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Finish the Year Strong

focus goals motivation productivity Oct 24, 2021

I’ve spent a lot of the week in my “recording studio” (a room made out of moving blankets we hung from the rafters of our basement) recording the audiobook for Becoming Future You. Do you know how trippy it is to record your own words? It’s crazy! And exciting!

I’m in major sprint mode because this book will be out by the end of November. 

Mel, why can’t you give me an exact release date?

Because everything hinges on the audiobook. Apparently it make up to a month to process it, so even though the ebook and print copies are nearly ready, I still have to add some lead time.

Needless to say, I’ve been doing a ton of planning for the last two months of the year and that’s what I want to talk to you about today. It’s nearly November and this is the time of year when we can start to get overwhelmed by all the additional personal tasks, derailed by all the special activities and foods, and exhausted from all the sugar and staying up late to finish little Jackie’s costume. This is the time of year when we’ve either completely forgotten about our goals for the year and figure we’ll just start fresh in the new year or we take a peek at those goals we wrote and realize there’s no way we can get all that done in two months.

It’s still possible to finish the year strong without overwhelming yourself or putting everything on the backburner until January 1st. 

Get Realistic about What You Can Accomplish

It’s time to look at how much time you’ve got left in the year. It’s not 68 days.

It’s 68 minus all the holidays, the holiday prep days, the travel days, the shopping days, the I’m-too-tired-to-move-because-of-all-the-baking days. 

Look at your calendar with fresh eyes and think about a SINGLE GOAL that matters to Future You (Why does January You care that you get this done?) that you’d like to accomplish by the end of the year. Yes, just one. It’s better to accomplish one goal than none at all. Once you finish that one, you can add another one.

If you’re working on a bigger goal, pick a finish line you can cross by the end of the year. If you’re writing a book, maybe that goal is to finish the rough draft. Go through your calendar and block out all the times you’re going to use to work on that goal.

How many hours is that?

Does that seem realistic?

No? Revise your goal.

This message is coming to you from the girl who thought she could record and edit an entire audiobook in a weekend. Yes, it’s true. I had that crazy thought and said it aloud on Instagram. 🤪

We tend to underestimate how long something’s going to take and overestimate how much time we have. Or if you’re like Past Mel, you imagine Future You will somehow have developed the ability to pause or create more time. (Honestly, sometimes I’m so bad at estimating time this has got to be what I’m thinking.)

You can still finish a goal this year or make major progress on it, but you’ve got to set Future You up to win. Succeeding is so much more motivating than failing and usually you are the one setting the finish lines. Pick one you can actually cross.


Pick a single goal and walk it through the process above. Make sure you actually block the time on your calendar. I started doing this a year ago and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m finally going to publish my first book.

You’ve got this!



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