You’re almost there! It’s almost Christmas, AND it’s almost the end of 2016. The finish line is often something that causes us to pick it up a notch. To find a kick at the end of a long race. It is at this stage of the race that I often grumble about the endless wrapping, shopping, eating, partying and stressing. Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas, but Jenny has to remind me – often – that we need to finish strong. And somehow, in some way we do. So I offer four helpful ways to finish strong in the last few days of this year:
- Take time to build a list of all you have purchased and who you have purchased for or have yet to purchase for. Use the list as a parking lot. Tackle the list like a battle plan. Then make yourself stop and relax. You can overthink it if you really want to, but why? If you missed a name, gift cards always fit and are the always the right color.
- Build a list of the things you are grateful for in the past year. Then create a list of the things you don’t want to repeat. I’ll share more about that work in a few days.
- Strategically select 3 times (daily) that you will calendar and keep an appointment to breathe. It’ll take less than 5 minutes each session (15 minutes a day). Three deep breaths in through your nostrils (unless you have been sick like me). Hold for about 5 seconds and then exhale slowly out of your mouth. Be intentional with these breaths. Imagine “sending” the newly inhaled oxygen to specific parts of your body. I typically focus on my heart, my shoulders and my feet. I know it sounds weird, but it is guaranteed to boost your energy and focus.
- Select another two daily segments to pray intentionally (I usually choose 6:30 am and 3:30 pm). I want to encourage you to pray out loud. As a result, you can go to your car, or close the office door, or find a closet, or storage room. I try to use the following as a guided prayer. A) Tell the Lord of your love for Him. B) Ask the Lord for wisdom. C) Thank the Lord for your day. D) Ask the Lord to bless and strengthen your family members. E) Specifically pray for friends, neighbors, prayer lists, and need.
F) Ask the Lord to quiet your heart, set your soul at peace, and direct your path for that day or evening. G) Tell the Lord that you’ll be back to chat again, then stop and listen for the Lord to direct your heart. Be willing to hear “the promptings” of His Spirit within your being. The Divine loves for us to pull up a chair and chat with Him. This is usually about 4-5 minutes twice a day (8-10 minutes total daily).
Keep going! Finish Strong! You can do it!