As of writing this, we’ve got 24 days left of 2017. That’s it. This is usually the time of year that I start thinking about my New Year’s resolutions which is fine but there’s one problem with that: I’m waiting for the New Year to start anything.
Why wait? Why procrastinate getting things done just for the sake of a “fresh start” on January 1st? So this year I’m not doing that. Instead, I’m tackling 18 things before 2018 arrives.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb
There are a couple reasons for this:
- I start more things than I finish — Projects, online courses, books, tv shows. This is a way to focus on wrapping those things up before I start something new.
- Momentum — Ever notice how satisfying it is to complete something? I like riding that momentum to get more things completed. Imagine entering the new year having just finished 18 things. That’s how you start 2018 on the right foot.
So what do you include on your list? What’s important to you? What will give you the best jumpstart on 2018?
Keep Your Goals Small
Save the big things for your New Year’s resolutions. This challenge is about completing tasks you may not have otherwise completed. In order to do that, you have to make them manageable. When I made my list, I loosely broke it down into 3 categories:
- Things I Need to Start
- Things I Need To Continue Doing or Make Progress On
- Things I Need To Finish
This helped keep things organized and focused my intention. Most of the items fell under the finish category because this challenge for me is about wrapping things up. That said, there were a few that fell into the other categories. When that happened, I made sure they were measurable goals. For example, I want to start a yoga program I’ve subscribed to. For that, I’d like to start the program and do 5 lessons before the New Year. That’s doable. I’m not trying to do the whole program, just start it.
You want your goals to be things you can reasonably accomplish in a day or a couple of days.
What Have You Been Putting Off?
We all have chores, obligations, commitments that we keep putting off. Maybe you need to clean out a closet or file some paperwork. Maybe you need to make an appointment. For me, it’s unpacking the last couple boxes since I moved in… over a month ago. Include at least one thing on your list that you’ve been dreading or putting off for a long time.
Look to Finish Things
If you’re anything like me, you’ve started a few projects along the way that you haven’t finished. Maybe you got distracted by something new or maybe you lost interest or just don’t have the time. Whatever the case, try and finish things you’ve started! You’ve already made progress on it so picking up where you left off shouldn’t be as daunting as starting something from scratch.
I have a lot of “to finish” items on my list. I’m guilty of starting of online courses and jumping to something else partway through!
What Will Set You Up Best for 2018?
Here’s where you think long term. Have you decided on your New Year’s resolutions yet? What will jump start those resolutions? Here are some areas you can think about:
- Hobbies — where do you want to take your passion or your hobby next year? How can you prepare for that?
- Healthy Eating — how can small changes to your diet now help you accomplish larger goals later on?
- Fitness — why not join that gym or that fitness program you’ve been thinking about now instead of what January comes?
- Personal Development — where areas do you want to grow in as a person? How can you challenge yourself to make changes now?
- Mental Health — what causes you stress? How can you work towards eliminating that stress or dealing with it in a way that feels good?
- Relationships — what small things can you do to impact your relationships with loved ones?
Include the Fun Stuff Too!
These tasks don’t have to be all serious. Maybe it’s important that you spend time with a friend over the holidays. Add that to your list! Maybe you want to finish that thriller novel you’ve started but haven’t found the time to finish. Include that!
For me, I included two tv shows that I want to wrap up. I missed the last two episodes of Grey’s Anatomy so I added that. I’m also in the middle of The Path so I included that as well.
Make the items on your list things you actually want to do and that will make them easier to accomplish.
Feeling inspired? You’ve got 24 days which is plenty of time to accomplish 18 things before 2018 and jumpstart your New Year’s resolutions!
What are you accomplishing in the next 24 days?
PS — writing this article was one of my 18 before 2018. See how easy that was? 😉