How to Make the Last 31 Days Successful

As the end of the year approaches, it can be easy to get caught up in thinking that you can push things off until January, but this mindset can be toxic for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your finances. Rather than creating situations that will require loads of clean up in the New Year – check out these tips to stay on track throughout the last month of the year.

Track Your Spending

I’m well aware that it’s easy to push off your financial goals in the month of December. After all, a new year is coming and you can just put it on your resolution list to get back on track, right?

Don’t do it. Don’t allow yourself to give up all of the progress (no matter how little) you’ve made this year just to find yourself further in debt than you were when you started. Take a moment to look back on your goals for this year and remind yourself why you are going to stick to that budget and track your spending no matter what, even if it means saying no to that extra gift or holiday party cookie exchange.

While it is unreasonable to stop spending altogether for the holidays, have a plan for your holiday budget and stick to it. This can be difficult, but if you track everything you spend, you’ll have a clear picture of where all your holiday money is going and what you can do to improve your spending habits. Tracking your spending will also give you a base to start with when you’re planning your holiday budget for next year!

Speaking of which – check out my blog post on that very topic and grab your printable tracking worksheet to help you stay on track!

Embrace Gratitude

If the holiday season has become all about the gifts in your family, it may be time to take a step back and remember everything you have. Be grateful for all of the things you already own, the people you have in your life, and even your life situation.

When you are equipped with the knowledge of how blessed you already are, you’ll be less likely to care about receiving (or purchasing) things and be able to focus more on the people and the experiences you get to have.

Prepare for a Clean Start

While I’d like to say that January 1 comes with a clean start – it really doesn’t. Sure, you can start a new goal or begin a new workout program, but that doesn’t mean that the decisions you make now don’t matter.

The 31 days we are given in December can move the needle in several different ways. For example, if you’ve been working toward a personal or business goal, you have 31 more days to meet or exceed that goal if you set your mind to using those days well. On the flip side, you can decide to take the next month off from your goals (in anticipation of January, of course) and end up needing to lose that additional ten pounds for the third year in a row. Whatever you do – don’t give up. Look at those goals you set at the beginning of the year and find someone who will keep you accountable in achieving them. Already achieved your goal? Create another short-term goal to get you moving forward throughout the month of December.

Any progress is better than none, right?

Organize Your Digital Life

Having constant promotional emails can make it harder to resist holiday spending. Clean out your inbox during the last 31 days of the year and you’ll be able to start the new year digitally organized and avoid some of the holiday spending temptation. Take it a step further by going through your contact list, deleting unneeded files, and cleaning up your social media accounts. You can take some time each day to focus on each of these tasks and, by January 1, you’ll feel like a new person in the digital world.

Keep Your Health in Mind

When it comes to balancing “all the things” that come with the holiday season, one of the most important focuses should be on your physical health. Schedule a short walk into each of your days, or make an effort to make it to a group fitness class. When you do, you’ll be better equipped to make smart decisions in other areas of your life as well.

I know from experience that the rich foods and constant family gatherings can make it easy to push your health to the backburner. In a similar way to budgeting your money, take the time to map out what you will eat and reduce the food temptation. You don’t have to say no to all the Christmas cookies, but pace yourself and make sure you’re getting plenty of healthy exercise to counteract all of the delicious food! Of course, if one cookie always leads to eating the entire plate – then it might be a good idea to leave the cookies alone completely.

Make the Last 31 Days Successful

How do you plan to use the last month of the year effectively? Are you still working to achieve a goal? Will you set a new, short-term goal? Let us know in the comments below. I’d love to cheer you on!