The end of the year is quickly approaching. Have you done everything you planned to do this year? I know I haven’t. But plans and goals change over the course of twelve months, and that’s okay. We start out the year with some ideas, but as time goes by we change. Our wants and needs change. Our minds change. Our circumstances change. Let’s not let the year get away from us. I’ve made a list of 10 things to do before the end of the year. You don’t have to do all 10. Pick two or three and finish this year strong.

Here we go:

1. Say no to something.

In December we try to do everything and be everything for everyone. We try to go to everyone’s parties, to visit everyone’s homes to see their decorations, we try to accept each invitation to go shopping, or looking at holiday lights. Pick one thing and just say no. Relieve yourself of some stress. Spend that time instead doing something just for you.

2. Cook a meal for someone you know is really busy.

Just leave it on their front step, ring the bell and run. Or tell them you are dropping by and you can’t stay. When they answer the door, hand them a casserole or a lasagna or whatever one-dish meal is your specialty and wish them a lovely, stress-free holiday.

3. Add some kind of movement to your daily routine.

Start small with something like 10 push-ups or 10 bicep curls or 10 demi-plies. Or try something new like tai chi or yoga. You could do a sun salutation every morning in just a couple of minutes.

4. Do something crafty.

Make a holiday decoration. Or make something practical to use around the house. Bake cookies with your grandma. Make something you can use to pamper yourself. Make a future holiday heirloom. Share this activity with your kids or someone you love.

5. Clean something.

Seeing a clean surface can lift a mental weight off your mind. Clear off your desk or your dresser. Clean out your purse. There is probably a stale piece of gum sitting in the bottom of it right now. Find a table that is piled up with clutter and get rid of it. It’ll only take you 10-15 minutes. You’ll feel so good afterwards.

6. Donate something.

Go through your old clothes and give away anything you aren’t going to wear any more. Make sure these items are in good condition. Take old books to a hospital, senior center, or veteran’s center. Buy a new toy and donate it to the underprivileged. Toy shopping is a lot of fun.

7. Find something free in your area and go to it.

It could be a Christmas concert or a light show. Your nearby church probably has a choir practicing holiday hymns. Take a trip somewhere close, like to a local holiday market or a farm that makes their own apple cider, or a nearby historical location. Get out in your community and soak up some winter holiday cheer.

8. Go to a movie.

See something fun with your friends. Eat popcorn or Junior Mints or your favorite movie-time treat. Find a rerun theatre that shows holiday classics. It’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

9. Spend some time alone.

Pamper yourself. Read a book or paint your nails or take a bath, do a meditation, get your hair done, sit in a cafe and have coffee, tea, or cocoa. Do something for yourself.

10. Think about all the good things in your life.

Look back on the year, even if your year sucked. Surely, there is something good that happened. You work hard. It’s time to celebrate your accomplishments. Don’t beat yourself up about things that didn’t happen. Count your blessings.

I hope you enjoy this list of things to do before the end of the year. Find time to do two or three of these activities to round out your holiday season. Let me know what you choose. If you have any suggestions to add to this list, put them in the comments section. I’d love to hear your ideas.

Happy Holidays.