It’s time warriors. Stores are already decorated in holiday colors and pushing holiday treats and holiday specials. The newspaper is starting to advertise holiday gifts and I even saw Amazon had pre-black Friday specials. Let’s make this a holiday unlike past years, one we don’t regret; one where we actually feel the peace and calm that the songs sing about.
With a little bit of preplanning, it is possible. We can have a much different holiday season. How would it feel to wake up on January 2nd and think: “What a wonderful holiday season” instead of: “Thank God that’s over!”. It is possible warriors! I know it’s possible because this is how my January 2nds have felt when I pause and get a bit deliberate instead of letting the holidays ‘happen’. I think of it as the difference between rowing down a fast river with an oar or two versus being thrown in the river without a life preserver and spending the whole time trying to keep your head afloat. We can let others do that. Let’s set you and your family up for success this year:
3 Steps to a Different Holiday Season
Think back to last year: What did you do that brought you joy? What did you do that left you feeling stressed? Who did you enjoy spending time with? Who did you not enjoy spending time with? How did you eat last year? How often did you exercise? How did that feel? What can you learn from how last year went?
Get specific and make a plan: How many nights do you want to be out each week over the holiday? How will you prioritize your and your family’s sleep? How much money do you want to spend on gifts for your kids and spouse? How much do you want to spend on others gifts? How much will you exercise over the holidays? When? What do you want your eating and drinking to be like over the holidays? What will be difficult for you? What will be tempting to you? Will you send out holiday cards?
3) EXECUTE (aka GO BE MERRY)
Get out your calendar or print one out here and write in as many of the following as you can on specific dates at specific times:
Which events you’ll attend (use a pencil if you don’t know actual dates/times yet)
Which nights you’ll drink
When you’ll exercise
Which nights will be late nights for you or your family
Which nights will be spent by the fire
When you’ll shop for gifts
When you’ll send out the cards or gifts? When you’ll write the cards?
But wait…did I lose you? Did you start reading because you want a calmer holiday but when you realize what it will take your eyes glaze over? Stay with me warriors! [tweetshareinline tweet=”If you want things to be different, you must do things differently.” username=”SusieBarolo”] This will not take as long you think but it will have long-lasting effects. If you spend even 10 minutes thinking through the next couple of months, you will notice a difference. I always say small hinges move big doors. [tweetshareinline tweet=”Small efforts create big results.” username=”SusieBarolo”] Choosing ahead of time to protect your and your family’s wellness will lead to a season on your terms. If you want to spend more than 10 minutes thinking this through, your results will be even greater. You are an adult. This can be the season when you don’t let your inner teenager make the decisions. How many sweets do you want to eat? How many nights do you want to stay up late? How many nights do you want to spend on the couch looking at the fire or tree? How many times do you want to exercise a week? When can you schedule a date night or day with your spouse?
Does this sound extreme? It’s not. It is the path to peace. Extreme is living in the state in which most of us have been living. Jumping from one person’s expectation of us to anothers’. Life can be so much simpler warriors. I know because I’ve lived it both ways (and I’m never going back). Living a life on my terms is the secret to living a life you love. Getting clear on what makes me and my family happy and then prioritizing that, is where peace is found. How do you want to feel on December 26th? Stiff, overweight, overwhelmed, or disappointed in yourself? How about on January 2nd?
The Time Is Now
Now’s the time to pause and set yourself up for success. Stop and get clear on what you want this season to be like. If you’d like to dig further into this work, click here I’ve made you a worksheet to help you plan for a more peaceful holiday season. The more consciously we live our lives, the better we feel. I can say this with certainty because that was my life for years. I lived with a consistent level of stress for years, running around from one thing to the next without giving much thought to what those things were. Doing what others wanted me to do, acting how I thought others wanted me to act, saying yes to most opportunities that came my way because I thought that’s what I should do. There is a different way. I urge you to get clear about what you want your life to be like these next 6 weeks.
Why do I care? Well, it goes without saying that as a blog reader, you matter to me!, And also because the more calm, in-control people there are walking around, the calmer and less-reactive our world is. If we all took care of our own emotional needs, we’d show up in our relationships, in work, in traffic, and in supermarkets as calmer, more forgiving humans. And frankly, that’s all I really want for Christmas. Let’s go warriors. How do you want to feel this holiday season?