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Finishing 2016 Stronger and Happier

This may be the workout talking, but this morning during a rare 45-minute treadmill-fest I had an epiphany: It' a lot easier to go from one mountain peak to another than to start the climb from ground zero.

So in that spirit, here are three ways to wrap up 2016 at the top of your game—and build on that momentum in 2017.

1. Jot down what didn't work.

Not the most pleasant task, but ultimately a redemptive one. What are two or three actions from 2016 you don't care to repeat?

One of mine, ironically, was starting out with too many goals. Too many goals leads to not enough focus.

Even after I pared down my list to the top seven, it was still too many. So no matter what anyone else says, I'm going back to setting one to three big goals per quarter. Fewer goals, more focus. And more emotional commitment.

What will you do differently, based on your results this year?

2. Make note of what did work.

For bonus points, start this step by pouring your favorite beverage. Then if necessary, go back through your calendar. Where did you go? Who did you spend time with? What did you accomplish? What good habits did you form or start to form?

Not only should we celebrate our wins, we should use them to help shape our future.

3. Start thinking about one goal for 2017.

What one goal would (a) have the greatest impact on all your other goals or (b) add most to your quality of life? I think we sometimes leave out the quality-of-life piece. Yet in the memorable words of St. Irenaeus (ear-uh-NAY-us), "The glory of God is a human being fully alive."

What habit or outcome would make you more fully alive? Consider making that your first and maybe only goal for the new year.

Finally, even as we celebrate this season, let's also move some mountains. Whether it's hopping on a treadmill, clearing off your desk, or brightening someone's spirits, we can still make so much happen in the next 26 days—and finish the year stronger and happier. The question is, will we?

P.S. If you're looking for a rewarding way to make a difference, check out New Eyes for the Needy. Their homepage video is gorgeous, tear-jerking, and brief. Through Jan. 31st, your contribution will have twice the impact.

What outcome would make you more fully alive? Make that your first goal for the new year.

Gina DeLapa

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at UltimateReminders.com/mondaymorningpeptalk.