Christmas holidays are only a few weeks away and aside from family gatherings and Christmas reunions with friends, contrary to what our jam-packed calendars tell us, what lies ahead are moments of opportunity to invest some time in ourselves and our growth for the year ahead.

If your long standing dream is to work for yourself, to escape the rat race, to change careers or to quit the job that isn’t bringing you the happiness and freedom you deserve and do something more suited to you, Christmas holidays are the ideal time to explore your opportunities, get clear on what you want to do and be, and plot your path to how you’re going to get there.

The team here at Do What You Love have come up with ways you can make the most of your Christmas break if you want real change to happen in your life this New Year. So free up a few hours in your busy Christmas calendar now and make space for one of these actions to work on yourself and your plans in 2018…

You ready to commit to change and make small actions towards it happening?

1. Enjoy a TED talks afternoon

Think about the field you’d like to work in, or the lifestyle you’d like to live, and watch as many TED talks as you can within that sector. So for example, if you love the idea of being your own boss, research the best entrepreneurship talks and watch them. If you’d like to introduce more art or creativity to your career, watch the best TED talks on Creativity. What this will achieve is an altered state of mind. You will hear stories and advice from experts and believe you can do it.

Read our list of the best TED talks on “Creativity”

2. Write a letter to yourself from the future

This tip is from Ben Keene, Co-founder of Escape the City. He says “It’s 2022. Write a letter to yourself saying what you’ve achieved over the last 5 years and how you’ve done it. This may sound stupid but it’s a great way to visualize where you want to go and what really matters. Exchange letters with a friend or mentor if it seems weird doing it by yourself.”

Read Ben’s post on 12 tips for escaping the career you don’t want into the one you do

3. Dive into a workbook

The biggest investment of your time right now over the Christmas period is stepping back to reflect on all you’ve achieved so far, then start thinking about the direction you want to take in 2018. Using a free workbook will help guide you through the things you want to prioritise. There are tonnes of free resources out there that can help you plan for 2018. Our New Year’s Revolution toolkit is free to download and is used by thousands of people annually, to check in, reflect and make their plans for the year ahead.

Download the New Year’s Revolution Toolkit: A free 28 page guide to make the next year amazing

4. Arrange a coffee with someone who can help you

Whether it’s a mentor who works in the sector you’d like to enter, a friend who knows how to support you on your year of change, or someone who currently works in a similar way you would like to see yourself working as, arrange to meet with them in the new year. The chances are you will be pleasantly surprised how willing they are to help see you soar, and the advice they give you will be invaluable. If they’re a little too busy to meet, don’t worry. Perhaps a Skype call later in the year is more suited once the rush of Christmas and New Year has calmed. Taking this step and getting clear on who you can call on to help you is an important part of you breaking into a successful 2018 (and beyond).

5. Begin growing your support network

Our days are filled with invitations to join communities, private facebook groups, classes, co-working spaces, you name it. Do you ever launch yourself into invitations like these and soak up the positive energy and support people will give you in return? Chances are you get caught up in invitations and have little time to commit to the positivity you can give to people within these groups. Over the Christmas period how about you discover or select 2 of the groups in the sector you’d like to move into for 2018, and start forming natural relationships with people who will support you on your journey. For example, if you’re a woman who would like to start a business, Hello Soul Hello Business is the sisterhood you need to shine bright. If you’re someone looking to write a book one day, perhaps the Beautiful Writers Group is a good fit for you.

What will you decide to do with your last chance to make an impact on your future in 2017?

We’re rooting for you!