Should You Put This On Your Holiday Checklist?

It’s official…the holidays are upon us! For those of us in the U.S., we celebrated Thanksgiving last week and so now it’s a reasonable time to see, hear and smell the all the trappings of the season. While many of the festivities can be fun and exciting, this time of year also brings…

…stress – How can I get all my work done so I can really take time off? When am I going to bake for my kid’s school party? Do I even have time to send out holiday cards?

…anxietyCan I afford all this?  Will I max out my credit card? Will I make a good impression when I meet his parents for the first time? Is there a enough room for everyone at my house? Can I get to the gym enough to avoid the extra 10 pounds?

…emotional instability Can I remain calm and omit the snarky comments for the entire day with my extended family? Will this holiday be depressing now that mom is gone?

In the spirit of encouraging sanity and perspective in this “happy time”, allow me to offer up some ideas that may be helpful:

  • Do a daily gratefulness check-in. This is about taking time each day to recognize and appreciate the little things that life offers you. Pay attention & acknowledge a beautiful sunrise/sunset, a day without rain (remember I live in Seattle), lighter than usual traffic, a sweet parking place close to the mall entrance, your favorite song playing on the radio, a hug & kiss from your teenager, or the fact that you woke up with no aches, pains & are healthy!
  • Make a paradigm shift – “Wow, waiting in this long line allows me time to be still and take in all the beautiful holiday decorations and music!” Or “Hey now – being asked to cover for my boss while he’s enjoying time off with his family gives me the opportunity to get a lot of work done, PLUS, I can prove to him that I’m ready for that next promotion!” Bottom line – look for the upside of all situations. Your positive perspective will be helpful to you and those around you.
  • Maintain balance in your life – by balance, I’m not referring the amount of TIME you spend at work vs. at home/leisure. I think that varies so much depending on what is going on and shifting priorities. I’m talking about balancing ACCOMPLISHMENT and ENJOYMENT. It’s pretty clear what Accomplishment is – what you achieve, mark off the list, get done during the day. When I refer of Enjoyment, I’m considering what brings you happiness, satisfaction, a sense of well being…doing something for yourself. If you accomplish all your goals and experience success in your career, but you are not finding enjoyment or pleasure in the process, it’s simply not fulfilling. That’s why so many “successful” people aren’t happy. If you can set your sights on accomplishing something AND enjoying something every day, it can’t help but be a good day! So make sure to reward your accomplishment with something you enjoy.

Should these tips go on your holiday checklist? If it resonates with you, give a go and let’s make this time of year a beginning to living life more abundantly everyday! Even after the holiday season!


Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @MDuesterhoft or connect with her via email at