A 3-Step Process To Ending Your Year Strong
By Iona Brannon
It’s that time of the year again. Summer disappeared before we realized it was gone, and the holidays will be upon us before we know it. Time can feel like it’s quickly escaping us as we slip n’ slide between holidays, familial obligations and end-of-year work expectations. Instead of letting this time go by, we encourage you to use the beginning of this final quarter to set intentions.
How do you use these last few months to your advantage? We’ve broken down a few steps to help you think through the rest of your year and prepare for what is ahead.
Revisit Your Hopes and Pinpoint The Differences
It’s time to pull out those old resolutions you created back at the beginning of the year. What were things at the top of the list that you really wanted to achieve? How many of your goals have you met? How many have you given up on? Which goals have you grown out of? As you change as a person, it’s only natural that your desires and priorities shift too.
Now that three quarters of the year have passed look back on your progress. In which areas has your growth taken flight? Which habits have stuck and which have disintegrated? Maybe you’ve discovered that going to the gym isn’t what’s hard. It’s going to the gym in the morning that’s causing you to slack off. Seeing the results of your strategies in the past, both things that have worked and things that have failed miserably is crucial for developing habits and reaching your goals.
Break Down Things That Give Life Meaning
Your year thus far has been filled with memories, good and bad. You’ve taken risks and you’ve chosen not to take risks. Reflect on those decisions. What are some things that bring you joy? What makes you forget about time and worries? Which activities have been less than meaningful or draining? Perhaps your relationships are what motivate you to get up every morning, or maybe it’s your career aspirations. Does your at-home yoga practice ground you more than anything? Or perhaps it’s even getting enough sleep at night.
Evaluating these things will help you understand how to create a more fulfilling life and prioritize your time. It will also help rid you of guilt that often comes with unmet obligatory resolutions that don’t bring value to you.
Create Mindful Goals
Armed with your experience and insight from the previous nine months, it’s time to look ahead to the next three months. At this point, you should know what gives you joy and meaning, as well as what activities and commitments just aren’t fulfilling enough. List out what you’d like to achieve based on these insights.
Maybe it’s time to revisit an old resolution with a new strategy, like incorporating your workouts into your night routine instead. Or you’ve realized that working out is less of a priority than spending time with family. Not only will understanding your motivations and strategies help you set goals, but it will also help you figure out the most effective way to achieve those goals as well as the right kind of rewards to build in along the way.
Setting intentions for this final quarter will not only keep you accountable for the last few months, but it will also be an empowering process. Not much is more fulfilling than looking back on a year well spent. Happy goal-setting!
Iona Brannon is the editorial assistant and side-brain at MAED. With a background in journalism, she enjoys sitting in L.A. traffic and occasionally yelling at other drivers.