In a previous post I shared that one of the greatest causes of stress for many of my clients is living up to their own expectations during the holidays.  They become overwhelmed trying to make everything perfect  . . . or just trying to “get it all done”!

Over the next few months I’ll be creating a number of posts to help you take the stress out of the holidays.  (And if thinking about the holidays this early is stressing you out – you can 1) remember that starting early will leave less work at “crunch time” or 2) bookmark this post and read in a few weeks.)

Last week I encouraged you to envision your version of the perfect holiday.  Many people left comments stating that spending time with family was the most important part of the season.


Today, I encourage you to make a list of everything you actually do during the holiday season.  What were some of the tasks you completed last year?  What are some things you are planning to do this year?  Write them down – all of them.  (Go ahead and do it now – I’ll wait!!)

[Tweet “How many tasks do you complete to prepare for the holidays?”]

Here is a partial list of possible activities . . .

  • Holiday Decorating – purchasing, putting up, buying tree, taking down
  • Cooking – planning menu, grocery shopping, baking, cleaning after party
  • Socializing – work party, planning family get together, overnight guests, making travel plans, cleaning & preparing for guests
  • Communicating – buying/making cards, addressing cards, phoning relatives, sending emails
  • Gift Giving – managing the list, shopping, making gifts, wrapping, delivering, exchanging, budgeting
  • Spiritual/Community – religious ceremonies, volunteering

Keep this list handy.  Continue to jot down ideas throughout the day.

Once you feel your list is a fairly good representation of the tasks you complete throughout the holiday season – match it up to your vision.

Last week you created your “ideal holiday season”.  How do the activities you WANT to do compare to the activities you ARE doing?

Do you have activities on the list you just created that match up perfectly with your vision?

Do you have activities on the list you just created that don’t match your vision?

The first step towards creating change is to increase our awareness.  The first two posts in the “Stress Free Holiday” series are designed to assist you in creating awareness.  Spend time discovering what the perfect holiday season looks like – and compare this vision to how you actually spend your holidays.

The next set of posts will examine how to become more efficient during the holidays.

Are you already living the life of your dreams?  Do you consider the holiday season just another day  . . . not at all overwhelming?  If so – share your success stories below!

Did you discover that the correlation between your vision and your reality isn’t very strong?  Share your “ah-ha” moments with us!


If you find that you are struggling to match your ideal holiday vision to your reality – I’d love to assist.  I pride myself in creating and adapting solutions for all of my clients.   Sign up for a No Obligation Find More Time Strategy Session. During this session you will gain clarity on your goals, uncover the hidden obstacles to your success, and leave energized to design the life of your dreams.  You are guaranteed to have at least one Ah-Ha moment and actionable idea that will catapult your plan to success.  What do you have to lose?