There is often a lot going on at the end of the year. So don’t worry if you don’t have time to do this until after the holidays. On the other hand, the New Year is a perfect time for fresh starts. The following are some suggestions that will help you complete your year in great shape.
Pay off personal debts and obligations.
One of my friends had a very strong family tradition of paying off all debts before the New Year. They worked hard to make sure they had no personal debts outstanding and could begin the year with a clean slate. I like this idea. If you have any personal debts or owe money to people, pay it off, if at all possible. (I’m not talking about your car or house.) It may even make sense to take out a small loan to pay back friends or family who have lent you money. At the very least, come up with a payment plan you can afford and tell them how much you’ll now be paying them back each month. The point is to make sure you are in financial integrity and have written agreements for paying any monies owed.
Complete anything that is incomplete.
Tie up loose ends and finish projects you’ve started. We can’t always complete the bigger projects, but make a point of finishing smaller projects.
Say anything that is left unsaid.
If someone said something that hurt you this past year, don’t drag it into the next year. Instead, pick up the phone and inform them in a neutral tone that what they said hurt you and ask for an apology or amends (see the related article, “The 9-Step Formula for Forgiveness“). Likewise, if you did or said something you know to be hurtful, pick up the phone and apologize. Ask what you can do to make things right. Refuse to carry any grudges around any longer. They waste a tremendous amount of energy.
Review your commitments.
Sometimes we sign up for stuff or agree to do things (volunteer to be the secretary of an organization or church group, etc.) that used to be fun, but now seems a chore. It is a good time to decide what you want your new priorities to be and inform people if you are no longer going to perform a particular role or job. If you are dreading it or no longer enjoying it, stop and let someone else step up to the plate. Life is too short to be doing things you don’t enjoy.
Review your financial plan.
Top off your 401K and IRA’s to make sure you are getting the most out of your tax-deferred savings. Review your investments to make sure your money is working for you.
Make a clean sweep of your home.
Donate old clothes, toys, books and belongings to your favorite local charity. Clearing clutter creates the space for new and better things to come into your life.
Enjoy this fresh start to the New Year!
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