7 ways to finish the year off strong

It’s been a challenging year for many businesses due to the pandemic. Whether you’ve thrived or struggled in difficult times, there’s no doubt challenges came your way.

Many entrepreneurs neglect self-care and work much more than they should, often resulting in burnout and lower productivity. With September being Self-Care Awareness Month, this is the time to slow down, take time to focus on yourself, and successfully move closer toward your goals.

The good news is that regardless how things have gone up until now, you can reposition your focus to make a big splash and finish off the year strong.

1. Midyear resolutions

Most people are so used to New Year’s resolutions that it’s practically hardwired into our DNA. The thing is, we aren’t strictly tied to the calendar. Any day can be the start of a new era. Finish the year off well by making some midyear resolutions. Get a head start before the rush and stress of the holidays wear you down and go into next year with tons of momentum.

2. Milestones

It’s smart to have your major goals for the end of the year in mind, but the path to reach those goals is most easily managed through a series of smaller accomplishments. Set mini goals and time frames for each step of the way and tackle them in bite-sized portions. Psychologists call this compartmentalization. The idea is if you look at the big picture it is easy to become overwhelmed. Smaller goals, on the other hand, seem much more doable.

3. Breaks

Along with having a series of milestones, it’s important to have a series of small breaks along the way too. Taking a breather now and then will help keep you motivated and help you recharge your batteries instead of becoming burned out and overwhelmed. Not only does working at such a frenzied pace lead to a decrease in quality, it’s also bad for your health. No matter how much you have going on in your business, make time for downtime.

4. Slow and steady wins

You may feel a lot of pressure to try and get everything done before the end of the year. Just remember that steady progress will help you get to your goal faster than trying to stay in fifth gear the whole way. You don’t sprint your way through a marathon. Just stay persistent and steady and don’t let the tasks become insurmountable in your mind. Remember, it’s good to set goals to try and meet, but if it takes you a month or two longer there is nothing wrong with that.

5. Outside interests

Your business goals are very important, but don’t let them completely consume your life. It might seem counterintuitive to think about anything else while you still have a deadline but be sure to maintain some outside interests. What is it that you enjoy? Who are the people you like to spend time with? What completely takes your mind off work and makes you feel good? This is imperative to reaching your goals and will increase the quality and quantity of your work.

6. You are your best asset

No matter what is happening with your professional life, the most important thing to take care of is you. All the success in the world doesn’t matter if you can’t enjoy it. You don’t need to slack off and ignore your responsibilities, but you do need to make sure that you are healthy. Dedicate at least 20 minutes a day to improving self-care. If things get very overwhelming, contact a mental health professional. They are trained for situations like this, and they can help. There is nothing to ever feel embarrassed about either.

7. Think ahead

Sometimes a project, business plan, or deadline may become so all-consuming that it completely overwhelms you. Ironically, something that may help is to start concentrating on other work projects. What else do you have on your plate that you’ve been neglecting? This may sound like it only adds pressure, but when you free your mind of what it is most focused on, ideas start to flow and things don’t seem as difficult as you first thought. A finish line can be the scariest part of a project because it is so final. So, don’t think of it as an end. Think of it as just another step.

The takeaway

The world around us is constantly changing as both consumers and businesses alike deal with the challenges presented by COVID-19. You can’t really control the outside world, but you can take charge of how you conduct your business, how you care for yourself, your mindset, how you prepare, and how you achieve success. Decide today to finish the year off strong. No matter what has happened up to this point, the next few months can be your best ever.

Angela Civitella is an executive, a business leadership coach, and the founder of Intinde.

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