How to make the most of your holiday in 9 easy steps

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via REAL SIMPLE

The holidays are upon us!  It is really easy to become overwhelmed, over scheduled and over spent during a time we are meant to slow down, rejuvenate and celebrate the holidays rather than buy them.  When we get bogged down with our own to-do lists of task completion, we often overlook, or don’t give value to, things that bring us joy and build relationships.   Isn’t that what the most ‘wonderful time of year’ is all about?

This holiday, we invite you to rethink your “TO DO LIST”.  What would it be like if we gave the same time and value to the things we think we “need” and “should” be doing to the things we WANT and ENJOY doing?

Here is Coaching Culture’s “The REAL HOLIDAY TO-DO List”:

1. Take the time to figure out what you really want this holiday and set some boundaries around it.  There can be a lot of pressure to make the holidays “perfect”.  Rather than focusing on things that we should be doing, we invite you to take the time to figure out what you want to be doing in a way that feels joyous and “perfect” to you.  We have learned that it can be hard for people to figure out what they want; however, they can be clear about what they don’t want.  If that is easier, then start there.  Give yourself permission to set some boundaries around what feels overwhelming and inauthentic to the holiday experience you and your loved ones want to enjoy.

2. Learn something new each day – be curious about yourself, others and new experiences.  During the holidays we tend to see old faces and meet new ones, creating lots of opportunities to learn about others and build relationships.  What are you curious about?  Learning about holiday traditions and reminiscing about holiday experiences are great ways to engage in curious conversations, learn and understand others.   What’s new that you could incorporate into your holiday traditions?

3. LISTEN – it’s amazing what we can learn about ourselves & others when we take the time to listen.  It goes without saying that listening is THE most important skill when it comes to communication and building relationships.  We invite you to have awareness around how you listen this holiday, to yourself and to others.  As we take the time to listen to others’ wants and needs this holiday (including our own), let’s ask ourselves “who is this about?” and “how am I taking the time to understand them?”  For more on listening check out “What does your listening style say about you?” and “How to listen so people will talk”.

4. Test your assumptions – as the saying goes “ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME”.The holidays are prime time for assumption testing!!  We have learned that more often than not, our assumptions are not what we think and often don’t serve us well.  Take the time to test them, dig deeper, ask open questions to learn more about your assumption and where it is coming from. (Open questions begin with who, what, where, when, and how.  Stuck for a question? Tell me more is also a great way to keep the conversation going and gain clarity).

5. REFRAME – don’t underestimate the power of possibilities.  When we look at something with new eyes, the things we look at change. Kids bring a wonderful freshness to the holidays, how they see the magic.  A dreaded snowy day can turn into a winter wonderland of endless options of sledding, snowballs, snow angels and hot chocolate (with lots of marshmallows of course!).  An impossibly crowded shopping mall becomes a flurry of hope and excitement for all the Christmas wishes coming true.  How can you reframe your holiday with fresh eyes and new possibilities?

6. PLAY!  Have joy in ALL you do. When was the last time you played during the holidays?  Whether it’s a walk in the snow,  skiing down the slopes, riding a bike on the beach boardwalk, ice skating at night with twinkle lights or throwing some snowballs (responsibly of course) – we invite you to take the time off and play this holiday.

7. BE AWARE & INTENTIONAL of how you show up each day, what you bring to your relationships, and how you influence others.  The real magic of the holidays is in us.  How we show up for ourselves, and others, is where the magic starts and ends.  How are you choosing to show up this holiday?

8. LOVE yourself.  We are worth it and we are enough.

9. EnJOY a gingerbread, shortbread, some eggnog, mulled wine, a hot chocolate in the snow, or whatever your holiday “splurge” may be – many of these are but once a year, indulge responsibly. It’s fun!

The holidays are meant to be fun and joyous.  How are you going to celebrate, enjoy and make the most of yours?

Wishing you and yours a healthy and joyous holiday season!

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