Those who rush things too much, without reflection, can be surpassed by those who take their time. – African Proverb
The year 2017 is fast coming to a close. It’s 33 days before the start of 2018! Now, it has become my habit since launching this blog in November 2014, to write a post on how to finish each year on a strong note, and this year is no different. Here now are 5 ways to finish 2017 strong and start 2018 with a bang!
There are many studies that extol the virtue of expressing gratitude. I read an article in Forbes magazine recently that posited 7 scientific benefits of gratitude. These are as follows:
- It opens the door for more relationships
- It improves physical health
- It improves psychological health
- It enhances empathy and reduces aggression
- It helps you to sleep better
- It improves self-esteem
- It increases mental strength
Wow! With all those benefits no wonder the Scriptures (the Bible) encourages us to give thanks always and on all occasions (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Read the Forbes magazine article to get a detailed explanation. I have experienced the benefits of gratitude repeatedly. It’s definitely my mood enhancer and joy booster. When I feel discouragement coming on, I give thanks and that keeps it at bay. Here are three options I recommend for you to express gratitude to close out the year:
- A 21-day gratitude challenge
- Start a gratitude journal
- Express gratitude to someone – a different person daily.
2. Reflect and Review
I highly recommend spending some time in solitude perhaps for an hour or two to reflect on 2017. How was this year for you? Was it your best year? What interesting or new things happened? How did you progress? I recommend making a list of 5-10 ways that you progressed in 2017 and a list of 5-10 things you would like to accomplish in 2018. Believe me, it will be quite insightful and may even lead to further expressions of gratitude.
3. Plan for Your Progress
Why wait until January 1, to make New Year’s resolutions? Begin planning for your change and progress today! Instead of making resolutions I encourage you to set goals with definite plans for their accomplishment. This is far more effective than setting New Year’s resolutions. To assist you in this process, I recommend watching my progress planning workshop. It is 45 minutes long and it will help you to make 2018 better than 2017. Click progress planning workshop to view it on Facebook.
4. Time with Loved Ones
This has been a difficult year for many and some have left us who started 2017 with us. Even as I write, we are mourning the loss of a family member. The year usually ends with festivities but sadly many will be mourning over loved ones who can no longer celebrate with them. Despite your grief, I implore you not to neglect those still alive. Make every effort to spend some time with your living loved ones before 2017 closes. Let them know how much you love and appreciate them by words and actions.
5. Acts of Kindness
For those of us of Christian persuasion, Christmas reminds us of the greatest act of kindness in human history. God sent his only son to save us from eternal destruction. Heaven came to earth to save undeserving rebellious humans from the negative consequences of their actions. “For unto us a child is born…unto a son is given… (Isaiah 9:6-7). In the same way, I encourage us to be kind as we close the year. Show grace and compassion to others. Make a list of 3 acts of kindness that you will bestow on others to close out the year. For many, this goes without saying because at Christmas we remember the less fortunate more than any other time. One act of kindness should be forgiveness. Forgive yourself for the misdeeds of the past. Forgive others for their misdeeds and give yourself a fresh start for 2018. Unforgiveness is like giving yourself poison while expecting your wrongdoer to die. Give yourself a chance to live and thrive!
Finish 2017 Strong! Finish 2017 Well!
I hope this short article will inspire you and empower you to finish 2017 strong. I do intend to take all five steps. In fact, I have have already completed my plan for progress and reviewed and reflected on the past 11 months already. I’ll be more mindful to complete the other 3 before the year closes.
If you like this article, share it with your friends, family and associates. Share it on social media. It will definitely help someone to end 2017 on a strong note!
Cheers to your progress!