How to Finish 2020 with Grace & Gumption


I’m writing this from a hospital waiting room. My mom went in for a total hip replacement late this morning, got into the OR around 1:00 and then proceeded to have a procedure that lasted twice as long as planned.

Because of the health crisis of the year, I can’t go back to see her in recovery (I’m quite thankful that I’ve been able to wait in the waiting room!) but I did get to talk to her on the phone.

The pain is insanely awful, to say it mildly.

We both know the next couple of days will be rough. After that, it’s going to be tough week or two or three, but then it will get better.

But still, it is really hard right now.

This year has been tough.

I’m grateful my mom can end the final part of this year in a much better place with a new hip and we’re hoping, a lot more mobility which will make the last quarter of the year so much better than the previous months.

Every year I sense the tendency to slip into the holidays, drown ourselves in our preferred genre of Christmas movies and sugar cookies and finish out the year half awake, maybe even pretending, in rough years like this, that it didn’t happen at all.

And every year I fight that tendency to let everything slide and instead, focus on a few things to finish the year well.

I’m writing this at the second week of October. We have one quarter (shy a few days) of the final quarter of the year.

This is the perfect time to shift our energy into fourth gear.

I like to write this post each year. Last year I focused more on tactics, developing a plan of action to take advantage of finishing well plus enjoying the holidays. You can read that here.

This year, I’m pulling out a few other things to rely on.

What does finishing well look like in 2020?

This year, finishing well looks like part grace and part gumption.

Part grace because I realize that to a certain extent, it is choosing grace, the unmerited favor I don’t deserve that helps propel me forward. Grace towards myself, towards others, towards the unique challenges we’ve all faced this year.

Grace means being extra patient when things are harder, when we don’t have access like we used to, and when it feels harder to do things than in other years. Grace also means stepping into the favor that is here for us, choosing to see what is in our control.

I turned off a lot of media that continued to speak incredibly negative and unhelpful things into life when the crazy of 2020 started. While there are so many things outside of my control, I still have several things I can do. Grace helps me see opportunities for identifying a few things to finish the year with.

What about you? What few things would you like to finish – or put a good dent in- before 2020 ends?

The second part, gumption, is less feel good and more lets-choose-to-get-this-done. It’s what we must do in order to get all those creative gifts from ideas and “wouldn’t that be great” to “I’m going to finish this.”

The dictionary definition of the word gumption is shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness.

Synonyms include courage, spunk, guts, common sense, shrewdness.

Basically, having a bit of gumption means rising above feelings and negativity and what is the norm and doing what is in your heart to do.

Embracing grace and gumption means living into the opportunity available to us – and we all have opportunity to create, to do, to finish, even with limited resources – and digging in a little deeper to garner the courage it will need to overcome obstacles and the downright inertia that is 2020.

Here’s the good news:

There is a lift in energy in the fourth quarter, no matter what kind of year it is. It is the final lap.

We can see the finish line.

Let’s not let this year get by without finishing a few things we started.

Maybe your ‘finishing well’ is making significant headway on an important, goal, project, or job that got put on the back burner earlier this year.

At the end of 2020, when we do take that time to rest and reflect, what will we be proud of? What will we sit down and say, “wow, that year didn’t quite go as I wanted it to go and it was a bit of mess to start, but I sure am glad I did ­­­_________.”

I love what one of my mentors said: Most of the goals we want to accomplish are made up of actions that are easy to do.

The problem is that it is a little easier not to do them. I tell myself that every time I’m tempted to not do the actions I need to finish the year well.

Here are my few things:

  • Assist my mom complete her recovery from her THR, assisting her as much as possible
  • Completing the objectives of my marketing plan for the new Christmas card collection
  • Hosting the Christmas Collective online summit and completing the marketing plan around that. (If you’d like to join this fantastic holiday online conference, go the registration page here).
  • I’ve got a fun idea for the littles in my family (who aren’t so little anymore). I have three nephews and a teen sister I want to do some fun holiday mailings for, a twelve days of Christmas sort of thing. I can’t procrastinate or I won’t be able to pull it off!

This is the time to spend a bit of prayer and planning at creating your list of a few things to finish well this year.

What are your goals? I’d love to hear. Tag me on Instagram @melissauclair or on Facebook @thecreativeseason. You can also email me

2020 can have a good finish, regardless of external stuff.

If you’d like to download the simple sheet to print out and remind yourself of what your priorities sign up below. I’d love to send it your way.