As we approach the end of the year, we tend to rush forward full speed ahead. With holiday madness and other tasks that need to be done by the end of the year, who has time to neatly tie a ribbon around the last 12 months and call it a wrap? However, finishing strong may be just the thing you need to do to create a strong start for the New Year.
What if bringing completion to what has past is as important, if not more so, than planning for the future? What if you knew that you are essentially sabotaging your future success by not stopping and taking stock of what you have accomplished this year and where you are at present?
In sports, there are many examples of where a strong finish is the difference between success and second best. For example, that last thrust forward of the wheel in a bike sprint to win by an inch or the running back who reaches out his hand with the ball to barely cross the goal line with seconds remaining on the clock.
How can you make the next few weeks a strong finish for your year? What can you do to bring completion to this chapter of your life? Completion is what allows you to leave the past in the past. Otherwise, it is like dragging a wagon of unfinished business along with you every day. Not only is it exhausting, but it also prevents you from achieving your dreams in the future. After all, you can't climb a mountain with a wagon in tow.
As a small business owner who has struggled to stay afloat during 2011, take a few minutes to reflect on the questions given below, as they will help you identify accomplishments and areas you might want to develop during 2012.
- What did I accomplish this year? Make a list of all your accomplishments, big and small from the last twelve months and celebrate!
- What did I hope to accomplish but didn't? Is this something I still really want? (You are not allowed to beat yourself up on this step.)
- Make a list of all the people in your life for which you are grateful. Contact at least five of these people and thank them for what they bring to your life.
- Is there anyone with whom I need to make amends or forgive? If so, lighten your load and do what you feel is necessary to forgive, repair, or let go of this burden.
- Do at least one thing each day that allows you to simply enjoy today. There is no better step for honoring the past and creating an inspiring future than being fully present and enjoying where you are right now.
Remember that setting goals is one of the most important keys to achieving success both personally and professionally.
Adapted from "Finish Strong" by Resources Associates Corp.