Ah, December. The Christmas carols are playing, holiday shopping is becoming more frenzied, the office is decorated for the coming festivities. Yet despite the general good cheer, December can have a little melancholy to it. Just like that, the year is wrapping up to a close. What did we achieve? How did we fail? What good memories of 2017 do we take with us to the new year?
Although the year is drawing to an end, it is a good time to clear some mental space and reflect on realistic resolutions that will make 2018 a new year to embrace.
Who did you argue with this year, what relationship or friendship needs mending? Before the year draws to a close, read our article on being wrong and say a sincere sorry to someone who means a whole lot to you. The relationship might or might not mend, but you’ll feel better for having taken that step.
2. Forgive yourself
Sometimes, the sense of melancholy that accompanies December has to do with a certain sense of potential not met. Perhaps there were things you did not accomplish this year, perhaps it feels like another year has passed without your having become a better person. Well you know what? Life needs a long view. Forgive yourself for whatever you’ve failed to achieve this year, I mean truly forgive yourself and shore up some reserve of energy to tackle the upcoming new year afresh.
3. Get one long-delayed errand done!
Haven’t sent in the form for jury duty? Have some insurance claim to sort out? Whatever dreary errand you’ve been postponing, don’t say “oh well, it can wait, it is already December”; instead, take an hour out of your day and get it off your plate!
4. Streamline one aspect of your life
Whether it’s cancelling an underused gym membership or quitting a chat group that you hardly ever participate in, streamline one aspect of your life now! We have too little time and resources for the people and things that are meaningful to us in general, we need to let go of the things that do not mean much.
5. Watch an old favorite movie
Sometimes life gets so busy that you have very little time to get reacquainted with who you really are, with your core self. If the rat race and soul-deadening routines have got you feeling a little alienated from yourself, take December to embrace your favorite things. Watch a movie you have not seen for a while, or even rewatch a tv series. It can be a trip down memory lane; it can give you a panoramic sense of who are, what you’ve loved, before the year ends.
6. Get out of debt
December is notorious for being an expensive month. But you do not have to spend a lot on people in order to show your love. Instead, attempt some thoughtful DIY gifts and save your money. Use the money you save to get out of debt where you can. Carrying no debt or less debt into the new year can make 2018 feel scrubbed clean and lighter even before we enter into the new year.
7. Get a pedicure or a shave
Do not wait until December 23rd to look your best for the festivities ahead! When you can, get some downtime at the barber’s or at the nail spa. Carve out a little time for self-care in the midst of busy December.
8. If you have an ex, get over them
Kiss someone at the holiday party, dance up a storm. It will not help you get over a heartbreak instantaneously. But if you are wondering when you should finally forget about someone, hey the last month of the year is not a bad time to start actively moving on.
9. Show someone you love them
Everyone expects cards, presents and calls during the holiday season. But how can you go the extra mile to show someone that you truly love them? Throw caution to the wind, do not be conservative about expressing your love. Whatever you truly wish to express to the people who are closest and dearest to you, take the courage to do it this December.
10. Have a phone-free, technology detox day
Pick a day before the year ends where you shut off your phone and do not check your email. If you feel like the year is passing you by before you have even had time to reflect on 2017, you would be surprised at the kind of insights and restfulness that can come to you when you detox from technology for a day.
11. Take one action towards being brave
Whether it is signing up for a kickboxing class or applying for a job that you do not really think you can get, before the year ends, take one step towards being the braver version of yourself. Think about what you have wanted to do but have not done, and do it! Seriously, do not just read this. Take that step towards becoming a more fulfilled version of yourself. If you do so, you will really have something to celebrate comes New Year’s Eve.
12. Get in touch
Whether it is getting in touch with your relative in another country or with your old college roommate, if there is someone you have been planning to reach out to, there is no better time than during the holidays. Our social circle tends to shrink as we grow older. Take steps to resist this and broaden your meaningful circle by getting in touch with people you’ve lost touch with over the years.
So there you have it. These are not New Year’s Resolutions. These are just ways to make the last month of 2017 count for yourself. Maximize what you can make out of December, do not let one month of your life pass you by and start working on various aspects of your life even before January comes around!
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