How to Spend the Last Weeks of the Year and Get Ready for 2024
The rhythm of December often fluctuates between "Is it December already?" and "Oh no, please slow down." Ending the year can be bustling and demanding. However, with a well-thought-out checklist, you're set to complete tasks effectively and efficiently.
Let's delve into the seven primary tasks for your end-of-month checklist, crucial to tackle before December 31st. At ELVTR, we're confident you're somewhat familiar with these steps. Our goal is to serve as a gentle reminder, ensuring you don't miss any important tasks in the rush before New Year's Eve.
#1. Buy Items Likely to Increase in Price Next Year
With the arrival of the new year, prices often surge. It could be a transportation pass or a gym membership; predicting these price hikes allows for early purchases, helping you evade future financial strains.
#2. Reflect on Your Year's Successes
Identify and list your significant achievements of the year. Contemplate what was successful, the strides you've made, and the insights gained. Acknowledging your triumphs is crucial for two main reasons:
- It aids in evaluating how fruitful your year was.
- It assists in strategising for the forthcoming year.
Moreover, it provides a solid foundation for articulating your strengths, particularly useful during job interviews or when seeking a promotion.
Store screenshots of your notable successes in a dedicated "compliments folder" on your computer. These records serve as a valuable resource when facing doubts or seeking a morale boost on challenging days.
#3. Set Achievable Goals for the Upcoming Year
Initiating the year with optimism is common, but maintaining that momentum can be challenging. According to a study by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, while 45% of Americans typically set New Year's resolutions, only 8% fulfill them.
Start planning your goals now, allowing ample time for fine-tuning. Dividing ambitious goals into manageable steps helps prevent mid-way abandonment. Timothy Pychyl, an Associate Professor in Psychology, emphasises that oversized goals can induce undue stress, leading our brains to procrastinate. He suggests breaking down goals into achievable segments, such as:
Rachel Weinstein, a psychologist and certified coach, advises starting with straightforward goals, gradually progressing to more complex ones. This approach boosts motivation and the likelihood of accomplishing further objectives. For example, evolve from "Participate in skill-enhancing workshops" to "Achieve a specific income increase."
#4. Overcome Negative Thoughts
Starting a new year often brings thoughts of a fresh start, but deep down, we might worry that our plans won't succeed. Research indicates that up to 70% of our thoughts are naturally negative. We recall bad experiences more vividly than good ones and worry more about possible losses than potential gains. This mindset is counterproductive when aiming for new goals.
Instead of making excuses to avoid failure, focus on the potential for success. Remember, J.K. Rowling faced rejection from 12 publishers with "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" before it became a global phenomenon. Today, Harry Potter is the best-selling fantasy series ever, with over 500 million copies sold worldwide.
#5. Stay Informed About Your Industry
Being prepared for industry changes is essential. Stay updated on trends, technologies, tools, and software in your field. Also, identify which skills you need to develop to adapt quickly to changes and remain competitive in the job market.
For instance, the rise of AI and AI-powered chatbots marks a significant shift, with more companies adopting this technology.
#6. Develop a Plan for Skill Enhancement
December is an ideal time to strategise about the knowledge and skills you want to acquire in the new year. Reflect on your current skill set and identify areas for growth:
- Consider the new skills you've acquired this year.
- Identify which skills you want to enhance.
- Think about skills that could propel your career forward.
- Define your career aspirations and the skills necessary to achieve them.
#7. Schedule Time for Rest Before New Year's Eve
When we're behind schedule, our instinct is to work harder. However, our brains need time to rest and recharge. Before starting a new year, take a break to rejuvenate.
If you struggle to take breaks, you're not alone. Our research shows that 32% of workers experiencing burnout find it hard to disconnect from constant workloads, leading to a cycle of burnout. If it's challenging to take breaks or plan vacations, schedule them in your calendar.
- Remember to assess your strengths realistically. Don't expect to complete tasks faster than before. If you took a week for a quarterly report last year, don't plan to do it in three days this year.
- Feel free to adjust your plans as needed. Life brings new opportunities and challenges every day. Being flexible and adaptable is more effective than stressing over deviations from the plan.