It’s December and if you’re like most of us, you’re “crazy busy” with yearend activities like finishing projects, holiday gift shopping and tying up loose ends before you take a break from your daily obligations.

Whether you’re counting down the days to rest or buzzing from the activity, what you do in this period matters. And it’s not just about getting through the frenzy of yearend activities.

Create the Foundation for Next Year’s Success

The end of the year is an “in between” time. A sort of “bridge” that connects your past and your future. There’s an important step you’ll want to take here, but it’s one that most people overlook.

It’s a step that helps you finish the year strong (especially mentally) and establish a foundation for your success in the year to come.

Appreciate the Year You’ve Just Had

Building your foundation for next year begins by appreciating the year that’s ending, even (and maybe especially!) if it’s felt like a challenging one.

One of the keys to doing this well is to make sure you’re looking at the entire year.

It’s all too easy to forget how far you’ve come since January 1st. Psychologists call it the recency effect, which means the human brain tends to put more weight on things that have happened recently while events and accomplishments from 11 months ago are harder to recall.

The problem with the recency effect is you’re likely to short-change yourself when it comes to recognizing and appreciating what you’ve achieved. My daughter and I experienced this on our long Machu Picchu hike in Peru.

Trekking up the steep Inca stone steps hour after hour was hard work, especially given the altitude. And when we looked up, our destination still seemed far away. It was only when we looked back and our guide pointed out the tiny speck that represented our starting point behind us that we realized just how far we had traveled. That motivated us to keep going.

Honor Your Progress

Looking back on this year, in January, I set the intention to focus rather than be distracted by new ideas and projects that would hold me (and my team) back from the things that really mattered.

Even though it felt like a struggle to stay focused on any given day (and despite my wobbles), those efforts are paying off. We’ve been able to take on a big new project that in any other year would have been put off until “later” and we’re on track to have our best year ever in the business.

I’ve become certified in a neuroscience-based coaching method (Conversational Intelligence®) and helped my clients get promoted and advance as leaders. At the same time, I’ve taken my first real vacation in years and gotten closer to my family.

Now, my life’s not perfect (who’s is?) and there are loads of things I still need to work on, but that’s not the point. It’s all about honoring our progress rather than how far we are from perfection.

Give Yourself Full Credit

As you look at what the whole year has been like for you, make sure you give yourself full credit. When you see someone every day, you’re unlikely to notice their changes because they’re gradual. And when it comes to yourself, you might be so busy “doing life” that you don’t even notice how you’re showing up every day.

So make it a point to think back and remember your wins – big and small. Write them down. Remind yourself of what you’ve learned and accomplished. Pull out your calendar or journal to jog your memory. And remember to look at things in the most energizing way you can.

As one of the most mentally strong people I know says (by the way, she’s a world class athlete), “I always win. Either I’m on the (prize winner’s) podium or I’ve learned something.”

Give yourself the gift of this yearend boost so you can set yourself up for even better results in the year to come.

So, where did you start the year and how have you learned, grown and improved?

Leave a comment – I’d love to know.

For more ways to set yourself up for success next year, join us for our free online summit Career Mastery™ Kickstart 2020.