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December is my favourite month of the year, [FIRST NAME GOES HERE]. Partly because it's my birth month, but also because it has such a good vibe. It's the time to be cozy, reflect on the past months, and think of all the possibilities for the next year.

2021 has been a long year. While it was not as drudging as 2020, it was still long and packed with things. For me, January feels like 2 years ago. Taking December to reflect on the year and preserve memories through journalling or scrapbooking can make us feel ready for 2022. I always find saying goodbye to the year on December 31st jarring, so doing it slowly throughout the month is better. We go through nostalgia in small amounts, remember what we did and want to do, and accordingly make our mindset for the upcoming year.

This month can also be a great time to start new things. Simply because there is less pressure in December. If you fail, you can start again in a brand new year. I've found that starting small new things in this month actually sticks. There's a sense of preparation in it, for the new year, that it feels more anticipatory and exciting than a regular "goal" during the year.

As we're going into the month, choose your vibe! Here are some things that I recommend doing. If anything sounds good, start it today. Take a hold of the motivation and do things immediately instead of procrastinating.

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change your routine a little bit

What's a habit that you want to form, that is more a "I wish I did this everyday" simply because it would make you happy? Not one that you think you should do because others say so. Try out that habit this month. If it works, you can keep it during the next year. If not, you can let go of that wish.

Use December as a "trial" period! Technically, you can use any month for this, but the idea just works better in December because of the way we think of the new year.

Some things to try out, if nothing comes to your mind:

  1. Journal every day. Journalling is a great activity that helps you truly see your days, how you're feeling, and helps you understand yourself better. It is much easier to let go of things and make decisions when all your feelings are poured out onto paper or screen.
  2. Switch your morning drink. If it's always coffee or tea, try changing it! Having caffeine at a set time everyday conditions your body to expect that energy hit, and hence doesn't generate enough energy itself. Try new drinks and see how it works out.
  3. Read in the mornings. Starting your day by reading something you like or that will make you think will make your days more intentional. I read Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb while having milk in the mornings for a while last month and it made a lot of difference. I carried what I read with me and noticed what I really do in my days.
  4. Block out a bit of time to be alone. With the internet, all of us are very connected. The pandemic has furthered things by making us have only digital connections and got us used to them. We have way too many connections now, and humans aren't made for so many. We can get overwhelmed and struggle to keep up all of them, and we forget to take time for ourselves. We forget how to be alone and enjoy it. So try taking out some time to enjoy only your company.

reflect on the year

I'm a huge fan on reflecting. I even reflect on my blogging every month as a "monthly routine". There is so much we can learn by observing what we do, why we do them, and how they make us feel. Seeing what we remember after a while also shows what actually makes a difference in our lives.

Use this time to look back. You can do this by journalling, scrapbooking, blogging, or telling it to friends if they don't mind. Seeing what made your 2021 good and bad will enable you to have a better idea of what to do in 2022.

To help, I've made a list of 31 end-of-year prompts. Pick one every day and see what you write. You can find the list in the resource library.