Things to Do Before the End of Year
Twenty-Seven days. That’s how much time we have left in 2016. How are you planning to spend those days?
Throughout my entire life, which, coincidentally happens to be twenty-seven years, I couldn’t decide whether I hated, or loved New Year’s Eve. I was always a bit of a deep thinker, an old soul, so even as a kid I always found this time to be very emotional. As a little girl, I’d try my best not to fall asleep and make it to the countdown. I’d watch TV and see people celebrate all over the world, and couldn’t comprehend how come those people are already celebrating, while we have to wait.
Well… then you grow up and expect the New Year’s Eve to be this huge thing and instead, it always ends up being a big disappointment. You can’t decide whether you want to go out, or stay in, you make all these plans, then they often fall through and you end up spending the night on your couch, eating pizza. Then, of course, the unthinkable happens. You actually fall asleep, and miss all the fun- which is what happened to me last year, for the first time in my adult life.
Ah, the circle of life.
Fresh start. That’s something we love to talk about, as the New Year approaches. Thing is, if you really want to have that fresh start, you gotta start working on it now.
This is the best time to get rid of all the clutter, anything that you no longer need, use or want. Your closet, garage, basement, kitchen cabinets, makeup stash. Throw away any makeup or skincare products that have expired or you haven’t used in along time, any clothes that you haven’t worn in a year, etc. This will feel amazing come January, you will feel like you are really getting that fresh start.
CLEAN UP YOUR DIGITAL SPACE
When was the last time you backed up your laptop? Do it before it’s too late. Delete all those thousands of emails, old documents, pictures and videos. I recently cleaned up and backed up both of my computers and was surprised to find that I still had things like my class syllabi and a bunch of research papers saved on my laptop, even though I graduated in 2013. I moved what I wanted to save to my external drive and deleted the rest.
PRINT OUT THOSE PHOTOS
My sister and I love going through my photo albums and looking at pictures from our childhood and teenage years. This involves wine, a lot of laughs and also.. a ton of cringing. It’s just something that we don’t really get to do too often anymore. Back in the day, that’s what we’d do for fun. Whenever my grandma brought out the big photo album after our Sunday dinner, we always got excited. I loved hearing stories from my grandparents’ childhood and them telling me about their younger years. I’d never believe that my grandma rode a motorcycle, unless I had those pictures to prove it (I mean, can you imagine McGonagall riding a motorcycle? I swear her and my grandma are the same person).
I have so many pictures that I haven’t printed out yet, there’s a bunch of empty albums waiting to be filled and I always tell myself that I’ll do it when I have more time. The time between Christmas and New Year is the best time to get it done. Putting those photos in an album can also be a fun thing to do with someone you love.
DONATE + GIVE BACK
Most of us are very lucky. Even if you think you don’t have a lot, there are people who would trade places with you in a heartbeat. We’re approaching this magical time of year and while it’s fun to give and buy gifts for our loved ones, giving to someone in need, or someone who can’t return the favor is even more rewarding. If you want to help someone in need, you don’t have to look further than your community. Participate in holiday food drives, donate books or clothes, support small local business that are so often family-owned. If you have a lot of free time, try volunteering. Buying a coffee through a drive-thru? Pay for the order of the person who’s right behind you. This magic, that we feel this time of year, isn’t something that just “happens”. We’re the ones who make it happen.
CREATE NEW GOALS
Don’t call them resolutions. Call them goals. Write them down and make a plan. Majority of us fail miserably at our New Year resolutions and that’s because we expect too much from ourselves. We want to lose weight, get a six-pack, get a promotion, find the love of our lives, get a house, a new car- all in a year. Set small, but effective goals for yourself like getting up an hour early every day, or going for a 15-minute walk before work, reading before bed instead of watching TV at least twice a week. Changing life-long habits is hard, so you have to start small when working on developing new ones.
TIE UP LOOSE ENDS
I received a recall notice for my car last February. I still haven’t set up my appointment with the dealership because..well… I have no time. Oh, did I mention that I pass by that dealership every single day on my way to work? This is something that’s been “following” me all year long and I kept finding excuses for not doing it. Well, guess what I’m doing first thing tomorrow?
Whether it’s an overdue bill, an application you have to make for something or a relationship that fell apart where you didn’t get closure- you need to take care of it now. We often put those things off, the things that we dread, the things that we don’t feel like doing. Guess what? You’re not doing yourself any favors- because every night as you go to sleep, that little problem sits there somewhere in the back of your head, and it bothers you. You keep pushing it away and pushing it away, but it somehow finds its way in. Coincidently, this usually happens at 11pm, as you’re trying to fall asleep.
If you ever tried developing a new habit and it took you several tries, you’re probably familiar with the phrase “I’ll start Monday“. Well, the same thing happens when the New Year comes. We have all those plans and goals and things we want to do and accomplish. We all talk about a fresh start. Then, January 1st comes and….. it doesn’t feel any different.
If you really want to get that fresh start, you have to start preparing for it now.
What are you planning to get done, before the end of year?