By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator
The holidays can truly be amazing – or they can stress you out. There is an unspoken pressure to put up decorations, spend money on gifts and attend or host parties.
Frequently, we let marketers, media and the habits of others tell us how and what to celebrate. We get bullied into shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and coming up with a gift list for people we rarely think of all year. We feel the need to outdo our neighbors with decorations and to fill our calendars with limitless parties and gatherings.
So this year, I challenge you to define what a great holiday looks like for you.
There are many holiday traditions that warm your heart, celebrate important things and bring out the best in you and others. Think of the traditional holiday shows, gathering with friends and family, the decorations and the special foods.
But there are also the stressful holiday traditions, those that complicate life, guilt you into spending what you don’t have, to eat unhealthy things and leave you feeling run down and worn out by the time the holidays move on.
Just for a moment, throw out all holiday traditions you have. Pretend you have a clear slate to start over, to decide what you want to do and how to do it. Your goal: create what you define as a great holiday for you.
To do this, summarize all of your holiday habits and traditions. Which are productive and meaningful? Which ones are stressful and done just because you have always done them? What could you replace the stressful ones with to better remind you of the reason for the holiday?
Have an open conversation with the important people in your life about what you want for your holidays. Be open to hearing what they want. Then, work together to redefine your traditions, those that bring you up, inspire you and activate your love of others and life.
When you’re done, you’ll have a redefined version of a happy holiday, one that you and everyone around you will enjoy so much more.