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I hope everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the holiday, be with loved ones, and eat good food! We’ve moved past Halloween and Thanksgiving. Christmas is around the corner, which means the years end is basically here.
And I know time is a social construct, but it's so beautiful how we've conditioned ourselves to look at the New Year as an opportunity to start fresh! That last month of the year always feels like the last chance to give it your all; and there are people who are one push-through effort away from living the life of their dreams, in this hard ass world. So I thank God for that mindset, because if anyone didn’t want to give that last bit of energy to doing your very best, living in this world, at this time, I’d whole-heartedly understand without judgment. It’s hard to reach goals in this world, and every day we all reach goals. We’re phenomenal. We deserve so much better. But let me not get into THAT bag!
With one month remaining in the year of 2021, I thought it’d be the perfect time for me to gather and share some tips on how to finish the year strong. By the last quarter of the year, I often hear people express exhaustion or disruption to their drive. Pushing through this year may require a lot more will than years prior.
Writing the goal/s down is key. The act of putting things on paper makes them more real to me, but I have a particular method by which I write those goals down. During a conversation with a friend who's in education, she mentioned a practice that her school used to identify goals for the semester/school year, it’s called a SMART. I knew this method was something I should adopt after hearing her explain it. SMART is an acronym for:
Specific (Make sure it's straightforward, sensible, and significant)
Measurable (In addition, it should be meaningful and motivating)
Achievable (Considering it is the final month of the year, you should agree that this is something you can accomplish in a month's time)
Realistic (Having a reasonable goal is important)
Time-sensitive (The purpose of this is to prompt real action. Setting deadlines can help you avoid procrastination)
There is also the option to add an “ER” to SMART to include Evaluated and Reviewed. When it comes to goals I wish to complete in a month, I don't usually include the "ER", but I do think it's important to go back to the drawing board periodically to make sure you are making progress and not left stagnant or moving further away from your goal/s.
So, when you identify and write down your goals, ask yourself and answer the following questions:
What do I want to accomplish? Why is this important?
How will I know I’ve reached my goal?
Can I truly accomplish this?
Considering my current reality, does this make sense right now
In the future I may write a deeper dive about SMART with my educator friend, because it's an excellent concept, she really explained it well! In the meantime, we're going to keep SMART simple since we just need to push through and accomplish some list items before the end of the year.
Following the identification and writing down of your goals, you must prepare yourself to start working on them. Since we have one month left in the year, there isn't much preparation time. We need to commit and get started.
For me, powering through daily, starts with my morning routine/practices. I have found that when that daunting feeling of knowing there is so much to do, comes over me, as long as I’ve tended to and cared for myself in the morning, it helps me to keep my energy focused throughout the day.
So much of my drive is generated in part by talking to myself; you'd laugh.
*MY MORNING ROUTINE FOR INVIGORATION*
Say my thanks for waking up and speak about the day I am looking forward to having
Think of the things I’m grateful for.
Shower/Bathe and do my skincare routine (I LOVE LOVE LOVE SKINCARE)
Make a filling breakfast with foods that I don’t need a nap after eating (I won't tell you what I eat since everyone's body reacts different to different foods, but if you’re interested in knowing, comment below and I’ll share.)
I listen to calming music or listen to a podcast. (No gossip, news, or sports)
Write down three things I will do that will bring me closer to my goal.
It’s as simple as that. The more I do these six things each morning, the less dreary and dragged my days feel.
As an added feature, I would recommend creating an evening routine as well. We seldom see people encouraged to create a routine in the evening, because most people concentrate on a morning routine, but listen, doing both of those bad boys together…religiously…CHEAT CODE! You do your little whine-down and carve out some time to revisit your list from the morning to see what you’ve completed. The feeling of crossing off a to-do list item or checking off a goal is so satisfying; that reinvigorates me every time. I look forward to my list being completed the following day.
Share your goals with the people around you. If you have people who want to see you succeed and achieve your goals, they can serve as accountability partners. By having someone who was encouraging and accountable to me, I was able to reach goals when making my goal SMART and starting my day with a routine were not enough. So, I always recommend accountability partners to others, because let's face it, sometimes we just won't have the willpower to push a little harder to reach our goals, especially if they are not survival goals.
I know it's easier said than done, but let's all go into this last month with goals and every intention to reach them.
What goal/s do you wish to tackle? What can you do each day to bring yourself closer to it/them?