Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Merry Kwanzaa and Happy Festivus… or simply happy holidays to you all!
It’s Christmas Eve and there is so much to do, both fun and no so fun, to get ready for tonight and more importantly the frenzy of Christmas morning. If you know me, you realize by now that I don’t do anything during the holiday season that I don’t want to do, so I am not complaining about the to-dos. What I am saying is that this is a really busy time of year, and like many other busy periods it is extremely easy to get off track on your goals. So I have a few quick tips to help you stay true to your course this holiday season.
1. Remember your goals are not chores – they are changes you want in your life.
I find that around the holidays or any other busy time people tend to put off their goals in the name of relaxing and taking a break. The mistake here is one of perception. If you look at your goals as chores, things you have to do rather than something you want to do, you will be fighting yourself to get them accomplished. In psychology we call this reframing, looking at something differently. It’s like the 100 or so Christmas cards I write (yes, I hand write notes in every card, otherwise, why bother sending them), technically it is a pain in the neck to do, but I understand that it is my choice to put in the extra work. If it weren’t my choice then there is no reason to do it. Shifting my perspective makes it a lot less herculean of a task and also allows me to take my time because sending the cards is about sharing goodwill, not getting a piece of paper out to people by a certain date.
2. Life gets busy, the holidays are but one example of that…
It is a fact, life gets busy, if you put off you goals and dreams simply because there is something else on your radar you will either never get to your final destination or you are going to take more time than is necessary (which increases the likelihood of goal burnout). So instead of putting something off entirely because you are busy, try one of two things: either problem solve for how you will stay on track any time you are busy (and I can help you with that individually if you would like), or find a way to continue working on your goals, but give yourself a big break and set a date by which you will get back to full speed. By “big break” I don’t mean giving up all together on your journey, but rather allowing for a lower output. In my case I know that I will not have as much time to mobilize (or much space to mobilize in with the tree, gifts and family around) so I have scheduled massages and I am making sure to schedule at least one 30 minute period a day to mobilize and that is that.
3. Don’t beat yourself up!
In the event that you fall off the wagon and just stagnate over the holiday period don’t beat yourself up. Don’t allow yourself to give up on your plans because of a small setback. When you become aware of the slip, simply sit down, regroup and figure out where you need to start. Don’t forget to start IMMEDIATELY or at the very least to set a hard date to get back on track.
Good luck, and enjoy this weekend. There will be one more wrap up and a check in with you all next week.
Alessandra Wall, Ph.D.