For many of us, work slows down and we have a lot more free time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Of course, a lot of that is taken up by holiday preparation and celebration, but why not take a bit of time to get a great start on your next year?
1. Purge and declutter. Do you need it? Will you ever need it? Is it irreplaceable? Make it easier to put your hands on the things that you do need by getting rid of the things that you don’t.
2. While you’re decluttering, go ahead and put all receipts and other documents you’ll need to file next year’s taxes in a folder or box.
3. You won’t be able to file your taxes until after the New Year and after you have all your documents in place, but that’s no reason you can’t get things started now. Find out what documents you’ll need that you might be missing (such as a social security number for a new baby or tax identification numbers for contractors) and sort receipts by type.
4. While we’re at it, find out ways that you can still do this year to lower your tax bill.
5. You know all those broken things that trip you up and vex you every time you go to use them? Fix them or replace them. Life is easier when your things do the job that they were meant to do.
6. Get caught up on your sleep and work on developing good sleep habits and hygiene.
7. Take some time off and completely relax. Your brain needs to see and do new things to keep growing and working its best so why not try exploring areas of your town that you’ve never gotten around to visit or playing new board games?
8. Read a book that can help explain how your mind works and what you can do to take advantage o f its natural inclinations rather than going against it. I recommend Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long by David Rock.
9. Do care of all of those little nagging items on your to do list like returning library books and donating those old clothes to Goodwill. Breathe a sigh of relief.
10. Reevaluate your schedule and obligations. What makes you happy and motivates you? What makes you feel tired and hopeless? Even if you can’t immediately rid yourself of the energy drains, you can start on a plan to free yourself of them, which in turn can help with motivation and enthusiasm.