The End of The Year

Here we are, pushing quickly toward the end of 2018. I have been spending the last few weeks creating an online interactive e-course that I will be launching at the end of the year called The Courage To Be Me. It’s a mix of exploration and coaching that I think could really help you get clear about who you are and what you want, so that you can take courageous steps forward. More on that in the next few weeks.

For now, I’d like to share a song with you. My wife Kari and I recorded this track last fall and I wanted to gift it to you this holiday season. It was one of five songs we recorded to give to friends and family for Christmas last year. We never fully completed the project. Perhaps some day we will. So for now, I wanted to give you our demo recording of Silent Night.

This time of year seems like a mixed bag for many of us. We are celebrating with friends and family. We’re grateful. And we’re also frustrated at the world we live in. Some of us are feeling lost and listless while others are feeling the pangs of being financially-strapped. And then there’s politics and the madness of the world.

What we have—amidst all of the chaos around us—is this very moment. Now. And not someone else’s now; you have your now and I have mine.

So what are you going to do with that?

You have one month left in 2018, so what are you going to do with it that’s bigger than just making it through the end of the year?

Every tomorrow is an outcome of what I do today, and the beauty of it all is that today is happening all the time. — Craig D. Lounsbrough

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Three Thoughts For These Last 39 Days of The Year

Having a short amount of time to get something done can actually be very motivating. I mean, what is 39 days? A very short period of time. And as I have said before, arbitrary deadlines can be so helpful. So why not set the end of the year as an arbitrary deadline for you to get some stuff set straight in your mind and in your life?

1 - Practice Gratitude

Okay, first thought is to appreciate every thing and every person in your life. Sounds simple enough, right? A little gratitude. When we focus on all that we do have—instead of constantly focusing on what we would like or what we do not have—we tune our brains in the direction of abundance. Abundance is always up against scarcity. And when we are constantly fixating on what we don’t have right now, we will find ourselves in a mindset of scarcity.

By keeping a gratitude journal or by implementing some regular gratitude practice, we keep ourselves in a good headspace, even when times are tough. For me, I have a reminder alarm on my phone that goes off at 7pm every day that says Gratitude. I take two to three minutes, close my eyes and reflect on a few things that I am grateful for in that day.

This isn’t just positive thinking; it’s perspective shifting. It has been proven in scientific journals to improve mental health.

What would it be like to spend these last 39 days focusing more on what you already have? What would it be to send one person a sweet text or encouraging email each day? If you did that, you could reach out to 39 people who have made a positive impact on your life and let them know how much you appreciate them. It could deepen a friendship or put you back in touch with someone from long ago. Imagine the possibilities.

2 - Set SMART Goals

A great way to set yourself up for the new year is to set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. The more specific we make our goals, the more likely we will follow through. And by using these last few weeks of the year to set some small goals in this fashion, we’ll set ourselves up well for goal-setting in 2019. Without some sort of goal in mind, we will find ourselves constantly in response mode. And while that may be okay for a period of time, eventually we will wake up and ask How the hell did I get here?

By being specific with our goals, we can measure them. We can check them off our lists.

So instead of saying you want to get out of debt, say you want to pay off this one particular credit card by the end of the year. How will that feel to have knocked out that one small goal that is part of a larger one? Or, instead of saying you want to lose weight, say you want to lose two pounds by the time you leave for your Christmas trip. Then make a plan for how you can do that.

3 - Take Good Care of Yourself

In that response mode, it can be very difficult to carve out time to make sure that your needs are being met. And that can put us in a slump.

So instead, create a daily or weekly rhythm where you practice some form of self-care. I’m not talking about being indulgent or irresponsible or entitled. I’m talking about taking radical responsibility for your own life.

In order to be the best you in this world, you need to get your sleep, stay hydrated and have some sort of growth / spiritual practice that keeps you grounded. Perhaps that’s walking in nature for 30 minutes a day, or reading a book and doing breath work.

I wrote an entire blog post on the importance of self-care here.

Remember to set SMART goals for self-care so that you can really integrate them into your life well. Otherwise, they’re just short-term exercises. That could help, but wouldn’t it be better to get your life on the long-term track you would like?

If this all resonates with you, consider taking some time over this holiday weekend to see what you could do to work on these three things. What would motivate you to do such a thing? Perhaps a reward at the end of the year? Perhaps setting goals with a friend sounds compelling. That way, you can stay accountable and develop a friendship more fully.

You do you. Just make sure it is the you that you want. Take responsibility, take control and take care of yourself. The present moment is what we have to work with. And let me know if I can help. Schedule a phone call below or use the LIVE CHAT button in the lower right-hand corner of your screen to chat. And stay tuned for my announcement about my seven-day e-course.

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. — T.S. Eliot