Hot Tips for Thriving During the Holiday Season (4 of 4 parts)

Have you identified a way to give back and serve others?

Be authentic: drop expectations of yourself and others. Every holiday is different, and each year the experience you have on the same holiday will vary. Placing expectations on yourself to cook the perfect meals, go to all the parties, pick the right gifts (in the right sizes and colors) and to be entertained and to entertain everyone you are with, is a setup for stress and disappointment. Being where you are now requires that you hold yourself differently and plan accordingly. Back to telling the truth and planning what you want to do in your own way, and accept the outcomes. Accept that you will never be all things to all people. Stress and post-holiday blues set in when we are attached to how people will respond to our food, our gifts, or even our presence. Have fun in your own way, respect others to do the same, take it a minute or an hour at a time, and both your happiness level and your holiday experience will be enhanced and will not feel like a chore or an annual struggle or obligation.

Prepare for events in stages If you are going to be cooking for a large group on one or more occasions, shop ahead, and prepare what you can ahead of time, whether it is the day before or the night before. If you have 100 cards to be addressed and mailed, block off 15-30 minutes every day to work on them starting 2-3 weeks before they need to be mailed. If they are custom cards, order them so you get them in good time to address them without rushing. Shop all year around for gifts. When you see a sale, look for possible gift ideas and put them away until the holiday comes! This alone can save much time (and money)! And you avoid the holiday crowds in the stores and malls. Cutting up your work in blocks of time instead of doing it all at once (with some exceptions gifts-wise and food-wise) can cut your stress level by a large amount.

Keep your perspective. Go with flow. Everything isn’t going to go according to plan. Remember the bottom line is to have fun and be energized. You are the one that generates your experience of the holidays and this can be a tremendous time to revalue your values, identify how your career plans fit into your over all life and what you want most for your New Year!

What can you do different for next year? How will you step forward into the New Year energized and focused? Next week we'll focus on setting and keeping your career goals!