Year End: Invigorating, Demotivating or Just More of the Same?
Seasonal shifts can influence our routines, moods and motivation. My favorite transitional time has always been summer to autumn. September just started and I am full of energy and optimism. Here in the Southern U.S., the hot days are cooling down. I can go for longer walks andruns or even pick up my pace. We’re looking forward to lots of cookouts, picnics, strolls through parks and mountain hikes. And I can’t wait for the cheer, sense of community and sharing that the end-of-year holidays bring.
I know real life can’t be put on hold for all this fun stuff, so I’ll have to make the time. But there’s one other pretty big thing to consider before I plot out my adventures: what about those goals I set back in January? Technically, I should be 2/3 of the way through them by now. In truth, I am all over the place. I nailed some and am on target to hit others. These were mostly the easy wins or the ones in which I ensured my feet were held to the fire. I haven’t started some others or stalled early on . These were the experimental or uncomfortable ones. Looks like I am going to need to cash in on that energy and optimism!
The mindset I choose and maintain will influence how I finish out this year more than anything else. As I see it, I can be invigorated, demotivated or just settle in for more same. The best but most challenging choice is to be invigorated but let’s chat about that one last. Maybe I’m demotivated because I feel entitled to a break or I’m worn out. In this case I could focus on what I did accomplish, downplay the value of what I didn’t and sell myself on “recharging” now and “hitting it hard” come next year. Or maybe I just feel like doing more of the same after a year of mostly skating by doing the bare minimum. If I find enough busy work, I won’t have time for my goals but I’ll still feel like I’m doing something. In either case, I’d be off the hook now and free from any firm commitments to follow through in the future.
I could choose to be accountable to the myself and be invigorated to follow through on my goals. By tapping into this stimulating time of year, I have 4 whole months left to hustle and make things happen. I can be realistic holiday interruptions and target a solid 3 months from September through November with additional time in December as time permits. There are almost 90 days from Labor Day to Thanksgiving…if you’re tracking by U.S. Holidays. What if I use that time to finish out the year strong and go into next year totally rocking it? It’s worth my best shot.
That’s my deal. How about you? Whatever your goal setting style is (calendar year, as needed, none, or “no one tells me what to do-not even me”), I invite you visualize yourself as you wrap up this year. Is there something you’d like to do to boost your life now – work, personal, health, other? At the end of the year, while many people are overcommitting, overconsuming, numbing out and/or complaining, could you build something positive? Maybe you could start or optimize a walking habit, start meditating, build a new skill, donate your time & talent vs. money to a favorite cause or do something else meaningful to you? When the new year hits, while most everyone is worn out, craving change, and needing a lift, where will you be? Maybe your new habit will be an essential and rewarding part of your life. Who knows, you might even be tackling the next great thing.