Like many of you, I’m kind of over 2020. It’s basically been a barrage of bad news and just a whole lot of suck.
I’ve been fortunate to still keep somewhat of a normal life, besides the sudden realization that we’ve basically spent an entire year in seclusion. Did you know that the Kansas City Chiefs (my favorite team since birth, I have the receipts to prove it) won the SuperBowl this year? That was THIS YEAR. Wild.
As an introvert, I’m perfectly fine with avoiding social events by using all the new quarantine excuses we’ve been given. I’m not even mad about getting married at a UPS store earlier this year… saved me tons of money and I didn’t have to wear a white dress.
Still, nothing would make me happier than telling 2020 to “shove it where the sun don’t shine”. How am I going to do that? By totally dominating the last quarter so I can finish the year with a bang. Here are four tips to making the last quarter of 2020 be the upturn you need going into the new year.
Create new goals or revisit old ones
Resolutions don’t have to always be made on January 1 and stay the same for the whole year. I’m a huge fan of monthly and quarterly goals. They are smaller, more manageable, and flexible to changing circumstances. I’m spending the last four months with a new goal every month. Each goal is small enough to be done in a month, but still a challenge to the point where I have to work daily to get it done.
Example, my November goal is to write 50K words in 30 days (NaNoWriMo). I’ve done it before, but it’s always a mystery as to whether I’ll accomplish it in ten days or wait until four hours before the deadline to cross the finish line (both true stories). I also created a goal of writing another quarter of a million words in the next four months (including November’s word count), and I have the projects set out that will help me make that a reality.
Consider creating a three month or single month goal that can help you feel accomplished at the end of the year. The purpose is to use it to propel you through the last four months of 2020 and win the end of the year.
Another strategy is to revisit the goals you made at the beginning of the year. Chances are high that you were unable to finish some of them. Luckily we can blame the quarantine for some of them, but there are probably a few goals that you can pick back up now. Make it your mission to build them into the last four months of the year.
Learn a new skill
It’s never too late to learn something new. It doesn’t matter if you’re late to the party or an early mover. Just because you didn’t start it when this whole quarantine business began doesn’t mean the rest of the year is a waste.
Challenge yourself to learn something in the next three months. Invest in books and resources that will help you improve yourself. This can be literally anything — running, a new hobby, a different language, or even cooking. Pick something small or something challenging and start building it into your day. Work on it for fifteen minutes every single day. Do it first thing in the morning, right before you go to bed, or every day at 10AM when you finally have a moment to yourself.
Plan ahead / take control
I get it. Plans have gone to hell in a hand basket. I tossed out my November wedding plans back in March. We still don’t know when things are going to be clear enough to actually have a party or celebrate (at the minimum) with family. I have no idea when social events will become a thing again.
But there are different things that I can plan for. Instead of frustration, I’ve looked to plan some of the things within my control. I took control of my work life and planned the next six months of writing. I planned out what I wanted my life to look like in a year and that helped me make small goals to help set myself up for success. I focused on the things that were within my power to do and work toward, and that helped me settle my anxious mind, even during the crazy.
Think about the things that are within your power. You can’t control when you’ll be able to fly to visit your parents, but you can control reaching out to them by phone or scheduling weekly video calls. You can’t control when the gym will be safe to visit, but you can wake up a few minutes earlier and go for a walk. You don’t know when restaurants will be available, but you can make decisions about meal prep and cooking.
It’s time to take control of yourself and your mindset. You might feel defeated inside, but it’s time to fake it ’til you make it.
Put your shoulders back, lift your chin, and charge forward. Be bold and intentional with your actions and words. Determine what you want and don’t let anyone, or any-year, stand in your way. Say no to the things that keep you from reaching those goals. Put your mind first and stand up for yourself, even if you’re standing up to the last three months of a crappy year. Don’t let it beat you in the final stretch.
I’ve been using the Passion Planner (affl) to organize my goals and help me dominate the last half of 2020. Get 10% off your order using code LAURAW10 at checkout. You can also read all of the books I’ve written during quarantine, including the complete Soul Series and a brand new Warrior Series.