A radical year-end challenge: 3 steps to end even a bad year on a high note
Thursday, November 29, 2018
When we have a great year, we can fail to take the time to think about all the work, luck and assistance that had to come together to make it possible. Conversely, when we have a bad year, we often have no problem compiling lists of reasons why it happened.
Regardless of which type of year this turns out to be, taking these three steps will help wrap up any kind of year on a good note.
And the winner is…
The first step is all about mindset. Even at the end of a terrible year, there was something or someone that shone like a light at the end of the long tunnel.
From funny co-workers, to that lunch with an old boss; quarterly bonuses to a new, amazing copy machine; good things happened. Find them and make a massive list. If it seems like it will be a challenge to find good stuff, start small. Go through emails looking for completed projects, thank yous, or compliments.
Next, send a super-simple thank you. The simpler the better because the shorter and easier it is to write, the more you can send. By doing this exercise first and sending as many thank yous as we can, we get our minds thinking in a positive direction, which is super helpful if we have had a challenging year.
Conversely, if it has been a great year, doing this exercise helps keep us grounded and rightfully acknowledging all the people that helped us succeed.
Step two: use the end of year as an excuse to ditch negative baggage. When we travel or move, we only have so much space to take things with us; now is the perfect time to leave anything unnecessary behind.
Old, unfinished projects? Donate, delegate or ditch them. Broken relationships? Useless files? Get rid of them.
If we think of the new year as a dream destination, we can set ourselves up for success by thoughtfully planning what we will take with us and what we will not.
Even if you are not looking for a job — especially if you are not — take this time to capture a few bullet points from the year and add them as accomplishments on your resume and LinkedIn. Think of it like professional scrapbooking — reflect on the highlights of the year and capture them in some small way.
Just like with memories, it is better to trust the near term then try to remember further down the road. Doing so is a great way to reflect on the past year and prepare for what is to come. It is also a great exercise to ensure we come up with something productive and positive to add to our professional accomplishments — even if the year was not one of our best.
The bottom line is, with just a little effort, we can positively impact others with our gratitude, poignantly capture the best of the year and productively put it to use for the year to come.
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