How To Make The Most of 2017 (or what’s left of it)

Time really flies, doesn’t it? It feels like only last week that it was March and my hopes and prospects for the year were bubbling up inside me. It’s certainly true that as you get older, time seems to fly by.

Whilst I’m not going to say that I’ve had a bad 2017 so far, it has been somewhat questionable in comparison to my mental projection.

I guess like anyone, I haven’t done everything or learnt everything that I thought I would have by now. Ten months in with about half the yearly-to-do list crossed off feels pretty standard and not too shabby at all – but sometimes it feels so much worse than it is.

This time of year is beautiful for so many reasons, but it can also start to bring home the reality – that time has passed and we’re probably not where we want to be yet. Everyone feels it, and the run-up to finish line of 2017 is no different. Plus, it really does feel like a finish line, doesn’t it? That’s such a big part of this feeling because of course we have to get it all done by midnight on the 31st December 2017 – and even though we don’t really, it’s kind of nice to have a goal and a fresh start to look forward to, isn’t it?

Today I thought I’d share a few ways that we can all make the most of the rest of year. No, it’s not all about working your socks off, it’s just about taking that pressure off during these slower months and easing into the expectation of a completely fresh, new year (which is like the satisfaction of fresh, blanket-y snow).

So, let’s make the most of 2017 – or what’s left of it.

Photo-12-10-2017-20-27-13 How To Make The Most of 2017 (or what's left of it)

Forgive but don’t forget

I get it, maybe your year has been less than amazing (or maybe you just think that), and maybe if that thing didn’t happen or that thing did then your 2017 would be breaking the limit of just how good a year can be. Reality is that no matter what’s gone down, we’re all in the situations we’re in – the only thing that will drag the situation out is to keep hold of it.

Whatever has happened, has happened. It might be shit, or annoying or it might have left you out of pocket, but it’s too late to go back in time and force a different outcome. The best we can all do now is to forgive those who hurt us, those who didn’t keep a promise and those who caused ridiculous amounts of damage to your car so it now looks like a broken thing of a vehicle which will take you an age to save up and fix (because who can afford the consequences of claiming through insurance when you’re 21 and already broke)… wait, what was I saying?

Forgive. But don’t force yourself to forget. Not because you should plot revenge against the people or things that have impacted your year, but because we do learn from everything – even though it’s cliche.

Leaving what’s in the past in the past, means that we can at least try to enjoy the next 11 weeks as much as possible (which will be loads when the cheese comes out at Christmas).

Count your successes

When the last quarter of the year rolls around we tend to start panicking (ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH). I think a lot of us start to pack everything into the last three months – to try and reach those goals, to feel like you’ve done ‘enough’ or even to make social media think that you’ve had a half decent 2017.

This year I’ve tried to change my own habit of panicking and instead of freaking out about wasting my life, I’m already looking back and reflecting on what’s gone right this year and what I’ve already achieved. Doing this means that if I decided to do nothing else (to work towards my goals or aspirations) until New Year’s Day, then I have hard evidence that I didn’t waste the year completely. I’ve got shit done – and I bet you have too.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that we all give up for the year now, but it’s important to know that just because you can’t remember what happened in February and March, it doesn’t mean you didn’t do those great things. If you try and fail at something in the next few months, you haven’t failed the year.

A year is made up of 12 whole months, not just the ones you can remember!

Recognise what can happen in a day (or a week, or a month)

Kind of on the flipside to counting the whole year, it’s equally as easy to get into the mindset of ‘I don’t have enough time left this year’.

The pull of a fresh start and a completely new year is SOOO tempting when it comes to big projects. Already I’ve had ideas that I’ve pushed back to the new year because I feel like I can’t do them before! The thing is, when it gets cooler and we get cosier, we forget just how much can happen in a day. We start to shortchange ourselves with our time, so suddenly it makes more sense to wait until next year, or not even try.

I was working on a project last week but then decided that there was no way I could get it done before the festive period hits, so I should just leave it. Quickly I reminded myself that doing x amount per day would get me to my goal in a few weeks, meaning that my project could be ready for your eyes before December hits… so it’s back on! I’m so glad I got tough on myself – it’s something we all need to do in these Autumn months.

Working hard now (like we know we can) means we’ll have a proper break come December time. It’s probably worth it, don’t you think?

Channel extra energy into being kind

One thing that we can all be sure of is the fact that we can always be kinder. To end the year on a high I think it’s important to be as kind as we can in these last few months – maybe making up for any shortfalls we’ve had over the year.

Most of us feel happier and more giving in the run-up to the festive period, so channelling any extra, unused energy into helping others, listening to others and encouraging those around us to make the most of their year too, will never be a bad thing will it?

This path to making the most of the rest of the year also spans over into the online world. The blogging world logs back on in Septemeber, and after a nice summer lull (well, nice for some) this season is amazing for cheering one another on from the sidelines. Whether it’s actively reading and commenting on more blogs, taking the time to discover new online personalities or even sending a quiet message to a few of your faves to let them know how well they’ve done already this year, I can tell you for a fact that it definitely makes someone’s day.

Not to be kind for selfish reasons, but boosting others up levels you up ready for the new year. Being kind leads to stronger friendships and more engaging online audiences, both things that act as a strong foundation for building a great 2018 (omg I said it).

Enjoy what you have

For so much of this year, I’ve spent my time wishing my time away because something better was coming up, or not doing that thing because I didn’t have the right trousers (I’m serious). Unless you win the lottery before New Year’s Eve, not much can change drastically. Sure, we can work really hard, but when it comes to money there’s a pretty standard monthly delay, isn’t there?

Instead of working super hard to have a great, fruitful Christmas (is Christmas described that way?), work super hard to jump off the starting lines of 2018 – and simply enjoy what you’ve already worked for and what you already have this year.

Things are great – don’t get me wrong. They’re fun and make us happy and inspire us, but it’s too easy to get carried away into thinking that the winner comes out of the year with the most stuff. Autumn and Winter are about festive cosiness, hygge, family and socialising – all of which can happen without three new nail varnishes and a new orange bag (I keep telling myself this).

If you’re reading this blog then you’re already pretty privileged – and so am I. Let’s drag out the enjoyment of our last purchases a bit more, focus on giving back this season and save bigger (non-essential) purchases until the new year when the buzz will last longer and our new favourite things won’t get lost in piles of Christmas fodder.

Are you going to make the most of what’s left of the year? What’s your favourite approach to making these last few months glisten with contentment?

Let me know in the comments below, and then go make the most of these last few months!

Until next time,