Another year is coming to a close, for better or worse, but as the song goes, “baby, it ain’t over til it’s over”! I don’t know about you, but I feel like it’s been a really big year for me personally, both in terms of business and for my family. And while there have been ups and downs, I’m determined to end this year with a smile on my face.
So whether 2017 was the best year ever, the worst year ever, or something in between, there’s still time to close this chapter on a positive note. Here are five things you should do before the year ends:
Show your gratitude.
It’s so easy to think of gimmicky #gratitude efforts, but the truth is, heartfelt gratitude is a powerful tool that helps lift up not just the person you express your gratitude to but also your own spirits. According to Forbes.com, gratitude improves physical and psychological health as well as sleep, self-esteem, and mental strength, and it also makes you more open to new relationships.
Showing your gratitude can be as easy as posting a message on someone’s Facebook wall or sending them a PM. You can also just pick up the phone and tell someone how grateful you are that they are in your life. Or, if they are someone you see often, like your partner, kids, parents, siblings, kabarkada, and so on, make sure you take some time out the next time you see them to thank them for their role in helping you to become who you are, as well as for more tangible ways they have supported you over the years.
If you’re reading this, I’m going to take this opportunity to say thank you for following me and being such a great audience this year. I really appreciate all your comments, your likes and shares, and the time you take to read my posts.
Pay off a debt.
Some people like to say that you should end each year debt-free, but let’s be practical here—when that debt is something like a mortgage or a business loan or any large amount, that isn’t always possible. But if there are little debts you can afford to pay off (or even if it’s just advancing a little more than usual on your credit card payments or any other bills so you don’t have to worry about them at the start of the year), I’d suggest that you do it.
There are also cases of non-monetary debts, like when a friend has done you a favor and you know you’re in a position to do one back in turn, or to pay it forward.
Take a few minutes, an hour, even a day or two before the end of the year to work on balancing the scales a little more.
Share your blessings.
Apart from balancing the scales, you can tip them in your favor by sharing your blessings. Are there good deeds you can easily do for people you know or even for perfect strangers? Or maybe you can take time out with your family and friends to volunteer, perhaps to play with kids at an orphanage or do some sort of last minute charity work before the year ends.
Also consider that the holidays are coming up, and not everyone can afford a feast to celebrate Christmas or New Year. Consider contacting local homes, shelters, orphanages, and such and asking them what you can contribute toward their holiday meals. Or even what you can contribute to them in the long term.
Do a post-mortem.
If you’re going to make sure next year is better than this year, take a little time to sit and reflect on the year that’s passed. Do a little soul searching. Are there goals you failed to meet this year that you need to revisit next year? Are there things you achieved that you can take one step further? Are there things you didn’t prioritize that need to take a bigger role in your work or personal life?
Even just sitting and thinking these things through will help a lot already, but for best results, I would recommend writing these down, even if no one buy you sees them. Even better, if you can ask your friend, sibling, or spouse to be your accountability partner going into the new year and do the same for them, that’ll help you ensure that not only will you have support for achieving your dreams next year, but you’ll also be helping someone do the same.
Last but definitely not least, make sure to indulge a little! Especially if you’re a mom. With the holidays coming up, the pressure is on to make sure presents are bought and wrapped, parties are planned and food prepared for the many get-togethers sure to be scheduled, and the house looks gorgeous going into the new year.
But all that effort is no good if we start the new year stressed or, worse, haggard! So make sure to schedule a spa day for yourself, or even just a staycation for Netflix and chill. Leave the kids with their grandparents for their weekend and book a room at a hotel or just take a road trip. Do whatever helps you rejuvenate so you can start the new year with a smile on your face and the energy to face another 12 months of awesomeness.