Do you know what I hate most about this time of the year? No, not the premature festivities that is forced on us even before Halloween is over. Neither the endless stream of Christmas songs coming out of the speakers of every large shopping centre, for at least 8 consecutive weeks. I can even deal with the pressure of buying various gifts for friends and family. None of this is bothering me.
What really gets to me this time of the year is when I look at my life at its current state and I see no difference, no improvement at all. Do you know what I mean? That I look back at the previous 10 months of the year, and I have to admit, that nothing really changed. I’ve remained overweight and out of shape, my bank account is far from being healthy, and the worst: that I’ve never done all those things I’ve promised myself to do at the beginning of the year.
Usually I enter every new year with a renewed enthusiasm, when I’m 100% sure that after all the failures and inaction, this year is finally going to be THE YEAR, when I turn things around. But I also noticed that each new year brings a slightly lower level of enthusiasm: I trust myself less and less every year, because of my dwindling level of commitment and my tendency of giving up.
Every new year I try to cast aside my old me, and hope that the new me with all the shiny new intentions will take root, and that particular new year will really bring the change I’m yearning for. And then every November I feel this lingering disappointment that the year is practically over, and I’m exactly where I was a year before...
… but hang on for a second …
… we still have 7 weeks left of the year! And I’m not saying this in order to kill your holiday buzz, far from it. All I’m saying is that we seem to overlook something very important here: that we’ve got another 7 weeks to make this year count!
I know, I know, many of you may think that this year can’t be over too soon, you probably had just about enough of it, and can’t wait to turn a new leaf, but let me stop you in your tracks for a second and ask you this: if you were certain that with a little bit of an effort you could lay the foundations of a great 2020, would you do it? Would you be willing to surface from the endless line of Christmas parties and festive merriments and do something that would help you to create that fantastic new year that much smoother?
My answer is, that I would. Better yet, I will. Just think about it: if your goal is to get in shape in 2020, why not start now and establish a new exercise and healthy eating routine before all the festive face-stuffing kicks in?
Or if you want to become a fiction writer next year, why not outline your novel before the end of the year?
We often think the only sanctioned time to start over, or start something big is January, yet we all know the fate of the majority of those new year’s resolutions. So we should know better, right? We are smart enough to figure this one out.
So let me give you 5 (hopefully) compelling reasons that will make you put down the eggnog (for a moment) and use the coming weeks to establish something awesome:
It will give you a sense of accomplishment, the satisfaction of knowing that you’re already on the right path.
Which will ultimately make you feel better about yourself. I don’t know about you, but when I’m upset with myself, I tend to make poor choices, like overeating or overspending, which leads to more negative feelings and ends in a serious January blues peppered with financial difficulties. No, I would rather look in the mirror and be proud of the woman who looks back.
You will be more likely to stick to your 2020 goals - the sense of achievement will propel you through the tough times. And tough times will come for sure. The beginning of a new year is usually rather hard, when we finally descend from the fuzzy cloud of merriment, shiny gifts and great food, and wake up to a cold New Year day and an empty bank account. Maintaining a resolve to push on can be really hard on those days, so your previous achievements will help you big time.
You will have a more successful 2020, because you’ve already established some great productivity habits. Just hold on to them, one small step after another, and you’ll get there, for sure.
It will teach you how much 7 weeks (or 49 days) matters - so when you start procrastinating again, you will have this reference to hold onto.
So let’s reign in this crazy 2019 that is about to run away, and take steps to make 2020 so much better. How to do it?
Set yourself some realistic goals. Factor in all your responsibilities, but don’t be shy to say no to things in order to carve out some extra time.
Be clear on how that accomplishment will contribute to the big dream/goal that you’re set to achieve in 2020.
Be kind to yourself, but be firm. It’s not impossible to find 30-45 minutes each day to work on your, but it will take some dedication, and maybe sacrificing some Netflix time. Choose wisely.
Try to work on your goals every day - even if it’s just 10 minutes. Creating a habit of working on your dreams and goals every day will pay off in the new year.
Don’t forget to celebrate. Even if it’s a small thing remember, that you’re that much closer to your dream.
In this spirit I’ve decided to start this whole new blog, hoping to inspire you and create some final buzz for the year. Because it doesn’t matter how late in the year it is, or how short every day feels like now that it gets dark by 5pm. What matters is that we want to realise our dreams, plans and big aspirations, and we are ready to work on it every day.
Let me close this string of thoughts by borrowing the words of my favourite personal development teacher and author, Barbara Sher:
““Now” is the operative word. (...) You don’t need endless time or perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating.”