90 days until the end of the decade

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A couple of days ago, someone said on Facebook, “Only 90 days until the end of the year!”

I went back to my work.

And then a bit later, someone else posted, “Only 90 days until the end of the decade!”

The second post caught me off-guard — oh my heavens, it is the end of the decade, not just the year! And suddenly, it felt really important to think about how I want to end 2019 … and how I want to start a brand new decade. Because regardless of whether I feel like I accomplished what I wanted to this year, the fact is that I want to end the year strong. And I want to set myself up for a great 2020.

So this week, I’m spending some time journaling my answers the following questions. I thought I’d share them here, in the event that you’re looking for ideas to put head down and push for a strong ending for your year.

  1. First, what is one simple habit that I can begin every day? I’m not talking about something huge — in fact, I’m talking about a tiny habit. Like making my bed every morning. Or drinking a glass of water first thing. Or walking once around my block just before dinner just get a few extra steps in. The reason that I do this is purely psychological: succeeding at one little good-for-me habit every day puts me in a positive mindset to attempt more challenging tasks (as detailed below).

  2. What word or mantra do I want to represent my goals for next year? I’m a big fan of picking a word or phrase of the year, and I often find that I do tend to wait until the first of the year to think of something — and then I end up choosing a word or phrase in a panic, picking something that doesn’t feel quite right. Beginning to think about it a few months before the end of the year allows me to mull things over, see how they feel … or have the word find me.

  3. Once I have my word or mantra (or a few options), I take each of them and think: what would it look like? For example, if my word was “succeed” (it’s not), what would “succeed” look like? Is it making a certain amount in the coming year? Is it training for and completing a marathon? Is it finishing a course or certification? Is it all of those things? For whatever words or phrases I’m considering, I actually brainstorm what it might look like for me to have lived the year in accordance to the word or the mantra. The exercise of doing this often helps me to realize that my words might have a meaning for me that I didn’t initial consider (for example, I might find that “succeed” didn’t mean “get a promotion,” as I original thought, but rather, “become more connected with my family” rose in importance as I brainstormed).

  4. Now that I know what I’d like my future year to look like, I think: what short-term goal would I like to attempt so that I set myself up to meet the new year (and my new mantra) in the best way possible? In other words, this is the training before the 5K: what practices can I start to put into place to get me ready for the new year? The trick here is to just do enough to get ready — this isn’t about completing what I want for 2020. An example: if my goal for 2020 is to lose weight, then maybe some short term goals might be visiting my doctor for a wellness exam. Or looking into a gym membership. Whatever will set me up for success.

  5. Finally, once I have my short term goals, then I consider them in my daily intentions. I wrote about my daily intention-setting practice here; once I have my short-term goals, I keep them nearby as I do my morning intention-setting. This ensures that I at least consider my short-term goals every day, so that there’s some forward progress over the next 90 days. In other words, if by December 31st, I haven’t completed these short-term goals, I can take comfort in the fact that I’m at least closer to them than I was three months earlier, and I have a clear idea of what works and what doesn’t, or what I need to do at the start of the new year.

Or, at the very least, at least I’ve upped my bed-making habit.

Soundtrack: Paper planes by M.I.A (DFA remix). Because this pumping beat is hella motivational.

want to work more on setting up 2020 for success? come lime with me saturday, november 16th!

Lime Retreats is back! If you’d like the chance to hang out with me and an intimate group of light-chasers and goal-makers, consider joining me for the brand new Lime Retreats on Saturday, November 16th, for a dream-making, goal-setting, strategy-activating day retreat with good food, good music and good fun! Held in a funky art gallery in downtown Houston, the day promises to set you on your way to help make 2020 your best, most purposeful year yet. In fact, you might want to even make a weekend of it.

Click here or the button below to register — space is very limited.