As soon as we put down the turkey leg and finished off our apple pie, we blinked and December was here. Even though we're approaching the 2014 finish line, don't let that slow you down. The last month of the year can be a new beginning for many different things - goals, activities, habits, skills, and adventures. The holiday season may present a packed calendar with parties, trips, and work to finish up, but don't wait until 2015 to make resolutions, start something new, or to make self-improvements.
Here are some successful ways to wrap up 2014:
1. Tie up loose ends.
Finish up the remaining items on your to-do list, schedule those doctor appointments, and complete any lingering projects. This way, you can enjoy the holidays and have a fun time ringing in the New Year. Don't bring unwanted baggage into 2015.
2. Spend quality time with friends and family.
Make time for loved ones. When the New Year begins, everyone will get busy and it'll be a challenge to find time to spend together.
3. Say thank you.
Write thank you cards, make a phone call to express your gratitude, or mail a small gift to those who were there for you in 2014. If there are people who were influential in your personal or professional life, let them know how appreciative you are.
4. Accomplish resolutions from the beginning of 2014.
What resolutions did you make at the beginning of 2014 that have yet to be accomplished? Do them. We may only have one more month, but there is still plenty of time!
5. Learn a new skill.
You've got a month to learn a new skill. Perhaps you'd like to learn how to ski, improve your language skills, or learn how to efficiently use Excel. There's no better time than now.
6. Take a weekend trip.
You may not have the time or funds to take a big trip this holiday season, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a quick weekend escape. Sneak in one last adventure before the New Year.
7. Look forward.
Are major changes on the horizon? If not, do you want there to be changes? Think about what you hope to accomplish and start making adjustments in your habits and routine to make those changes a reality. Spend some time thinking about where you'd like to see yourself in 2015 and you'll be setting yourself up for a great future.
8. Read one more book.
Don't push off your reading list for 2015. Start now. Tomorrow you'll be glad you did. In a reading rut? Here are some tips for how to make time to read.
9. Organize your life.
While 'organizing your life' is a great resolution for January, why not start getting things in order now? Organizing - whether it's your physical space, your routine, or your overall organizational 'system' - can be a huge undertaking. Start small and pace yourself.
10. Give back to your community.
While it's important to be involved in your community every month of the year, you may feel more inclined to give back during the holiday season. Don't wait any longer to help and make a difference.
11. Improve your culinary skills.
There are a lot of delicious holiday-themed recipes and hearty meals that you can make for the cold winter months. Experiment with new ingredients, attempt a challenging recipe, and improve your cooking or baking skills so you can do more cooking at home in 2015.
12. Scrapbook or journal.
Before saying goodbye to 2014, print out photographs from special events that happened throughout the year and create a memory book. Write about how those events shaped you and why they are memorable. This is a great way to remember everything that you have accomplished during the year.
13. Develop good habits.
Trying to wake up earlier, exercise more, or spend less time on social media? Start forming good habits this month, and if any improvements need to be made later, that sounds like a pretty good 2015 resolution.
14. Take time to reflect.
Before the craziness of the holidays and the New Year begin, take some time for yourself. Revisit events that made you laugh and cry, remember the times when you felt hopeful, and meditate on the moments that were more challenging. Contemplate your successes, failures, goals, and accomplishments from 2014. Take pride in what you've learned and how you've grown, and think about what you want to take with you into 2015.