Next week, many of us will be busy devising a plan for the coming year and brainstorming for ways to beat the recession, save our marriages, and reclaim our girlish or boyish figures.
A special few will get a big jump on that annual ritual. They will be the few among us savvy enough to have run what some call the December Sprint.
There is no magic to making strategies for this race. It requires nothing more than making a to-do list consisting of all those chores we have been meaning to get done throughout the past few months, and then actually doing everything on the list in a week’s time using that burst of energy and that surge of optimism that everybody else waits until January to open up to.
The December Sprint is all about doing things now, before last year’s resolutions are nothing more than ironic history.
It means cleaning the closet. Donating the unused clothes to Goodwill. Writing thank-you letters to best friends, best customers and best clients. In fact, it is a wise bet to write lots of thank-you letters. Do the favour you promised three months ago. Do the work you were paid for last week. Lose a pound. Call your mother. Change the oil in your car. Tip the guy you forgot to tip before Christmas.
Whatever you have been putting off really can be done in the little lull that always precedes New Year’s Day. After all, you don’t have to think about working hard for a whole year right now; you only have to floor the accelerator for six days.
Running the December Sprint will change everything. When January 1 rolls around, your neighbour will be resolving to change his sorry ways, while you will be resolving to do even better next week than you did the last and to do it again the week after that and the fifty one weeks after that as well. It’s all about attitude and, as any behavioural scientist will tell you, attitude is everything.