My Simplistic Plan to End the Year on a High Note

Max Phillips

2020 was supposed to be a great year. My first full year after university, I was supposed to make money and have a lot of fun. However, the virus soon reduced my plans to rubble.

This year feels like it has been split into messy chapters. Things started as usual before we spent spring inside. I grew sick of HIIT workouts, and my hair reverted to Justin Bieber’s classic hair flick.

Then, in the UK, we emerged out of lockdown for a while. Things were okay, and I quit my job to become a full-time writer. Now, we are back in another, month-long lockdown. Confusion and indecision have taken a firm grip on the country. It makes me wonder:

What’s next?

Given that there isn’t much time left in 2020, it can be safe to say we are all looking to rebuild from the rubble that has been this year. The rebuild doesn’t start on January 1st, 2021, however.

It starts now.

Make a 2020 Obituary

I hate the latest Star Wars films, but one line from the villainous Kylo Ren speaks to mind:

“The past is dead. Bury it.”

Unlike Disney, I won’t be making a rehashed, unplanned sequel. It’s a whole damn reboot.

Sure, there are going to be various elements from 2020 I will carry over. I will still be writing, looking to forge a successful career from it. I will always be patient.

But, as the year draws to an end, I will provide 2020 with a notice of death. There were some highs, but I spent a lot of it stagnant. I owe it to myself to start fresh.

Top tip: Write down everything that went right with your year. There were probably some good moments. Highlighting them can help you package 2020 up and swiftly move on.

Begin to Think About New Year’s Resolutions

In the past, I have given my New Year’s resolutions little thought. If anything, it has been a fleeting moment of clarity while I walk home from the pub.

Now though, I am doing things a bit different. I’m laying out preliminary plans for the New Year, getting my mind clear about what is practical and what isn’t.

I have been having conversations with my dad about which martial art I want to take up. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but have never taken action.

While we discussed various options, I came to the realisation that I don’t have a specific type in mind. So, I will have a taster session of some classes available in my area to see what I like.

At this point, your resolutions may not be ironclad, and that’s okay. You’re looking at life’s menu, having a browse and choosing what is best for you. The waiter hasn’t arrived yet, so there’s no rush.

Thinking about it at an earlier stage is like reaching out an arm to your future self. They may be a stranger, but by acting as if they are someone you care about, you’re standing yourself in good stead for the year ahead.

Top tip: Make a list of things you have “always wanted to do.” See if they are financially and practically viable before committing.

Don’t Write Off December

As I am in another lockdown and gyms are closed, I decided to take up running. The further I ran, the better it got. At the start, I kept stopping to sort out my music and phone, and I wasted energy getting back up to speed.

Consistently running at a good pace was more manageable. I had momentum.

Previously, in my mind, December = Christmas. So, that month is mostly a write-off. Seriously, think about all of the things we use the holidays as an excuse for:

  • Overeating? “It’s Christmas.”
  • Less work? “It’s Christmas.”
  • Not working out as much? “It’s Christmas.”

Let me be clear, I love the holidays, and I am no Scrooge, but to end the year on a high, you need to carry over some momentum into the next year. That way, you will feel better prepared for the future.

It’s weird — you have all of the excitement of Christmas and then New Year. It builds up until you wake up on January 1st and life has returned to normal.

As fitness gurus always say: Stay in shape so you don’t have to get in shape. Pick up a familiar momentum instead of starting all over again.

Although I won’t be writing as much across the holidays, I will undoubtedly do tonnes of reading, and adapt how I approach my work with less time on my hands.

Top tip: Ask yourself: are there other, more leisurely areas of your work you can do while relaxing?

But, Don’t Forget to Have Fun

With all of that being said, perhaps the best way to end the year is to celebrate. Although there isn’t much to celebrate, there is joy in knowing this awful year is coming to an end.

Plus, there is renewed hope around the world. From a selfish standpoint, the news of vaccines means I will be able to attend events, festivals, see friends and go on holidays.

The mere knowledge of pending happiness is enough to end my year on a high. I don’t know what will and won’t be cancelled, but I’m latching on to the slightest glimmer.

This year has been one, never-ending road. It’s had some straights and has been filled with hairpin bends, but the final corner is coming up. Revel in it, and things may not feel so glum.

Top tip: If you want to relax, then do it. We have all earned the right.

Final Thoughts

2020 was supposed to kick off the new decade with some umphf, like the start of a new franchise. Instead, it’s the worst year in living memory.

More than anything, life has felt static. The last few weeks of the year will, hopefully, be like the closing of a book. Sure, we will inevitably face some of the same problems, but it’s a clean slate.

I, for one, can’t wait to put the virus and lockdowns into the backseat and move on. That process begins now.

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