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Episode 30: How do You Want to End the Year?

This is an edited version of a podcast episode. If you prefer to listen, click  Make Me Whole Podcast or click Podcast in the menu above to find this and all my other episodes.

Background is stripes of color, fading from dark purple to gray to dark blue. Text reads, "The foundation of a successful new year is laid during the old year.

Hey there, and welcome! Thank you for joining me today. When I got up this morning, I felt a significant chill in the air, and those who know me well  know that I am not a fan of winter. It’s not winter yet. It’s barely fall, but it did give me a realization that we are approaching the end of another year. It’s incredible! And one thing I know is that once I put my Halloween decorations away, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s show up faster than I expect them to. 

So that got me thinking. What am I planning to do for the remainder of this year? I think way too many people say to themselves, “You know, it is what it is. I’m not going to worry about this year anymore. I can’t wait until it's over!” Then they set their goals on January 1. Ok, but that’s what we’ve done every year, right? Does that actually work for us, though? Are we not able to get going ahead of time so that we can go into the year with our best foot already forward? 

In January of last year, my goddaughter showed me how to create a vision board in Canva. When I finished, I set it as my screen saver and my laptop background so that every time I open it, it’s what I see first. In it, I added a couple of things that I liked about myself: I’m my own boss, I keep myself safe, I preserve my peace. I encourage my clients, and I keep my focus. I also included 3 different tasks that I want to accomplish this year. The first one was to be a public speaker and pursue opportunities to share the importance of mental health with companies and organizations. The second was to create a class where I could have participants learn something from my skill set and use it in their daily lives. The third was to set up my podcast. So, two out of three are done! While I know that I’d really like to complete that third one, my energies now are focused on the logistics of doing it in the upcoming year. 

I’m encouraging you to not wait until January 1st to start working towards your goals. It’s actually 10 weeks away, and that’s a lot of time that could be spent focusing, planning, researching as opposed to just waiting around for an arbitrary day on the calendar. Yes, the collective motivation of the New Year can be a helpful tool, but how great would it be to start January 1st with the foundations of your project already built instead of  starting at square one? 

Look, we are going to get distracted over the next few weeks. I know I am! I love Halloween and handing out candy. I love decorating for Christmas and cooking for Thanksgiving. I love being with the people that I care about. That’s all good stuff, but it’s also very distracting. And in some professions, it’s the peak busy season. I know for mental health workers, this is prime time. We receive a lot of phone calls from people who are seeking services to help them get through the holidays. 

So, what are some realistic things you can do as you’re ending this year? One thing you might do is let go of poisonous relationships. Really take the time to consider whether or not you have an accurate understanding of your relationships and whether they are helping you be a better person.  Another thing you can do is to choose to be around people who you don’t feel the need to impress, the people who actually accept you for you. This is going to be really important during our holiday celebrations as more people are spending time with family members and friends. Wouldn’t it be great to just have a good time, as opposed to seeing all your gatherings as obligations? You can also let go of waiting around for someone to come rescue you. We have to learn to be our own hero, and January 1st isn’t going to magically make things easier for you. You have to start the process now. And finally, stop begging people to stay and spending time trying to prove your worth to them. You’re not going to get a gold star for being a punching bag. You're not going to fix someone by dealing with someone as long as you can, fighting the battles and wars. You’re not going to get praise for sticking through rough times when you’re the only one who’s feeling beat up. 

These are just some ideas. You can decide on anything you want when it comes to finishing up your year. But focusing on those changes now will give your further momentum for the end of the year and keep your mental state strong as you focus on you and not on things you can’t control. You can avoid some stress, drama, and difficulties. Take some time for yourself. Take some time for planning. It’s time to get going. Time waits for no one, and before you know it, the New Year will be here.


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