View from above of an open diary showing New Years Day on the page with a pen and on wood background
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December 5, 2016 7:00 AM EST

December is one of my favorite times of the year, because it means the end is near and there’s a clear path to a new beginning. It’s a great time not only to look forward to the future but to think about where you are now.

Regardless of where you are at in your life, I believe you always need goals to help you keep growing and improving. You should have big dreams for yourself. And in order to reach those dreams, it’s important to check in with yourself on your needs and your progress. It keeps you accountable — and makes things actually happen.

I want us all to take some time this month to think about our growth this year. What did you set out to achieve in January? Maybe it was as straightforward as keeping up a regular exercise schedule. Or maybe you were aiming for a promotion this year, or to get serious with someone you care about. Whatever it was, how did you do with that goal? And how can you continue to improve on it until the end of the year?

What helps me track progress is writing down a big question that I have on a Post-It (you know I’m big on checklists!), and then possible solutions. It forces me to think of solutions to something that might have seemed big or overwhelming.

For example, perhaps at the beginning of the year you’d said you wanted to run your first marathon. But it was overwhelming, and tough, and it just never happened. That doesn’t mean that goal is a wash. You just need some time to focus on getting there.

You could write on your Post-It: How can I get ready for a marathon? And then write down what you’d need to do to answer that question, like asking friends who have run one before for advice and coaching, starting a fundraising page, downloading a workout app or getting new running shoes. Breaking that big question down into smaller answers can make it seem less intimidating and much easier to get started on.

Knowing that the end of the year is upon is, I’ve already begun to eat a little healthier, started working out just a little bit more and have set my first travel plan with my partner for Valentine’s week. I am ready to take on 2017 with a vengeance.

I hope that you to can join me in this push through the tail-end of 2016. Make sure you are on track to bring something awesome into the new year with you. Make this the best year you have ever had, and know that next year has the potential to be even better. Keep telling yourself that, because the universe is listening.

Stacey Griffith is a senior master instructor at SoulCycle and the author of the upcoming book Two Turns From Zero. Stacey’s motivational coaching style combines a passion for dance, athleticism and mind-blowing music—all set to the beat of her voice. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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