The busy holiday season is upon us. I have experienced ‘over-the-top’ holiday seasons and the chillest of chilled. No matter what kind of holiday I have in mind, I have found that things go so much better for me (and my sanity) when I first make a few, simple intentions and then plan.
My suggestion before you begin holiday planning is to set your intention. What do you want to feel this holiday season? Is it peace? Joy? Excitement? What kind of experience do you want to create for yourself and your loved ones? Active? Casual? Restorative?
Once you have an idea of your desired feelings and experiences, sit for a couple minutes and imagine feeling those feelings and experiencing the experiences.
You have just created a container or at the very least a theme. Based on those feelings or intentions, you can now;
Make lists! Put all of the ideas bouncing around in your head down on paper. You will be amazed at how much energy this frees up. There will be great satisfaction when you get to cross the items off your lists.
B, B & B.
Bag it, Barter it or Better It.
Take that awesome list and consider each item against the intended feelings you identified. Which items line up with your intentions? The ones that don’t; 'Bag' them - ignore, delete or throw them out.
Once those are eliminated, review the remaining list. If the items line up with your intentions but you really don’t want to do them, you can 'Barter' them. Negotiate with a friend, a co-worker or a relative to exchange goods, services and or money, if they will take care of this item for you.
Instead of pushing yourself through tasks that need to get done, even if they line up with your intentions, Better them! Give yourself a treat while you are doing your tasks (one of my standard treats: Starbuck's coffee. Makes me whistle while I work.) OR reward yourself immediately upon completion of something on your list – a nap, reading, a bubble bath – make it celebratory/congratulatory. We do not differ from animals who respond well to praise and treats. By rewarding yourself, even for doing things that are ‘necessary,’ we will have more energy and enthusiasm in our daily lives.
You can experiment with applying these ideas and tools to holiday events, invitations and obligations as well. Hopefully these ideas and tools will add energy and enthusiasm to your holiday planning and enjoyment.