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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

Entering the final stretch

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

woman stretching on the beach with arms outstretched

As we enter the final weeks of another year, what word best describes your state of mind:








All of the above?

I must admit that “all of the above” may describe my state of mind over the final weeks of the year.

What are you anticipating in the final stretch of the year?

I am most definitely anticipating many wonderful holiday celebrations...

  • taking my mother to the Purdue Christmas Show for her 89th birthday,

  • get-togethers with friends – including our 36th annual Christmas party, and

  • hosting up to 27 members of my extended family between December 18th and January 2nd with overflow staying at an Airbnb.

I am excited for everyone to gather together. I anticipate lots of collaboration on cooking and clean-up for meals. “I will prepare and not panic. I will prepare and not panic…”

I am also anticipating presenting for Extension leaders at a week-long conference in Washington, D.C., which will hopefully lead to several workshops focused on communicating effectively by engaging our audiences.

Thankfully, being retired I am no longer busy at the end of the year with final projects to grade or exams to give. Putting too much on our plates leads to exhaustion – and we miss out on so much when we’re too tired or stressed to enjoy it.

Take time to reflect on your goals for the year.

I am feeling reflective as I look back at the goals I set for this year. The biggest goal I set was completing the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics book about Nutrition Communication.

The manuscript should be completely revised and ready for copy editing by the end of the year. Woohoo! We’ll be on to production soon. It has been both an exhausting and exhilarating experience. I can’t wait to hold a copy in my hands about a year from now.

Yes, it really takes that long to publish a book after it is written. In this season of gratitude, I am thankful for worthwhile work that I can accomplish at a pace that is reasonably stress-free.

Do you need help to achieve your goals? Try these strategies.

Are you scrambling to complete the goals you set for this year? Is there something that you need to “keep on keeping on” to enter that final stretch? You can do it!

I am looking forward to another new year. I love new beginnings. I plan to set new goals for the new year. My goals for this year are nearly all accomplished.

Some of the most successful strategies I found to help me achieve my goals included:

  • Posting the list above my work area, periodically checking in and checking things off.

  • Setting weekly goals and reviewing my progress before setting new ones – every Sunday.

  • Prioritizing daily tasks in my planner.

When you set daily goals and spread tasks out throughout the week you reduce the risk of experiencing the frustration and exhaustion that result from unrealistic and unmet expectations.

It’s not too late to reach a goal for this year – even if you need to set the goal first. What would you like to accomplish in the next 38 days?

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

~ Antoine De Saint-Exupery

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