As we come to the close of yet another year, many of us come to the realization that time looks much like a roll of toilet paper or a cassette tape. In the beginning, we have the luxury of having an abundance of time, but as we get closer to the end we realize that we are running out of it at a much quicker speed. This can leave us with many reactions and emotions.
For instance, some of you might be looking at your calendar and wanting to curl up in the fetal position wondering how you’re ever going to make it through the rest of the year with your sanity in check (especially those of you who added a particular elf to your family traditions).
You might be living in some regrets about what you didn’t accomplish in the past eleven months that you set out to do in January. Some may have faced some major challenges this year that completely wiped you of all of your strength and joy.
Some may have had a fantastic year and wonder how you will ever top it next year.
Then there’s that last category of people who don’t even stop to evaluate what the past year has been like because if they do, they just might realize that:
(a) they are headed in the wrong direction
(b) they might lose momentum to keep going again or
c) ignorance is bliss.
Yet despite all of the highs and lows of the past year, if you are reading this article then you are very much alive and you still have time to finish this year strong!
The secret to how you can accomplish that is very easy and is found in these fourteen words – You will never get this moment back so whatever you do, make it count. This takes a life that is intentional and purposeful in order to determine what is important to you, how you can stay grounded and live out your intention, and what you can do to make a great end to your year.
This is not always easy because our lives are made up of what we want to do, what we have to do, and what others need us to do.
We need to balance all three of these in order to be successful in the fulfillment of purpose.
Many times we think of balance in terms of being on a bicycle and needing to keep moving at all times. Yet, according to science, balance also comes from within.
Our ears are one of the main contributors to this truth. This is an interesting concept because while you need your inner ears to have physical equilibrium, what we hear sometimes can determine the stability of our own lives.
For example, have you ever evaluated what you wanted in life only to hear words that cut you down and made you feel less than adequate to achieve your goals? As a result, you might have lost your balance somewhere between giving up and knowing you were created for something great.
At the beginning of the year, we are usually our biggest cheerleader telling ourselves that this year will be different so we start with pretty good balance.
Then, about June we might start to tell ourselves that our plan needs to be modified and our attention starts to shift a bit.
Then, somewhere around October we might hear ourselves say “let’s wait until next January.”
Yet, if you were to ask yourself today what you would do yet this year so that you finished the year with no regrets, what would you hear yourself say?
Ok, you heard it so now visualize yourself doing it. Your eyes are another source of balance. Lastly, the position of your head also determines balance. Are you hanging your head in shame? It’s time to life that chin up because today is a new day! You can’t reach for the stars when you are looking at the ground.
Keep in mind that this looks different for everyone. Nothing is too small or too big. For some, it might have been losing (or not gaining) that extra weight or paying off that credit card. For others, it might be going back to college or starting a business. For some, it might just be to smile more and complain less.
Don’t just wait for the big moments in life.
For example, your kids love spending time with you on Christmas but they are probably going to remember even more that ordinary Tuesday afternoon you took off work to take them to the zoo.
Now that you have given yourself permission to regain control of what’s important to you and what you want to focus on, how do you make sure that it is not hijacked? Go back to your intention and ask yourself “if what you are doing is getting you closer to your goal or further away from it.”
Unfortunately, you can’t always control what happens to you in life, but you can control how you are going to respond to it. Maybe your kids are going to get sick the night of your work Christmas party.
But, if you never get that moment back again, do you want to fill it with complaining or do you want to know that you were there for your kids when they needed you? Maybe you didn’t get the bonus you were hoping for this Christmas. Are you going to spend your time bad mouthing your employer or are you going to find ways that can demonstrate your ability to be an invaluable asset to your workplace so maybe next year you get that promotion instead?
No matter what you decide to do the rest of the year or what you are facing, make it a point to love more, be authentic, and strive to be the best you that you were designed to be.
There is no regret in that!