You can still finish strong

Most long distance runners pace themselves and know that it is the second half of the race that allows them to finish strong. They know how to conserve energy, deal with lows and not get too high, which are all important cycles that they must learn to go through. Sprinters train for a quick, short burst of energy. In life, we are marathoners not sprinters. The big difference is in each process and commitment.

Preparing for a marathon as a runner is a similar process as preparing for a long, successful life. Longevity takes a strong foundation, flexibility and willingness to change. One of the worst habits people get into is NOT regularly reviewing and refining their process, procedures and results. How willing are you to evaluate what’s really going on and make changes, to finish the year strong and set yourself up to launch into the new year with clarity and momentum? Remember back in January how we discussed setting goals for the New Year? You were excited, ambitious, specific and full of hope that this year would be amazing. So, how are you doing? We have a few days left in this year before we go through the process again. If you have been taking action and working on your goals this year, you should be very proud of yourself! Getting started on creating change is hard work. It forces you to get those creative problem solving juices flowing and super charges your work. Do not let the fact that you are running out of calendar days set you up to self-sabotage the great work you have left to do. Instead, focus on how you can finish strong and even get ahead moving into the next New Year.

How to Finish the Year Strong:
Remove small annoyances. It is the little things in life that suck up our mental bandwidth and make us feel unfinished. Over the next few days, when you see minor things hanging that you kept meaning to attend to in your life, take a few minutes to do something about them.

Clear out your space. The end of the year is a wonderful time to get rid of all the physical clutter in your life. It’s amazing how much stuff most of us have that we don’t need or use. Once the unnecessary possessions have been given away and the junk has been thrown out, you will definitely feel mentally and emotionally lighter.

Have important conversations. We often let minor confusions linger, generally because we are afraid to find out the answers to our questions. Find out. You’ll feel clearer, and you’ll have a better sense of what to do next. Is there something you’ve been carrying around with you and not saying? One way to tell is when you are having the conversation with the person in your head that you need to have out loud. Make an agreement with yourself to figure out how to bring up those tough topics before year end – and then do it.

Ask for what you want. When you’re having those tough conversations, don’t just complain – request. Some of the things we have been longing to have in 2018 are just a request away – we were just too afraid to gather the guts to request. Continuing to think about these things will continue to take up your emotional bandwidth.

Change a Few Habits. To finish the year strong, make a few strategic, key changes in some of the habits, approaches and attitudes that you know are holding you back. Look at time management, organization, commitment, consistency, flexibility, resilience and see where improvements can be implemented and make them.

Set Realistic and Achievable Goals. Goals are most effective when we set them realistically within what we know we are capable of. What is important is setting goals, committing to working on them and making progress. The problem we sometimes run into is that we set goals but then do not have an adequate system that gets us there.

Make use of your Mentors and life coaches. The most successful people I know have an active, diverse accessible support team and select mentors that they tap into and rely on. This builds our sense of community, of belonging and our service to others. The more we show we belong to our community, profession and industry, the more we will be included.

Be your authentic self. Nothing makes a bigger impact or is more memorable than a person’s authenticity. Be who you say you are and always lead with your best qualities, ideas, actions and thoughts. Get to know what your best assets are and use them for the greatest good. When we touch people with kindness, caring and help, we are doing our best and fulfilling our greatest purpose.

Commit to Your Health, Fitness and Well-being. Without our mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being, we will never live up to our God given potential. The best personal commitment we can make to ourselves is to be the healthiest we can be each day. Success and well-being are great partners – they create a state of mind that helps us through the most challenging times, change and transition. We cross many finish lines but never really finish the race. It is important to keep training to maintain strength and alertness.

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