The holidays are supposed to be filled with joy, merriment, cheer and happy memories. How many of you experience the complete opposite? I spoke to a previous co-worker the other day and she said that she had a social engagement every Friday during the month of December. Insert bewildered look right here. Every Friday? Good grief. While well-intended, between the shopping, cooking, cleaning and attending events, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can drain you and throw you out of whack. Here are some tips to help you find some balance during the holiday:
- Build in some “woosah” into your schedule. Before accepting another invitation or saying yes to baking another batch of cookies, make it a point to schedule some quality time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge.
- Say “NO” to the activities that sap your time or energy. Take stock of activities that you participated in last year that didn’t enhance you in some way. To quote Uneeka Jay, “If it’s not a hell yes…then it needs to be a no.”
- Rethink your errands and tasks. Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands. Select certain days to accomplish tasks such as baking, shopping or wrapping gifts.
- Get moving. It’s hard to make time for exercise during the holidays, but it may help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.
- Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way. There are 168 hours in the week…surely you can take a few to yourself. Read a book or get a massage. Make yourself a priority.
There are only 38 days before the start of a new year. Now before you start to have either panic (Where the heck did the year go?) or regret (I can’t believe the year is almost over and I still haven’t reached my goal) take a minute to reflect on everything that you DID accomplish. It’s one of the reasons why I keep a paper calendar. I can flip back at look at each month and see all the badassery I’ve accomplished over the year. Professional development? Check. Personal Growth (even when it was painful). Check and check. Write more chapters for my soon to be released fictional novel? Check. Host the 3rd annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference? Check. Reserve dates for WYP2017? CHECK!!! (Early registration starts on December 7).
My new year starts on my birthday and I already have several goals that I want to accomplish by next year. My planner for next year is already looking like a rainbow with all the color coding. Next up is my favorite activity…mind mapping.
So how do you get ready for 2017? Here are some strategies from Michael Hyatt, author of “Achieve What Matters in 2017 – 8 Strategies Super-Successful People Are Using Now To Accomplish Next Year”:
- Reflect on the past year – John Maxwell spends a week reviewing the current year calendar and determines what he needs to focus on in the coming year. Tony Robbins keeps record of “accomplishments and magical moments” and reviews them at the end of the year.
- Stay positive – Jeff Walker reviews all of his wins stating that we often don’t realize how much progress we make throughout the year. Andy Andrews take moment to reflect and then has a forgiveness session to forgive others and himself.
- Express gratitude – Ray Edwards said he starts preparing with “a gratitude flood.” In a journal he writes down every good thing he can remember from the past year. In that state of total gratitude he then asks, ‘What do I most want to be thankful for one year from now?’ He writes the answer down, and it becomes a focus for the new year.
- Eliminate the excess – Eliminate at least 30% of projects, commitments and activities from the previous year according to Ray Edwards. Derek Halpern has a more ruthless approach by reviewing the previous year and deciding what he won’t do in the upcoming year. He doesn’t eliminate the things he hates, he eliminates what he loves but isn’t delivering the results he wants.
- Set compelling goals – Set goals that harness your emotional energy. In other words, not only do you need to know what you want to do, you need to know WHY you want to do it. Dave Ramsey said: “I have to intentionally stop and dream again. What can I work on next year that makes me smile? Then my mind automatically moves from the strategic to the tactical. In detail—how can I organize my work and my life to do the things that cause that same smile?”
- Break it down – Take your goals and break them down into manageable chunks. Lysa TerKeurst breaks her goals down into three categories: giving, family, and personal development.
- Schedule the year – What gets scheduled gets done and scheduling also protects your time. Here’s the reality: Everyone has an agenda. If you don’t declare yours by calendaring what’s what important to you, others will try to fit you into their agenda. Marie Forleo blocks out calendar time for the important stuff like vacations, fun and time off and major business and creative projects.
- Unplug for a time – Use those vacation days, take a mental health day, get a massage, take time to enjoy cup of coffee or tea. Stepping away from everything allows you to refresh and renew your commitment to your goals.
How are you preparing for 2017? Please share your tips in the comments. I would love to hear from you.
It’s the day after the presidential election and I woke up to a president-elect that I didn’t choose. Let me be clear, you are entitled to your opinion, I’m just not interested in hearing them. I’m not being rude, nor do I expect everyone to agree with me when I say there are major flaws in a system that elects a person that has not shown a single quality to qualify him to serve as president. The electoral college is archaic at best. The popular vote, the people of the United States, voted for a different candidate. Throughout the campaign season, I listened to the argument that the choice was between two evils. As a mother to two beautiful girls, a wife, sister and daughter of black men and a friend to mankind, I saw someone who had a lengthy work history of public service and someone who has never held a single office (appointed or elected), has a history of bankruptcies and spewed hateful rhetoric. Did my preferred nominee have her own bag of mess? Yup. But would I be worrying about our country starting a third world war because of her temperament if she was elected? Nope.
But this isn’t about me. This morning I woke up to several different groups of people: The Fearful (What about my children/spouse/family/friends?), The Not Surprised (What did you expect?), The Snarks (Oh please, you brought it on yourself because you don’t know how politics work), The Hopeful (I’m just going to hope for the best) and finally The Resilient (I’ve endured worse and I’m still standing). If you were disappointed by the outcome or dealing with post-election anxiety, here’s a list of resources to help you cope:
Six Ways to Cope With The 2016 Presidential Election Results
How to cope if your side lost on Election Day
The Election Self-Care Detox
A Few Self-Care Reminders for Anyone Having a Difficult Time After the Election
If you are part of the group of people who voted for the president-elect or feel the election will change nothing and you are going be to just fine, I’m happy for you. But I ask you to be considerate of those who are genuinely concerned about the future. Don’t dismiss their fears or concerns. Don’t tell others that it’s their fault. When you know better, you do better and perhaps this election will serve as the catalyst for change.
If you have been following me for awhile, you have heard me refer to my board of directors with a certain level of frequency. I don’t call them out individually by name because they know who they are, they know the roles they play, and they know at any given moment, if they need me I’ll be there for them.
Having an inner circle is nice and it is a very catchy buzz phrase. But when you get down to the nitty gritty, are the people who are in your inner circle also in your corner? Do they have your back? Do you protect your personal brand as if it was their own? Are they so fiercely loyal to you that no one with good common sense would dare utter a negative word about you within earshot of them? Do you have people in your corner who take offense to transgressions against you as if it happened to them? When you are ready to walk out of the arena because you are afraid of getting scarred, do they take you by the hand and say, “Let’s go. I got your back”. Can you go to them with your hurt and disappointment without fear of judgment? Well, do you?
The folks who are in your corner have most likely seen you at your absolute worse and have stuck by you when others have turned their backs on you. The people who are in your corner see your faults and won’t let you define yourself by them. They are the people you call when warm and fuzzy won’t do and you need a gut punch of reality. The folks in the corner remind you that you are greater than your fear. They have your back.