Toot Your Own Horn!
The Year Off With A
It’s inside time! It’s cozy time! It’s productive time! It’s one of my favourite seasons.
Time to wrap up all of the goals we’ve set for ourselves over the year and kick ourselves into high gear.
These next few months hold within them the potential to be the most efficient months of the year! It’s a decision away.
We can revisit, refocus and get excited; intentionally setting our sights on what we want to happen instead of letting the arrival of winter bring with it its friend, ‘the blues’.
Here are the main 5 tools I use to ensure I finish the year off with a bang. Try one or try all; whatever you do, realize you still have the option of making 2016 a sweet sixteen.
1) Toot Your Own Horn ~
Be proud of yourself for what you’ve already accomplished. No matter how big or how small; recognize the progress you’ve made, the skills you’ve cultivated and the lessons you’ve learned.
It may sound silly (maybe very silly) but I went from being able to speak about 15 words in Spanish to about 150. My goal was to be fluent by the end of the year, lol… it’s very obvious I won’t be achieving that goal.
I’d rather focus on my 135 word gain though than on the language I didn’t become fluent in.
I’d rather encourage myself than make myself feel like a bag of sh**!
It’s essential that we focus on what we did do instead of what we didn’t do.
What have you accomplished so far this year?
Don’t hold back the praise!
Did you start eating healthier? Did you begin an exercise routine? Did you try something new? Did you do something you’re scared of?
Practice becoming your #1 cheerleader, and your own coach; give yourself credit.
2) Go Back to the Drawing Board: Revisit and Revise ~
Figure out what is still possible.
Becoming fluent in Spanish is still an important goal for me; I travel to Spanish speaking countries quite often and omitting the language barrier will certainly make my travels more productive and more enjoyable. As well, I really just love the language. I will continue my Spanish lessons!
Not being on track to achieve my goal won’t stop me from continuing on towards my goal.
Don’t waste time being discouraged. Easier said than done sometimes, but really, it’s a complete and utter waste of time to sit and wallow in what you haven’t done or what hasn’t yet happened.
Stay focused on what is possible. One foot in front of the other, again and again, will eventually, inevitably, bring you to your destination.
3) Get the Excitement Flowing ~
Life is waiting for you!
My tail-bone is cringing but I can’t wait to go snowboarding again! I’m hoping to make it down the hill without falling this year…
Focusing on an exciting future has an incredibly powerful pull. Excitement can draw you in. It can wake you up and give you that extra boost when you need it. Excitement, in and of itself can keep you focused and moving steadily towards your goals.
Find something to be excited about. Plan something to be excited about.
Even when hibernations feels so comfortable, so attractive and so warranted, choose to plan at least one thing that excites you this year.
I write down all the things I potentially could do or want to do and then when I have a few moments, I research what it would entail. My lists tend to get pretty long, but I always end up checking a few options off.
4) Keep Moving ~
If you’re anything like me, the summer is meant to be spent outdoors as much as possible! It’s always a bit of a shock to me when my outdoor playground suddenly starts to change.
Staying physical over the fall and winter months keeps me feeling alive and energized, committed to my goals and effective in their execution.
Keep Moving or Get Moving; you’ll simply feel so much better.
In my book, exercise and music go hand in hand. I’m pumped to go for a run or a bike ride because it’s designated music time. Figure out what inspires you and jump all over it!
5) Change it up ~
Spice it up, add some variety, or do something different.
Growing up, my mom was an interior designer who loved displaying her skills in our home; we revamped my bedroom probably yearly. It must have rubbed off on me; I now change my cushion covers in the fall to make my apartment cozier for the upcoming season. It makes a huge difference! (see below!)
If that appeals to you, why not try adding a few new touches to your home décor? Changing your morning routine, your route to work, or anything in your environment, even slightly, can have a big impact. Dye your hair, change your coffee, paint your room.
Your brain will thank you for it. New stimulation keeps our brains awake; it prevents atrophy and it prevents our brains from getting stuck in a rut, where boredom and stagnation are rife.
New stimulation = New motivation.
In conclusion, the worst thing to do right now is let laziness completely take over. Sometimes it’s so tempting! No matter how cozy the couch looks though– at least some of the time, we must resist its call!
A mindfulness practice is great to have all year round, but especially at this time of the year to ensure you stay on top of your game. We want to feel grounded, we want to feel steady and solid, focused and clear… all of those things stem from a calm mind.
You can check out this blog for more tips on mindfulness as well.