It feels like everywhere I turn at the moment, I’m hearing people say ‘Can you believe there are only 8 Mondays till Christmas!’. Which immediately makes me think, ‘where the heck did the year go to?’, closely followed by, ‘And thank GOD it’s nearly over!’

However, maybe your thoughts are more in keeping with many of my clients who are saying, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to keep going to the end of the year…’. It has been a tough, brutal year for so many people, and with the end almost in sight, often this last stretch can feel impossibly hard. With the finish line in view, holidays around the corner, and some last, busy weeks to get through (thinking of you especially, parents of Matric kids!) how do we not only make sure that we keep going, but finish STRONG? 

Here are a couple of ideas which will help, and we will be offering some more over the next few weeks.

Pace yourself: As any long distance runner knows, the secret to finishing strong (or even just finishing at all) is pacing yourself. Slowing down, being conscious of how fast you’re moving, being aware of and preserving your energy. It might seem counterintuitive, but we are more efficient and get more done when we move at a slower pace. We are able to be more considered, make fewer errors, retain more energy. A real case of ‘less is more’. 

Prioritise: There is a temptation to think about ‘everything that we’ve got to still do this year’, but, when we reallythink about it, many of the things that are on our to-do lists, don’t have to be done this year. We want to do them but they not a necessity. When I find myself with an impossibly long to-do list and a deadline coming up, I stop and make two lists instead – one that really does, absolutely HAVE to be done by a certain date (for example, before going away), and a second which becomes a ‘dump list’ of those things that can wait until I get back. Having two lists already feels so much easier. It gives me much more achievable priorities, without losing sight of those things that still need doing, but can honestly wait. 

Pause: When we are only focused on the finish line – getting to the end of the year – the temptation is to just do, do, do… This is a great time to remember that you are a human being, and not a human doing. Make regular times to pause – even when you don’t think you have the time… in fact especially when you think you don’t have the time! Five minutes to have a cup of tea without scrolling through your phone answering messages. One minute to just breathe, to create a gap between one activity and the next. The pause is where your power lies. 

We will send you some more words of encouragement over the next few weeks to ensure that you have an authentically resilient end to your year!

-Written by Pippa Shaper