebrate when you finish. Give yourself some sort of reward.

Maybe it is simply taking an hour to completely chill, look out the window and imagine your next project while savoring a cup of coffee.

Maybe it's buying a magazine that will fuel ideas for your next project.

Note how good it feels to finish something!

6 Tips to Beat Discourgement
Don't pick more than 3 goals! If there are more than three, there is a tendency to get overwhelmed and then nothing gets completed.

Focus on one goal at a time and then move on to the next. Small wins propel us to keep going and finishing more.

Finishing is a habit. Just like anything else, the more we finish, the more we want to finish.

Starting is fun, but finishing feels fantastic!
I've noticed two major points of resistance when working on creative projects. There is a messy, muddle middle and there is a resistance at about the 95% completion point. I've learned to tell myself: this is normal. It feels like this in the middle and at the end, but I'm going to push through, problem solve, and finish!

Finally, finishing wraps a bow around the end of this year. It feels great to finish, it helps us to move on from what we've completed and look forward with a fresh mind and energy for continuing with other projects.

How have you motivated yourself to finish up projects, especially at the end of the year, when it seems like we've run out of time?
 
I'd love to hear what you are working towards finishing! Send me an email [email protected] or find me on Instagram.
 
If you liked this article, would you share it with your friends? It would be great to see more of us finish the year well!
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