As the holidays rapidly approach, December becomes a hectic time! Shopping, cooking, wrapping, decorating, and of course, all the year-end business deadlines! The last month of the year – though full of joyful celebrations – can also be an extremely productive month in the year; and can help position the start of 2017 in the best possible way! So, this blog is intended to be a handy ‘end of the year’ checklist to help guide us – and trigger additional things to think about before the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve!

A Few Miscellaneous Tips for the Last Month of 2016:

Enroll in your health insurance plan AND use your Flexible Spending Account.

For those of you who have an FSA – for use on qualified health procedures and expenses – you have to ‘use it or lose it’ before the date specified on your account. This can be 12/31/16!! So be sure to check this so you won’t be penalized.  Yet, for those of us with HSA (Health Savings Accounts) – we do not have a use it or lose it! Yet, I try to get all those pesky tests (colonoscopies, dental cleanings, etc.) completed in the last few months of the year for insurance reasons. AND enroll in your insurance plan BEFORE open enrollment ends….insurance is a MUST for each of us.

Donate to your favorite charity.

Yes, we all like those tax deductions – yet, it is also a great gift to give in honor of those you admire and love. I try to give to those charities that the person supports, such as the SPCA or the Genesis Women’s Shelter.

Make a budget for 2017.

December is the perfect time of year to reassess where you money went in 2016 – and what/how you want to invest in 2017.  Want to take a trip in 2017?  Then, we have to make a plan for this NOW; same goes for business investments, new cars, home additions, etc.

Make your plan for health and wellness!

I don’t know about you, yet my discipline had simply gone out the window these past 3-4 weeks! In an effort to ‘change my frame’ for 2017, I am already making my plans for January! Join a Pilates or Yoga studio; sign up for online Weight Watchers; enroll for a continuing education class; or a spiritual retreat. There is nothing as empowering as having a plan – a destination – a vision as to where you are heading. By doing this in December, we ignite our energies so we hit the ground running in 2017!!

Personal Planning Questions to Recap 2016

Each of us have the opportunity to ‘start over’ each year. I like to start by recapping the prior year – what worked/what didn’t work relative to my life, my goals, and my intentions. Frankly, this year has been hit and miss for me. I have made hard calls – mostly good, yet many were extremely difficult. And yes, as with all hard decisions, there was fall-out. Yet, regardless, all were learning experiences; and thanks to those decisions, 2017 has been positioned to be fabulous.

Here are a few questions to help ‘give pause’ and stimulate our thoughts on this past year:

  • How did I spend my time in 2016?
  • What were my greatest accomplishments?
  • What (and who) were my greatest disappointments?
  • How did these experiences change me?
  • How do I want to be different in January 2017 than in January 2016?
  • What am I tolerating? Why? What steps can I take to make a change?
  • What am I trying to force to happen? What would happen if I just ‘let go’?!

Now What?! A few questions to help plan for 2017:

  • What will be my primary focus in 2017?
  • What do I really want? What is still holding me back?
  • What do I want to contribute to the world?
  • How will I hold myself accountable?
  • What is working for me? How can I have ‘more of that’?!!
  • What kind of partners do I want in 2017?
  • What may need to change? What are the first steps I need to take to make that change?
  • At the end of 2017, where would I like to find myself? How do I get there?
  • What is my intention for myself in 2017?

We own our lives. No one else does. So, what we decide to focus upon – in thought, word, and deed – will be what we create. So, print out this article, spend time re-learning about yourself, and determine what you want to manifest in your life and this next year! Let’s make this year the best year yet!!

Merry Christmas and blessings to each of you this holiday season, thank you for sharing your time and energies with me and with Alignment, Inc., and may 2017 bring health, fulfillment, growth, and joy to you and yours!