We are continuing our journey to a Stress Free Holiday Season.

So far you have created a vision of what you would like your holiday to look like and you have listed all the activities you are currently doing.  Today I want you to decide how much you actually enjoy doing these activities.  We are going to make the connection between what you WANT to do and what you ARE doing!

Take a sheet of paper and divide it into three sections.  The top section write “LOVE”, the middle section write “OK”, and the bottom section write “YUCK”. 
Now, look at the 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?

Examine each activity and decide

  • “Is this an activity I LOVE to do?”  An activity that was on the very first list you created – one that is right in line with how you envision your perfect holiday.  If so, write it at the top in the “LOVE” section.
  • “Is this an activity that I do, but don’t really have an attachment to it one way or the other?”  Maybe your family loves the activity (cutting down a live tree), or you’ve gone to the neighbor’s cookie exchange every year and really you could take it or leave it.  Write these activities in the middle “OK” section.
  • “Is this an activity that I dread doing?”  Maybe you hate to bake – yet you give everyone homemade bread as gifts.  Maybe the idea of hosting everyone at your house one more time is just causing you to wake up at night in a cold sweat.  Write these activities on the bottom, in the “YUCK” section.

Finally – take a look at the activities in the middle and bottom sections.  Start to think about WHY you do them.  Do you want to continue doing them?  Is the value of doing these activities greater than the fall-out of not doing them?

For example, recently one of the participants at a workshop I was leading realized that she doesn’t like the hassle that surrounds having a live tree.  Upon further reflection, she realized that she continued to bring a live tree into her home each year because of the childhood memories it evoked.  Now, with this new awareness she can decide if she wants to continue to cut down, haul, and set up a live tree – or if there is another way to honor those memories.

What new awareness can you create?  Are all your activities in the top section of the paper?  Have you already created the holidays you love – and now you just need to figure out how to be more effective?  You certainly want to stop by, as the next set of posts will examine how to become more efficient during the holidays.

Share your “ah-ha” moments with us!  What activities do you not LOVE, but do anyway?  What activities do you LOVE, but find you never have time to do?