How to Wrap Up 2015
Most reach the end of the year and look back to do some evaluation. If you haven’t done that yet, do it now. Seriously, stop right now and look back at the last eleven months and give yourself a ten second gut check critique of your life, finances, career, business and relationships. How did you do? Is it time to celebrate or is it time to cry?
Hopefully you get to celebrate. Maybe you have some big things to celebrate, and maybe you can only celebrate that you didn’t fall any farther behind. Either way, take a moment to be grateful and celebrate. Or maybe you realize you’ve been lazy and ignored some issues you should have been working on and you need to cry a bit. Most likely is that you have a nice combination of both celebrating and crying. That’s life.
Here’s my suggestion for the rest of 2015: Get to work, you’ve got another month and it’s never too late. Then take some time, even a little bit of time, to relax and enjoy your life and family during the holidays. Then get a plan for next year. Don’t start the journey of 2016 without a plan.
I wrap up the year with this question: What’s truly important?
I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. It’s when I look back on the year and do an objective, honest self-assessment about what’s truly important to me and whether the way I conducted my business and lived my life was actually in alignment with I’ve declared as being important.
I look for inconsistencies or conflicts between what I tell myself and others is important and the choices I have made in actions that I take and how I spend my time.
As we get older, what’s important to us will change some. In our last blog, Larry talked about how what makes him happy has changed over the years, and I can say the same has happened with me.
So I like to wrap up with asking myself again, “What’s truly important?” If I then need to change or realign the things that I do and the choices I make – perfect – I’ve got new directions to pursue as I turn and look at the coming year.
Consider wrapping up your year by doing an “alignment check” about what’s important, and what you’re doing about it.
Here are four things I recommend to wrap up your past year:
Rehearse your big wins. Some are so performance driven that as soon as they accomplish something important they instantly move on to what’s next. There is benefit in taking time to savor the good things you’ve been able to achieve this year. It will increase your sense of gratitude and enable you to offset some of the difficulties you’ve experienced.
2. Look for the big lessons. Success only sticks when you know what caused it. Even more importantly, your setbacks and challenges offer some of the most important teachings if you make time to reflect on what you learned and record the findings.
3. Determine the drains. What has wasted or not created good return on your time, energy and expertise? To make best use of time, find and eliminate those productivity drains you discovered this past year.
4. Tie up loose ends. It feels great going into a new year knowing you don’t have any big projects in limbo. Drive for the completion of your important projects. Get things done for a fresh start going forward.
As a little boy, I watched a television program called, “The Millionaire.”
Every episode began with a man looking into the camera revealing the show’s fascinating premise: “I was the executive secretary to the late John Beresford Tipton, Jr., a fabulously wealthy and fascinating man, whose many hobbies included his habit of anonymously giving away one million dollars each week — to persons he had never even met.”
Question: What if the gift was $916,666 instead?
It’s still a large amount. Yet, somehow it just isn’t as impactful as $1,000,000 when it’s reduced, is it?
That’s what happens when you leave 1/12th behind.
I see many people coasting through the last month (or more) of the year – not realizing they’re cheapening the gift presented by each year of living.
You should be benefiting from almost an entire year of learning, experience, growth, and relationships. This last month should be your best month!
Here’s what you do: set a goal for every one of the remaining days of 2015. Make a specific plan for what you are going to accomplish on each day.
Don’t leave 1/12th unfulfilled! Ensure that you get the full “million” that the gift of 2015 has to offer!
A lot of companies and people approach the end of the year like the runner featured in this YouTube video. They start celebrating early and get passed at the finish line.
So my advice is simple – don’t let your celebration prevent you from running all the way through the finish line.
I’m not saying to abandon the celebration of your family, faith, and friends. Nor am I proposing that you skip the opportunity to reflect, re-energize, and re-engage for 2016. Those are all important priorities as you wrap up the year.
I am suggesting that you don’t allow your holiday and year-end traditions to distract you from finishing the race. That means you must be clearer and more focused than ever about what is important.
Be relentless in protecting your time, energy, and focus. Make conscious choices to avoid the drama that can increase during the holidays. Invest in people and activities that keep your energy high and your vision focused on the future.
Don’t get passed at the finish line. Wrap up the year with positive, proactive action that ensures you experience everything this season offers AND finishes your race.