The End of Year Sprint


It’s that time where we’re all staring at the calendar and sprinting to the end of the year. I’m someone who loves everything about the holiday season, but who also looks forward to the new year. The end of the year sprint means we’re trying to accomplish things on our to-do lists. We’re thinking about what the next year will look like and how we’ll function it. Here are the things that I do during this time to stay focused, stay present with my family, and still take time to relax.

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Less Screen Time

Ok, this is a tough one which is why I am starting with it first. I admit that I spend too much time on my phone, scrolling social media, online shopping, reading the headlines of the day, and more. And it makes me less present as a person in both my work and home lives.

So at the end of the year, I make a real conscience effort to put the phone away. I remind myself that I don’t need to online shop when holidays with gifts are coming up. I try to dedicate certain time, like the hour after eating dinner, to scroll social media in order to then put the phone down and do something with my husband. It’s hard and I’m far from perfect at it, but to me, the fact that I am aware and trying is a huge step towards hopefully making this a better habit in the new year.

Making Plans, But Not Too Many

There’s the temptation during this time to make all the plans: seeing light displays, holiday breakfasts and dinners, all the parties, crafting, baking, White Elephant gift exchanges. It can be a lot for a family, and a lot for us moms too. We usually are the ones keeping track of everything, doing the shopping, etc. It’s a lot.

I’ve tried to limit the plans we make during the end of year sprint. I look at what plans exist, and is there the ability to push something into January, when there is not as much to look forward to? Can we combine something with one of the group of friends who all tries to make separate events? What can we just say no to?

I like plans, I really do. I like going and doing stuff, and the end of the year is usually a time I find myself overbooked. This year I am slowing down, making a mix of plans for the family and just for myself, and really enjoying fully everything I am committing to.

Not Feeling Guilty or Bad

Throughout this year, I’ve tried to stop myself from feeling guilty or bad for doing or not doing something. My mental health and the mental load I am carrying can be a lot. I need to give myself grace in decision making to remember that I am doing the best I can and making the best decisions for me and family. The end of the year can bring up a lot of those feelings of guilt that have popped up during the year: “I should’ve done this,” “I should’ve gone to this event instead of do that other one,” “we should’ve taken that long weekend,” or “we shouldn’t have traveled for that holiday and just stayed home.”

The end of the year is a time we all reflect, but don’t let yourself reflect in a way that makes you feel bad. We’re all doing the best we can. When we do this reflection and look forward to 2023, instead of looking negatively at what you did or didn’t do in 2022, try to decide how you want to feel during 2023. It’s helping me set some clear goals and boundaries in all areas of my life. And it makes me super excited! Also look here for some other tips from DC Moms about starting a new year.

The end of the year sprint is a lot for us all. With all the hustle and bustle, fun and exhaustion, remember that it’s just another time of year. A time for fun, a time for family and friends, and a time to enjoy!

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