If feels a little early to be writing about finishing the year, but I was recently reminded that life is short and time is precious.
The end of the year can be such a full time, and without love and intention, we may find ourselves ringing in a new year after a blurry few months of snow flying, back to back holidays, excessive spending, and wondering where the time went.
September is a great time to think about how we want to live out the rest of the year. Instead of brushing off the next few months in hopes of a brighter new year, or a fresh start on January 1, love and intention reminds us that we don’t have to wait. Our time is now.
1. Start or Grow a Blog.
I started this blog in 2010. Writing in this space has given me the opportunity to connect with you, be creative, and consider new ways to live and work. It’s given me the accountability and support to make big changes in my life, and the chance to inspire others with those changes.
2. Be gentle.
Treat yourself and others kindly. Wear a bracelet or necklace that reminds you to be gentle, kind, and loving. It could even be an elastic band around your wrist that pulls you back from daily busyness, stress, frustration, and worry, and reminds you to take a breath and smile.
Most of our harsh thoughts and words can be avoided with an extra breath and smile. That’s just enough pause to connect with our hearts and choose a kind response instead of a quick reaction.
3. Volunteer locally or virtually.
Soup kitchens and other organizations need us all year-long, not just over the holidays. Give your time, talents, and treasure to someone who needs it more than you. It will give back in ways you can not imagine.
4. Unplug on a regular basis.
Give your mind a chance to recover from the onslaught of information your faced with when you open your computer or check your phone. If you don’t think it’s a problem, check out the comments on this post.
Set rules for yourself like: no screen time after 7pm, or an hour off for every hour on. Unplugging weekly for at least 24 hours will contribute to creativity, better relationships, and overall mental and physical health.
5. Align your work and life with your strengths.
I’ve never paid much attention to tests that assess your personality or strengths until this year. In March, I took the Via character strengths test. Learning my top strengths made it very clear to me why I was miserable in my sales and marketing career and thriving now.
My top 5 strengths are …
- appreciation of beauty
Writing here, sharing my appreciation of beauty on Instagram, creating books and courses, and helping you by sharing my story or through 1:1 coaching allows me to be completely aligned with who I really am. Knowing these strengths, I have great clarity about what matters most to me and how I can best serve myself and others. I notice when I am veering off course more quickly when I keep my top strengths in mind.
Once you begin to know yourself and align with your actions with that understanding, your life and work will unfold with more ease.
6. Soothe your soul.
Maybe what you need for the rest of the year isn’t another project or goal. If you need rest, or a break to soothe your soul, try one of these books, or simply give your soul the time it needs to hang out with your heart.
7. Dress with less.
October 1 marks 5 years of minimalist fashion challenge Project 333. Give it a try. You’ll discover that this little wardrobe challenge will leave a mark on much more than your closet.
8. Lift someone up.
Call someone you love. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line at the drive thru. Share someone’s work. Make sandwiches for hungry people. Write a thank you note or text someone right now, “I love you.” You can turn someone’s day around with a simple demonstration of love and kindness. If you only did that twice a week for the rest of the year, you could lift more than 30 people.
It’s not too late for us.
The year will be over before we know it. Let’s create a strong foundation for the new year by living the rest of this year with love and intention. Let’s choose to make a difference for ourselves and those around us.
It’s our gift and responsibility to live fully and to help others to do the same.