2016 is almost over! Can’t believe how fast the year went by, right? But before you say goodbye to 2016, why not reflect on how this year was for you? While many of us just saw days go by, sitting behind our desks or slogging around in our daily tasks, did we actually end up doing all that we planned for this year?

If your answer is ‘No’, here’s some comforting news. There are TWO more possible long weekends coming up in the UAE before the year ends, the first one expected around the National Day! This means you are in for a good number of days off this December and what better time than now to catch up on all that you wanted to, but just couldn’t.

Here are some ideas for you to get going and fulfill all your resolutions for 2016.

Start that book you’ve been holding off on

The 9-to-6 schedule and after-work errands may often leave you too exhausted to do anything else. This is why making time for hobbies that relax your mind and foster creativity are very important. Reading is one such activity. So if there’s a book you have been waiting to read, now is the time to get it off the shelf. And if you’re easily distracted by things at home, head out to a comfy cafe and indulge in some quality reading-time over coffee.

[Related: Tips for a budget-friendly festive season]

Shop for the holiday season

With the holiday season approaching, the upcoming long weekends can also be a good time to your festive shopping done and checked off the to-do list.  Make a list of all you need and hit the stores as early as possible. This way you’ll avoid the holiday rush, price hikes and last minute panic. You can also dig into your storage for festive essentials like the Christmas tree that you saved from last year and get them ready to be reused.

Declutter your home

Think about all the stuff in your house that’s just been sitting there without any use. Whether it’s the shoes, clothes, unwanted gifts, old wires, piled up notes and documents or other things that you don’t use anymore, why not spend some time getting rid of it all? Not only will you make more room for stuff that you actually need, this can also make you feel a lot better especially if you donate it for charity. You can also make some money by selling some of the stuff online or on apps like Dubizzle or Shedd. You can even liven up your home decor by rearranging your furniture, painting the walls or other simple DIY hacks.

[Related: DIY tips for renovating your home on a budget]

Learn a new skill

Weekends are a great time for side projects you don’t usually have time to work on. Of course, you don’t want your work to haunt you over the weekend, but if you’re looking to grow in your current position, learning some skills could give your career that extra edge? You could dive deeper in the area of your specialization by improving or learning some specific skills online in your free time. For example, if you’re a digital marketer, you could brush up your SEO knowledge or learn about what’s trending in the marketing world. You will find plenty of short courses online on topics such as basic coding, Photoshop, etc.

Hone a new hobby

You could also use the time off to take part in activities or cultivate a hobby, not related to work such as dance, music, yoga, gardening or volunteer work. Involving yourself in activities that are fun, also stimulates your brain, well being and happiness. Simple things like riding a bike, trying out a new recipe, sketching or writing your journal are some fun and fulfilling hobbies you could try.

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