Finish the Year Strong — 7 Tips on How to End the Year
The year 2022 has indeed been a year with its ups and downs. The war in Ukraine had detrimental effects on the global economy as well as food and energy shortages; climate change caused weather abnormalities, such as more significant storms, the outbreak of more robust fire seasons, and abnormal cold and heat waves. Political unrest, social discourse, and many other difficulties have all affected the world.
It’s easy to feel adrift with all this chaos going on around us. So if you weren’t a little bit terrified, anxious, or insecure, you wouldn’t be a human and I can see why it could be difficult to finish the year strong.
However, despite these global challenges, the year has provided many opportunities to learn, grow, and become better individuals. It has allowed us to set new goals, achieve new dreams, and reach new milestones in our journeys through life.
Strong beginnings are ideal. Having a strong finish is epic. – John R. Miles
It is crucial as the new year draws near to finish the year strong so that you may continue your momentum into the new year and hit the ground running. Ending the year strong does not imply that you successfully achieved all of your objectives for the year. It means appreciating your progress in the year, understanding what worked to give you the successes you had and what caused your failures and setbacks, so you can learn the necessary lessons and gain the knowledge and will to do much better in the coming year.
In this final article of 2022, I will make a lot of references to some of the previous Passion Struck podcast solo episodes I have released this year to draw insight and remind you of the vital lessons I shared along the way. At the beginning of the year, I advised you that I would tackle various challenging topics many self-help gurus want to avoid addressing. I hope I delivered on that promise and provided you with actionable insights you could put into intentional practice today and in the future.
By the end of this article, I aim to have you well-equipped with adequate knowledge to finish the year as strong as you can by providing seven steps to doing so.
The importance of finishing the year strong
Every year of our lives is similar to a chapter in a book. The year 2022 marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. Finishing the year strong will enable us to learn all the essential lessons from it and accept that the year is about to end. Additionally, it will give us the confidence, hope, and strength to tackle the upcoming year, improving our chances of succeeding in our goals.
“The perfect ending to any day, race, task or project is to finish strong” — Gary Ryan Blair
For some people, finishing the year strong might involve wrapping up work projects or meeting personal goals, such as exercising regularly or saving money. For others, it might include taking care of tasks that have been put off or prioritizing self-care and relaxation.
The key to finishing the year strong is to identify what is most important to you and make the most of the remaining time by focusing on those priorities. This might involve setting specific goals, creating a plan of action, and finding ways to stay motivated and on track.
Seven Steps to finish the year strong
Achieving your goals and finishing the year strong can give you a sense of accomplishment and boost your confidence. This can help you feel more motivated and capable of achieving your goals in the future and can set you up for success in the new year.
Now that you know how important it is to finish strong, here are seven steps to finishing the year 2022 and preparing you to make 2023 your best year yet:
Reflect on your past year
There are many ways to review and reflect on the past year, and your approach may depend on your personal goals and priorities. Here are a few suggestions for ways to review and reflect on the past year:
Make a list of the key events and accomplishments from the past year. This could include personal achievements, career milestones, and significant events in your personal life. Use what you have learned and accomplished in the past year to set goals for the coming year. Be specific about your goals, and consider what you want to focus on and what you need to do to achieve your goal.
Reflect on what you learned from the past year and how you have grown. Think about any challenges you faced, how you overcame them, and any new skills or knowledge you acquired. Doing this will help you understand if it is time to abandon a particular course, as I covered in-depth in episode 226 on knowing when to quit. Because sometimes, you must quit your current path to focus your time and energy on plotting a new and better one.
Reflecting will help you recognize the factors that affect your growth and ability to achieve your goals, as I discussed in episode 102 on how your environment influences who you become.
It’s important to remember that reflection is a personal process, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one person may not work for another, so it’s essential to find a strategy that works for you and that feels meaningful and helpful.
Change your perception
In episode 193, I discussed the importance of changing your perception and how your perception impacts how you view, comprehend, analyze, reflect, and interact with the world around you. I further explained the steps to create an intentional mindset that will help you to better your reality.
Changing your perception can help you finish the year strong in several ways. First, it can help you see things in a different light and find new ways to approach challenges or setbacks. You may see things differently when you change your perspective and develop new solutions or strategies, as I covered in episode 139 on how you become what you think about.
Second, changing your perception can help you stay motivated and focused. Seeing things in a more positive or hopeful light can give you the energy and determination to keep going and work towards your goals.
Finally, changing your perception can help you be more resilient and adaptable. When you can shift your perspective and see things differently, you are better able to handle changes and setbacks that come your way. This can be especially helpful in times of uncertainty or when things don’t go as planned.
Thus, with a positive belief and perspective, you can get the best of any situation and become better for it. You will be able to recognize opportunities in adversity and overcome challenges. By doing so, you will be filled with strength as you end the year.
Reevaluate your relationships
Reflecting on your relationships can help you identify what is most important to you in your relationships and how you want to prioritize them. This can help you decide how to allocate your time and energy in the coming year.
Consider the relationships you have had in the past year and how they have impacted your life. Think about any changes you want to make in your relationships or any new connections you want to nurture in the coming year. Forge those who have offended you — as I discussed in episode 208 on the power of forgiveness.
Reflecting on your relationships can help you appreciate the people in your life and feel more connected and fulfilled. This can be especially important during times of stress or uncertainty, as solid relationships can provide a sense of support and belonging.
But, don’t only pay attention to the relationships with others while neglecting the one with yourself. As I discussed in episode 110 on strengthening your relationship with your best self, this is the most important relationship you can have and is the one true constant in your life. As I shared in episode 133, you will gain all the numerous benefits that make living wholesome, fulfilling, and impactful by learning to love and accept yourself unconditionally.
Clear out clutter
Decluttering your life can help you feel more organized, focused, and at ease. Here are some steps you can take to declutter both mentally and physically:
We frequently keep items in our life that we should let go of, either literally or psychologically, and doing so takes up room that could be used for more important things. Try not to purge everything at once. Work your way up to larger spaces by starting small, such a desk or closet. Adhere to the “one in, one out” principle. Get rid of something you no longer use or need for every new item you bring into your home. This will lessen the chance of clutter building up. Decide what you wish to keep, give to charity, or discard after going through your belongings. Be truthful with yourself about your needs and usage.
As you round off this year, refrain from carrying negative emotional baggage into the new year. Take some time to reflect on how you’re feeling and try to label your emotions, as I discussed in episode 142, on why to emotionally heal, you must feel. Pay attention to the present moment and let go of distracting thoughts or worries. This can help you declutter your mind and stay focused on what’s important. You can feel more anchored and focused by taking care of your physical and emotional wellbeing. Make time for things like exercise, meditation, or hobbies that are good for your body, mind, and spirit.
Finally, decide what you will say “No” to so you can avoid adding new clutters after clearing the old ones. This will help you prioritize your activities and accelerate your effectiveness in reaching new goals.
Create a plan for the coming year.
Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” A significant aspect of finishing the year strong is planning to live better in the coming one.
Creating a plan for the upcoming year is crucial because it helps you set goals, stay organized, and succeed. A plan can provide a clear roadmap for your actions, helping you stay focused and motivated as you work towards your goals. It can also help you stay on track and make the most of your time and resources.
Ensure you make intentional plans for your finances, career growth, spirituality, well-being, and every other aspect of your life. This will help you live a balanced lifestyle, as I discussed in episode 124, and be in your best form every day. Life is unpredictable, and things sometimes go differently than planned. With a plan in place, you can be prepared to adjust your course of action as needed and stay focused on your goals.
Be realistic in your planning. This will help you know your resources, how to best put them to practical use, and the time frame you need to accomplish your goals.
Overall, creating a plan for the upcoming year is essential in achieving your goals and living a more fulfilling and meaningful life. It can help you stay organized, focused, and motivated as you work towards your dreams and aspirations.
Act on your plan by creating healthy habits
Keep in mind that plans without actions are just that — plans. You can think, strategize, visualize and talk all you want. But everything will stay the same if you fail to take conscious action. Thus, creating habits to implement your plans is essential in achieving your goals. Here are some steps you can take to develop habits that will help you put your plans into action:
Start small. Habits are easier to form when you start with small, manageable goals. For example, if your goal is to exercise regularly, you might start by committing to a 10-minute walk every day.
Make it specific. The more specific your goal, the easier it will be to turn it into a habit. For example, instead of saying you want to “eat healthier,” specify what you want to do (e.g., “eat a serving of vegetables with every meal”).
Make it consistent. Habits are easier to form when you do them at the same time and place daily. Choose a specific time and place to work on your habit and stick to it as consistently as possible.
Find a trigger. A trigger is something that prompts you to take action. For example, if your habit is to exercise, you might set your workout clothes out the night before as a trigger to remind you to exercise in the morning.
Be patient. It takes time to form new habits, so be patient with yourself and keep going even if you don’t see progress immediately. Keep track of your progress and celebrate small victories along the way.
Seek support. Having someone to hold you accountable and support you as you work on your habit can be helpful. This might be a friend, colleague, or mentor.
As I mentioned in episode 108 on creating healthy habits, remember that creating habits takes time and effort. Still, with patience and persistence, you can turn your plans into action and progress toward your goals.
Give and show empathy.
In episode 118, I mentioned that empathy allows us to show kindness to others, making the world around us a better place and allowing us to become intentional in our actions. Giving and showing empathy can help you achieve your plans for the next year in many ways:
It can improve your relationships. Showing empathy towards others can help strengthen your relationships and improve communication. This can be particularly helpful if you work on a team or collaborate with others to achieve your goals.
It can increase your understanding. By showing empathy, you can gain a deeper understanding of others’ perspectives and needs, which can help you better collaborate and work towards your goals.
It can increase your influence. Empathy can help you build trust and rapport with others, increasing your influence and ability to persuade others to support your goals.
It can improve your emotional intelligence. Empathy involves understanding and responding to others’ emotions, which can improve your emotional intelligence and help you better navigate and manage your own emotions.
Overall, showing empathy can help you achieve your plans for the next year by improving your relationships, understanding, influence, and emotional intelligence. It’s an essential skill that can help you achieve your goals more effectively and successfully.
Especially in this holiday season, express the true spirit of the holidays by giving your time and resources to those in need of them. When you help someone else, their hearts will bless you, and you will become a much better person. Ultimately, your kind acts will help you finish the year strong and on a solid note.
Remain passion-struck and finish strong
As we wrap up the year 2022, I hope you will consistently practice all the lessons I shared with you during the past year. Utilize the regenerative power of gratitude, as I discussed in episode 220. Be bold and confident. Don’t let last year’s failures prevent you from finishing the year strong, accomplishing more in the upcoming year and becoming the future self you aspire to be.
As I discussed in episode 148 on why life is about the journey and not just the destination, you have to pay attention to what you are doing in each moment of your day. Our lives are in constant flux. The world is changing around us constantly, with new challenges and opportunities presenting themselves all the time. This means we are always in motion, and our goals and priorities may change whether we want them to or not.
During 2022, you likely faced challenges, made mistakes, and grew from your experiences. These experiences shape who you are and help you learn and grow. You have the power to choose how you approach them as I discussed in episode 145 on why your micro choices determine your life. Stay passionate about living your best life to gain and sustain momentum into the coming year.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” — C.S. Lewis
Ultimately, life is a balance between focusing on the destination and enjoying the journey. It’s essential to have goals and aspirations, but it’s also important to stay present, enjoy the moments as they come, and learn and grow from the experiences you have along the way.
Remember that each and every moment is crucial, and use your time intentionally now and in the upcoming year. Strong beginnings are ideal. Having a strong finish is epic!
So go on, finish the year strong and live your 2023 passion-struck!
Where to Go From Here
I hope you found this short guide on knowing when to quit useful. If you’re looking for more ideas on getting motivated and staying that way, check out the Passion Struck podcast and my episodes with behavior scientists Ayelet Fishbach, Katy Milkman, Astronaut Wendy Lawrence, NASCAR driver Jesse Iwuji, and Vice Admiral Sandy Stosz along with my over 80 solo episodes.
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