Finishing the year strong means enjoying the season, enjoying your accomplishments, deciding what matters and as best you can, letting go of everything else. You can do this—and you'll feel so much better when you do.
Some steps you can take:
- Ask yourself "What would finishing strong look like?" For example, last week I had my last class with my grad students. Finishing strong would mean walking in fully prepared and fully present—or as my publicist would say, "not half-assing it." When it's the end of the semester and everyone is tired, it is all too easy to coast. But I didn't want that. I wanted our last class to be meaningful and fun. And I had only one chance to make it happen.
What does finishing strong look like for you?
- Figure out what's got you feeling most stressed. Maybe it's an overcrowded calendar. Or spending too much energy on other people's agendas. Whatever it is, now is the time to change it.
For example, a few days before my final class, I realized I had three other events that day, all of which needed renegotiating: a meeting that could be rescheduled, another that could be canceled, and a lovely yet impractical invitation to meet up with a friend, which I politely declined.
Clearing the calendar made all the difference—not just for myself but for my students, who were paying dearly for this class. It's what allowed me to stick around, unhurried, till the last student said goodbye. Priceless.
What's got you feeling stressed or overwhelmed? What's one step you could take to alleviate the pressure? What would be the payoff if you did?
- Turn every frustration into a goal. Sometimes the source of our stress is not something monumental but something mundane, like a messy kitchen. Or being out of our favorite snack. Goals are the solution to getting unstuck. As soon as you set a goal, your resistance fades. You're now on a mission. Notice your increased energy and momentum.
Incidentally, nothing hits the spot like a one-ounce bag of kettle chips from Trader Joe's. I set a goal last weekend to not run out of them, pretty much ever again.
- Take time for silence. When you're feeling stuck or overwhelmed, there truly is no substitute. Whether it's curling up in your favorite chair or getting outside for a walk, take time every day—especially in the first hour—to enjoy peaceful silence. It will change the tone and tempo of the rest of your day.
- Take time to reflect. What are you most proud of this year? Most grateful for? What was most challenging? Most fun? Take time this season to ponder these questions in the silence of your heart. If it helps, put on your favorite music. As you reflect, don't be surprised if you shed a few tears—both for the challenges you lived through and the unspeakable joys.
For example, what topics would you like to see covered—either in Monday-Morning Pep Talk or in a speech to your group? Click here to let me know.
Figure out what's got you feeling most stressed. Now is the time to change it.
— Gina DeLapa