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What do you want to ship in 2018?

I have been posing this question to some of the people I know and they either don't want to tell me or they haven't thought about it. Because, the majority of the answers I got was that they have no idea what they want to ship in 2018.

It is customary for me to spend a few days in December looking back at the things I have shipped this year, and look forward to what I want to get done in the next year.

The end of the year is no different from any other time of the year. But, it is a psychological check point. And I have coincided my long term planning with the arrival of this psychological check point.

There are several advantages to thinking about and planning out the coming year. Some of them being an increase in productivity, more informed prioritization and decision making, the motivation that comes from committing to achieving and chasing a goal.

But one of the advantages that is less talked about is how this can reduce stress and anxiety. In a world where majority of the people in the world who don't have to immediately worry about the next day's lunch or mere survival, are suffering from ailments whose root cause can be drilled down to stress and anxiety, this is an advantage to not scoff at and discard without consideration.

Anxiety is that uneasy feeling that something is going to go wrong, or the feeling that we won't live up to societal expectations, or something a little more nuanced. But it is just the onset of worry and panic. Which means that it is primarily in our minds.

Our minds are funny things. They are like gases that expand to fill all the empty space available. Only our minds tend to fill all of the empty space with thoughts of stress and anxiety.

Setting ourselves goals and working towards them is meditative. When done right, this leaves us every day with a set of things that we need to get done and make tiny little progress on. The closer these things are to actually taking us where we want to go, the more engaged we are in doing them.

And guess what happens when we are engaged? We fill our minds. And in doing so, remove the space that it can fill with thoughts of worry and anxiety.

Feeling stressed out? Sure, take that vacation which will give you a break from it all for a week or two.

Spend time planning and reflecting and you could be driving away stress the other fifty weeks of the year as well.

Happy de-stressing!

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