2017: Time For A Strong Finish!
Last week we wanted to inspire you with some great reading to 're-kickstart' your year. This week is all about doing something to make the most of the time we have left this year.
September is almost like a second start or 're-start' to the year with the return to work and school and holidays. The year may not have gone as you would have liked and it might be tempting to just write off the remainder and coast into the holiday season.
BUT we still have three months left of this year. You can still make the most of that time and achieve a lot, even if you are not quite where you would like to be. So this is a perfect time for 're-' activities - review, reflect, re-evaluate, re-activate, re-commit, re-start etc. After all, "it ain't over until the fat lady sings'!
THE AUTUMN EQUINOX - TIME FOR STRATEGY
Coincidentally, every 20/21 September (in the northern hemisphere) is the Autumn Equinox - the time of equal day and night before heading into the long evenings of winter. It is almost like a momentary pause in the year, and the invitation is both to look back and look forward.
It also traditionally marks the end of the harvest in farming and so is a great time review what you have reaped from what you sowed earlier in the year.
In practical terms, this is a brilliant time to pull back and focus on strategy, i.e. looking at what has happened so far this year and why then determining what you want to do for the rest of the year. Here are five things that you can do (and questions to consider) to help you get on track, form a strategy and crush it for the rest of the year:
Take some time out to look at what has happened this year. Has the year gone as you would have like and as your planned, or has it gone a bit wonky? Often when we set resolutions at the start of the year, we fall off the bike very quickly.
Even if we have set longer terms goals, life gets in the way, and it may not go with the way we thought. If you haven't set goals, this is a perfect time to set a different course for the rest of the year.
- What has worked this year?
- What hasn't gone so well?
- What have you done/not done that has impacted how the year has gone?
- What have other factors contributed to how the year has gone so far?
As the old saying goes, "you reap what you sow". Your year so far will undoubtedly reflect some of the seeds you planted earlier in the year - both the goals you may have set and the actions you have taken. If you are like most people, if you have reviewed the year so far you have probably focused on the negative.
One thing we tend to be horrible at is celebrating our victories, no matter how big or small. We also don't tend to recognise or think of the good stuff we have got going on in our lives.
- What victories have you had so far this year?
- What can you do to celebrate these successes and reward yourself?
- What can you appreciate about your life as it is right now?
If things are not how you want them to be in your life, sometimes that is because we haven't set the right goals or headed off in the right direction. Now is the time to re-evaluate if your goals/intentions/direction are taking you where you want to go.
It is also the time to step back objectively, take a look at your life and see if you are focusing your time, energy and effort on the things that matter to you.
- What has the experience of going after your goals been like?
- What areas of your life are calling for attention?
- What do you want to change/do differently?
You may find that you are heading in exactly the right direction but circumstance and everyday life have slowed you down...maybe to a standstill. If that is the case, you still have a quarter of the year left.
You can drift towards the holiday season, or you can make the most of the remainder of the year and re-commit to your goals/intentions/direction. Your choice...
- What action are you going to take to move towards your goals by the end of the year?
- What is the first step?
- What might get in the way? What can you do to overcome these barriers?
RESET & RE-START
If you feel you can't wait for year to end, September is almost like the second start to the year. So, acknowledge where you have got to and let go of what you haven't achieved, give yourself and your mind-set a reset and just re-start the year!
Set some intentions for the next three months that are less about striving/achievements and more about creativity/nurturing/re-energising. For example, it might be about finding more work-life balance, starting that art class you have always wanted to do or starting some daily habits to look after yourself a bit more.
- What have you been wanting to do but haven't had the time for?
- What could you do to place more focus on looking after yourself better?
- What could you do to feed your creativity?