As we draw closer to the end of 2015, it might feel like summertime was only yesterday. But now is not the time for nostalgia – new goals and ambitions await in 2016! Before you start planning what that may look like, make sure your current projects are finished first. There are still two months left until December 31st so there’s plenty of time to tie up loose ends and achieve all those resolutions you set out at the beginning of this year. Here are some tips on how best to do just that!
1. Set your objectives.
Whether you’re aiming to secure a new job, change up your lifestyle, or take over the world–you name it! While reaching for the stars is admirable, don’t put too much pressure on yourself by taking on too many goals in such a brief amount of time. Start with just two or three objectives instead and split them into actionable tasks that are solely dependent upon you–not other people. For instance, rather than making “getting a new job” one of your aspirations; turn it into something like applying to three jobs per week until 2021 arrives.
2. Broadcast them from the rooftops.
To ensure you keep yourself accountable and on track, it’s wise to share your goals with a select few. Not every aspiration should be posted online – for those more private objectives, such as finding another job, enlist the help of three key individuals: an experienced mentor who will give you sage advice; your closest confidante or cheerleader that provides support; and any family member who is always in your corner encouraging you forward. With this “dream team” by your side, nothing can stand in the way of achieving success!
[Related: 17 Ways to Have a More Organized Life]
3. Develop an organized strategy to take action.
With eight weeks until the end of December, you can do something great – but it’s also easy to become apathetic. To ensure that you stay motivated and accomplish your goals, set a measurable goal each week; whether it be arranging an informational interview, joining a networking group, or proposing a unique project to your boss – these little victories will keep you going!
4. Put away distractions and make time for yourself.
If you take a moment to look, it’s incredible how much extra time can be uncovered. A half-hour of scrolling through Facebook here, and fifteen minutes chatting with your coworkers there—it can add up quickly! Though taking some leisurely downtime is an essential component for giving your brain the break it needs and coming back full of fresh ideas afterward, too many moments off task during goal crunch times are not ideal. Try cutting out one instance each day of something that’s wasting away precious hours to make progress toward what matters most.
5. Go to the gym.
Undoubtedly time spent exercising can take away from the hours dedicated to goal-oriented activities. Nonetheless, it could also enhance your ambition in a manner that renders its expenditure of time worthwhile. Your body releases endorphins after an invigorating workout session, making exercise an ideal opportunity for those “aha” moments and brainstorms, even if no epiphanies are achieved! In addition to this, you will be in good spirits post-exercise – regardless of any revelations or lack thereof.
6. Kick-start your days by tackling the most difficult task first!
If you want to make the most of your remaining days before 2021 rolls around, start strong by tackling the daunting goal-related task on your to-do list first thing in the morning. This will give you a surge of confidence that’ll help motivate and energize you for whatever comes up during the rest of the day. Powering through is possible when you begin with an invigorating victory!
[Related: 7 Ways to Be Productive Every Morning of the Week]
7. Don’t wait around – grab yourself a timer today!
Ready to make a timer your new best friend? To successfully reach your goals, break up the day into allocated chunks of time for each task and take regular breaks. For example, if you want to focus on one specific project for 40 minutes – then relax for five – it will bring major rewards! Not only does this method ensure that you won’t be stuck in an endless struggle with a daunting task; but also prevents multitasking (which is unproductive!). With set boundaries in place during dedicated periods, you’ll have more motivation than ever before.
8. End each day with a triumphant list of accomplishments!
It is normally more pleasing to gain an instant reward than wait for a long-term payoff. That’s why it can be so tempting to watch three episodes of Quantico instead of organizing your email inbox! To encourage yourself, create a ta-da list at the end of each day and take pride in everything you accomplished. This small step could ignite your inspiration and help you stay motivated throughout the week.
9. Let the holidays fuel your creativity.
Are you already overwhelmed by the thought of how busy your schedule is about to get? We understand! The holidays often come with cocktail parties, office celebrations, and family reunions that can fill up hours in a day. You don’t have to become a recluse during these joyful times though – simply use rewards systems as motivation for achieving milestones before each upcoming event. With this method, you will be able to stay on track and make time for yourself amongst it. If you want to be disciplined, don’t allow yourself to attend the event until your task is completed. Each time you dream of attending, it will remind you what must still be done so that when the festivity arrives, not only can you enjoy without guilt but also with enthusiasm for all that has been accomplished!