I love countdowns! Mostly because I feel that I can be intentional about an event. Today I want to suggest 7 things we can do as we countdown to Thanksgiving (59 days away), Christmas (88 days away) and the year of 2016 (95 days away).
1 • Spending Plan - we all need one and this is the time to make a decision on how much we'll spend during the upcoming holidays. This is also the time to decide how much we will simplify our lives compared to the previous years. I'd also include "time" in my spending plan. I know some families do not mind having multiple events during the holidays, others can use more down time. I'd make a decision on how many events I'll attend just to be sure that the holiday season is about family and not about stress.
2 • Goals - The new year is 95 days way but it's a good idea to decide now who you want to become in 2016. I'd go beyond pounds to lose to character qualities. Now is a good time to take a look at yourself and decide how will you make progress from the inside out.
3 • Evaluation - the year is not ever yet, so we can stop and evaluate 2015. We are not going to do it in order to feel guilty or condemned, but so we can keep making progress towards the goals we set in January. Evaluate and keep making progress from where you are. You just don't want to stop or regress.
4 • Organize - The Spring was a lot time ago, which means we can all use some organization in our surroundings. If we start organizing now, we won't have to suffer through it during an already busy holiday season. I'd start by making a list of things you want to get organized and use 45 minutes at a time to get it done. Read more about it here
5 • Thankfulness - 72% of the year has passed, which means we have lived through most of our reasons to be thankful. Start reflecting on your year and what you are thankful for. I choose to believe that even during a difficult year, we can find reasons to be thankful. Even if the reason is, I got up each day and put one foot in front of the other. I am alive and tomorrow is another day. Thankfulness makes life richer and more significant.
6 • Christmas Photos - You and I have a pretty good window of time to get our Christmas photos done. Whether you hire a photographer or choose to write a Christmas letter, plan on getting these projects done now before the holiday rush starts. My family and I usually get our Christmas card photos done in October. I know, I bit early but it works.
7 • Believe - I find it difficult to be positive on January 1. It's easier for me to end 2015 with the faith that 2016 will be awesome. It is wise to have a well-established belief. My anchor verse for every year can be found in Psalm 65:11 "You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance." I choose to believe that God is good every year and He can even fill the harshness of life with redemption power.
I pray that I gave you something to think about but mostly hope that God always takes care of you. Have an amazing day my friend.