Want to Rock the
last 100 days
I know you are a astonished as I am that today marks the 100 Day Countdown for what is left of 2021. Whether the year has crawled or flown, I am always strangely surprised when we approach the end. Knowing the year is winding down always makes me twitchy: have I accomplished what I wanted to? Where is that list of resolutions? Oh-my-gosh-I-need-to-lose-10-pounds-before-the-holidays.
If you are like me, this renumeration on all that I haven’t accomplished is stressful. Being reminded of what I haven’t done in 2021 just makes me depressed. But I think there might be a way to turn that around. And it doesn’t necessarily require a scheduling every minute between now and December 31st! Thank goodness! (Although this 2021 Self-Reflection printable might be useful.)
What if instead of worring over what hasn’t been done, I focus on what there is still time to do? Taking definitive action always banishes the anxiety.
So instead of feeling bad because we haven’t done more, what if we ask ourselves this instead:
What can we do to rock the last days of this year?
Here are some ideas to do just that.
1. Face down the lingering tasks.
It is easy to suddenly be drowning in the minutiae of life. There are so many tiny details that we have to take care of every day. And if you are like me, there are some you just keep pushing off. But that takes a toll. Now is the time to put on your big-girl-pants and have a showdown.
Evaluate them. Eliminate, delegate or act. (It’s okay to decide they don’t really need to be done!) Set aside a specific day or deadline when all of the items are crossed out. Don’t dither or procrastinate (that’s what you have been doing all year already)!
Think about how much lighter you are going to feel when they no longer taking up valuable real estate in your mind. Outstanding tasks (especially ones that we have been avoiding) make us feel guilty and drain us.
Gretchen Rubin, in her book The Happiness Project, writes: An important aspect of happiness is managing your moods, and studies show that one of the best ways to lift your mood is to engineer an easy success, such as tackling a long-delayed chore.
2. Identify your biggest time waster.
You know the one. That thing you default to when you don’t know what you want to be doing. Or when you know you should be doing something else but ‘you don’t wanna’. [There is about a 99% certainty that it has something to do with technology: doomscrolling, TikTok, cat videos, Netflix, COD. Every one of these things is intentionally designed to suck you down a black hole, btw.]
James Clear, in his book, Atomic Habits, writes: ‘Disciplined’ people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control…It’s easier to practice self-restraint when you don’t have to use it very often.
So do whatever it takes to restrict or eliminate your time waster. Install an app on your phone that limits your screen time. Designate a single night each week to binge watch your favorite show.
Now have some things planned you can do instead. Read that novel you’ve been eyeing. Pick up that project that has been waiting. Doing this ONE thing could be what changes the rest of the year for you.
3. Make a list of your accomplishments in 2021 (so far).
We tend to give more weight to all the things that are still undone, and minimize the long list of things we have actually accomplished.
Take a few minutes and make a list of all the things you have accomplished in 2021. Little things. Big things. Things that weren’t on the To-Do List. Things that were. Include all the things that held value that maybe you wouldn’t automatically consider an ‘accomplishment’. Did you travel to see family for the first time in a year? Count it. Did you learn a new recipe? Count it. Did you finish a challenging book? Count it.
Give yourself permission to applaud the things you HAVE done for a change.
4. Journal about how you want to feel on December 31st.
Think about how you want to feel at the end of the year when you reflect back on how you have spent 2021. Write it all down.
What steps can you take between now and December 31st to ensure you will achieve that feeling? Make a realistic plan for yourself and break it down into steps you can implement in this last quarter.
Choose one or two words that represent how you said you want to feel and write them on sticky notes. Place them where you will see them often to help motivate you to stay focused on the actions you wanted to take.
5. Pinpoint the ONE thing, that if it is complete at the end of the year, will make you feel the way you described in #4 above.
If everything is important, then nothing is.
In his book, The ONE Thing, Gary Keller (of Keller-Williams Realty fame) writes that the older we get, the more and more that gets piled on to our never-ending to-do lists. (I feel that.) But when everything feels urgent and important, then everything seems to be equally important. We know that can’t be true.
Stop looking at everything you have to do and ask yourself what is the ONE thing you want to have finished well at the end of 2021. Even if all the other things don’t get done, if you do this ONE thing, you will be content. And double-down on that.
Download your FREE 2021 Self-Reflection printable worksheet right HERE!
6. Identify your roadblocks for the last season of the year.
The last few months of the year can be incredibly successful, full of potholes and hurdles particular to the holidays and the year’s end.
Holiday obligations, family interactions, year end quotas and overindulgence in food and alcohol can derail even the most disciplined of folks.
Pinpoint what your personal kryptonite looks like over the next few months.
Decide in advance how you are going to overcome or work around these challenges. Has winging it ever worked for you in the past? (No. The answer is no.) Create some strategies so you are better able to confidently navigate any obstacles that get in the way of you finishing the year strong.
7. Ask yourself what you need to let go of.
Is there something that has been vexing you all year? Someone you have been avoiding like the plague? A project you just can’t muster up enthusiasm for anymore? A relationship that has turned a corner into unhealthy?
Or maybe it is a habit you have picked up in 2021 that doesn’t represent the person you really want to be. Reflect on what is no longer serving you and let it go. Don’t let it take up any more of 2021.
8. Determine if you are happy with how you have spent your time this year.
If you feel good about how you have spent your time in 2021 so far, fantastic! (Can you tell me your secrets?) If you are like the rest of us, we usually look at how we have spent our time and feel the need for a little improvement.
What can you change right now to end the year more satisfied with your answer to this question? (You may have already answered it above!)
Make a Not-to-do List of the ways you are NOT going to spend your time these last three months of the year. Maybe your list includes wasting time arguing with folks on social media. Maybe it includes spending time with people who drain your energy. Whatever it includes, decide to spend the rest of 2021 in a way that makes you feel good about yourself.
9. Create a mantra for the rest of the year.
A personal mantra is a way to re-center yourself on the way you want to feel when things get a little off the rails. It can be a powerful mental reset to keep your mind from spiraling off into negative thinking patterns. Here’s how to create one.
Think about how you want to feel and what you want to have accomplished at the end of 2021. Make a little mind map of these words and feelings to help you clarify. (This exercise always helps me.)
Now create a declarative statement about what you want to be true for you. Start with phrases like I am… or I will… Be sure to use the affirmative: ie I am becoming a great money manager or I am a great money manager, instead of the negative: ie I won’t overspend.
Write this manta on sticky notes and place them all around where you will see them often.
10. Evaluate your 2021 goals.
Now that you have completed #1-9…you are FINALLY ready to look at the goals you made way back in January with a fresh perspective. Hopefully now you have clarified some priorites for these last 100 days and can look at your original goals with a realistic eye to where you want to be at the year’s end.
Get out your list of goals you started the year with. Or if you didn’t have a list, write down your expectations for 2021.
Evaluate your progress. Do you need to double-down on a goal for the last 100 days of the year?
Do you need to let go of a particular goal? It may not be the right time for that one. Or you may have lost interest. It’s okay to let go. (See #7.)
Maybe you just need to lower the goal to a more realistic standard for your current circumstances. That is also okay!
Elise Blaha Cripe, in her lovely book Big Dreams, Daily Joys, says: The most honest thing you can say when it comes to goal-setting is “I have changed” or “This is no longer working for me”. Do not associate changing direction with failure! If you don’t reach your exact goal but you end up somewhere else, that is (also) worthwhile and valuable.
Ready to get started on your last 100 days??
These last 100 days offer the opportunity to end the year feeling really good about how we spent 2021, regardless of how the year began.
And it doesn’t mean we have to make some herculean effort! It can be as simple as letting something go. Or deciding we are going to play with our kids rather than scroll on our phones. Or just reminding ourselves of who we want to be when things get stressful.
How we end things matters, maybe even more than a lackluster beginning. It sets us up for how we are going to begin again. So go grab that 2021 Self-Reflection printable and let’s rock the end of 2021. Your Future 2022 Self will thank you.