How Do You Finish the Year?

by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA

Imagine that I am hosting a run but I have yet to establish the finish line. Runners will head in a vaguely north west direction with the finish line as yet to be announced. Picture it…you see the finish line ahead but then you don’t. I am moving it down the road, scrambling with my team to set it up somewhere else. And every time you approach, it is quickly moved. You see banana peels, water bottles, and ribbons that indicate a spot that was once considered the finish line—but it is not anymore! How much fun would this race be? Do you want to sign up? I doubt it!

Luckily this is an imaginary scenario for a race. But is it the reality of how you treat yourself as you approach the calendar year or awards year finish line?

Here are some signs to be on the watch for to see if you are running your practice like an endless “fun” run:

You achieve your goal early, so of course you increase it

You hit your goal, but it’s at the very last minute so it doesn’t really count because you should have paced yourself

The goal is met—but before you even acknowledge it or celebrate you are already deep in planning mode for your next goals

You achieved most of your goals, but that doesn’t count because you missed one

Whenever anyone compliments you, promptly tell them that you don’t deserve it and why

If any of these sound familiar, you may be running your practice like an endless, hopeless and unsatisfying race with no finish line.

Here are some alternatives:

Announce your success, post it on the wall, the whiteboard, tell everyone you did it (colleagues, spouse, friends, kids and the family dog)

Stick to your goal and let yourself surpass it joyfully versus move it out of reach and strive again

Take credit for all of the goals you achieve without diminishing your own success because you didn’t achieve every single one or do it the “right way”

Take compliments and say thank you—you deserve it!

Take time to truly savor your wins, celebrate, and take stock

Allow yourself a break before plunging into planning mode

How would it feel if you could see the finish line gleaming in the distance, run to it and allow yourself to run through it with your arms waving joyfully in the air? What would it be like to see your loved ones cheering your on? To take a sip of refreshing water and later indulge in a delicious meal with your friends and family after the race? Picture yourself wearing a metal with pride, no matter what place you took. You did it. You finished. Savor the win.