Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Things To Do Before the End of the Year

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We are 2.5 months away from 2019.  I'm not going to say that time flies, because 2018 has felt particularly long to me, and not in a good way.  I won't be sad to leave it behind.  But I also know how much more quickly the clock moves in these fall months.  Like we pack everything important into November and December.  I don't want to get behind in my own fun goals, like my 101 in 1001 list, just because the holidays have arrived.  I still have plenty of time in my days for everything I like to do.  But there's a few more details that need to be added to that goals list, because there are a lot of important tasks that come with these last few months of the year.  Here are a few year end goals that you might want to add to your own list:

Schedule the doctor(s) visit.  I got my flu shot at the beginning of the month, and I felt very productive, I have to say.  Health insurance and therefore health insurance premiums reset on January 1.  So get in for all those appointments you've been putting off, especially if you haven't been for your yearly checkup or to the dentist.

Clean out the closets.  Get those tax deductible donations into the donation center before midnight on December 31!  And not just for the tax benefits - it'll also be really nice to start the new year with a freshly cleaned home.  While you're at it, don't forget to get in other monetary donations in to your favorite charities as well.

Get financial paperwork in order.  Forget the tax time scramble.  Start compiling important financial paperwork now so you're ready to meet with your tax professional as early as possible and get that headache off your plate.  And while you're at it:

Max out retirement contributions.  Many types of account have yearly maximum contribution amount.  For example, I know I need to get $5,500 into my Roth IRA by the end of December in order to get the full benefits of having that type of account.  Set aside everything you can to make sure you have enough to fund these accounts.  Future you will thank you.

Buy new socks and underwear.  No, just me?  Well, I need new underwear, and possibly new socks.  And Black Friday/Cyber Monday tends to be a really good time to buy these items on super sale.  I plan on doing just that.

Plan something you want to do for the holidays.  Holidays are always packed with things other people want us to do.  Your mom wants you to come for Thanksgiving dinner.  The kids want to ice skate.  Your girlfriends want to meet for high tea.  Sit down and think about one thing you want to do.  And then put it in your calendar.  I want to watch Die Hard (best Christmas movie) while putting up the tree.  It's going to happen.

Tell your important people that they are.  Because they really can't hear it enough.  It's better than any Christmas present you can buy at a store.

Plan vacations.  You have to get your travel plans for the holidays together as early as possible.  Leaving everything to the last minute is stressful and expensive.  But it's also a good idea to sit down and plan out 2019.  Vacations can really add up and you want to save money instead of funding it on credit.  The longer you have to save up, the better.  Also figure out any more expensive stay at home plans you might have on the horizon.  We're not planning any big trips in 2019, but we are planning a big Halloween party that will cost a pretty penny.

Check your 2018 goals.  It's not too late!  2.5 is still a ton of time to make progress on any of those January 2018 goals that you might have dropped.  Make a final push and you'll be surprised by and proud of just how much you get done.  I'm always checking in on my 101 list, it's going well.

Let something go.  Maybe those goals aren't relevant anymore.  Feel free to drop them.  Let go of something that's burdening you.  Maybe it's the pressure of perfect Christmas decor, or the fact that you haven't visited grandma as much as you planned this year.  Let go of the guilt and pressure and drop something major from your pending to do list if you need to.

Set goals for 2019.  Setting new goals is full of fun and excitement.  We feel such a rush when we make big plans.  So go ahead and make them, but also outline the action steps.  Want to lose 20 pounds by June 2019?  Awesome!  Write out the action steps you plan to follow, like healthy cooking and your exercise plan, and then share those.  Experts have proven that announcing your action steps to the important people in your life will help you stay motivated and accomplish your goals.  I can't wait to plan mine.

What do you need to get done before the end of the year?

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