As we approach the end of 2019, while crowds of shoppers are making last minute purchases, you can calmly and intentionally take the following action steps to close off this decade strongly.
- Make a list of 2019 Dead Weight
This refers to people, projects, attitudes and habits which slowed your progress in 2019. No doubt there were projects in the past year which were not part of your core purpose. You may have over committed to someone or been overly ambitious with your to-do list. Ask yourself if a project is moving your forward or dragging you down. If it is not moving your toward your core purpose or Masterpiece as identified on Day One, then it can be left in 2019.
Dead weight also applies to people, groups and causes. You may have a friend, colleague or even a family member who is full of negative energy or simply unappreciative and annoying. If you maintained the friendship for charitable reasons, clear out the friendship box by leaving this person in 2019. You do not have to send a goodbye card or provide a long explanation. Write a Note to yourself stating you are leaving this person in 2019. As you create your Garden of Eden, you cannot exist in a state of darkness. And creating light means eliminating the darkness of people who bring heaviness when they are around.
Personal habits or attitudes that did not serve you well in 2019 should be left behind. Resolve to leave your emotional outbursts, short temper, sarcastic tone or a dour outlook in 2019. As you create your Garden of Eden, anything that does not allow you to thrive and be your best self has no part in your future. Leave the poor habits behind.
2. Email Inbox Clean Out.
In this technology-driven world, email inboxes seem to be never ending, with promotions from every retailer you’ve visited, to websites your mistakenly registered with for one useful pdf. Many retailers sneakily ask for your email address when you’re at the cash register just to get your email and proceed to inundate you with ads on a daily basis. Aim to reduce your inbox newsletters from unnecessary content. One technique to deal with this is to join a service that rolls up all newsletters and promotional mail and unsubscribes you from them. This is very useful. And the service will check your inbox regularly to see if there are ‘new’ subscriptions. One company I find useful is https://unroll.me.
In addition to the promotional emails, now is a good time to clean out old files which are simply bloating your inbox. If you have not read or responded to emails from 2, 3, or 5 years ago, it is a good chance you can delete those safely without even reading them. Seek to get to inbox -zero by December 31st and then you can resolve to do this deep clean once per week moving forward.
3. Organize your Financial records.
Financial records are an important part of any life or business you are creating. And these records are often needed when you least expect it. Take one night this last week of 2019 to organize you paper financial documents. You may also want to digitize them at the same time by taking a photo or utilizing a special app. For records that are digital, you should make a backup copy of, for example, your Paypal or Venmo account. Keep these in an organized folder and then make a copy of that folder online.
Also, take a quick look through your tax files. Is there an action to be completed before the end of this calendar year? Then do so right away so as not to lose a benefit. We all know that tax time is early in the new year. This is a stable part of the seasons of life. And in Day Four of our Create Your GOE process, we plan for the known seasons on life. So begin now to compile the 2019 financial records so that you can easily pass them to your accountant or have them accessible for your online tax filing.
4. One Last Dash to the Finish Line.
If you’ve been procrastinating for the year on one item, and it’s pressing on your mind, give yourself some release from the stress by taking one of two actions. First, you can make a mad dash for the finish line by devoting a few hours to make some headway on the project. Some people (like me, I confess) love the adrenaline rush of a deadline. We can sprint forward and accomplish more in half a day than in the prior half a year. If this is your style, then you need to work with your style, though this cannot be a dominant strategy for success. So, if you planned to work on a second book but this has not yet started, you can spend a few hours on the outline. If you intended to start an online business this year and you feel very disappointed in yourself, spend 4 or 5 hours researching and writing the top opportunities or the top contenders in your industry. If you were meaning to volunteer with an organization, you can join now. And volunteer starting next week. By taking some action, you will give yourself a small win that will create a favorable mental framework. And thank yourself for taking a small action. Feel the satisfaction of moving forward. This will create the good energy to motivate you to continue taking those small actions.
A second strategy to deal with an undone task is to reformulate it into a bigger or more expansive project so you’re not simply dragging over an unfinished project into the new year. If you planned to get started on a new business project, but it never got off the ground, then expand it for 2020. If you were going to form a nonprofit or a ministry group and it was not started, expand the concept or the target group. Decide to take it international or create a larger team. In this way, you will give your self the moral boost of taking some action in 2019 and not simply moving the same item into a new year.
5. Pamper Yourself.
The last week of the year is usually a slow time in the business world. Many companies are closed and others have limited staff. While you can still continue with your strategies and plans, and may have interesting results by being active when fewer are, you can also simply take the time to pamper yourself. Identify a body, mind or spirit reward you can give yourself. This can be a special yoga class, or a massage. You can buy yourself a new book or visit a museum. Or you can enjoy an evening concert. Often during the energetic rush of creating our ideal life and our Masterpiece, we may put our personal comforts on the back burner. This week is a good time to do the opposite and end the year feeling like you have valued yourself by taking care of your inner body, mind or spirit.