- December 20, 2016
- Behavioural Change
Thriving for the Holidays. Not Just Surviving.
The incredible energy of the holiday season is upon us. For some this might mean a short respite from the many hours per week giving extra effort to make sure clients, customers and employees feel engaged and valued For others, the holidays are a time where family comes together and the spirit of the season truly takes over.
Despite these powerful moments, there will be some of you who truly struggle this time of year. Taking time off might mean more work flooding in the day you step back on the job or in some cases taking time off might be code for “I will only answer emails most of the day, instead of the whole day.”
No matter which boat you are paddling, we are going to give you a few tips to do more than just survive this holiday, we want you to thrive.
Here are three ideas to get you started:
Set goals, not resolutions.
If you have ever taken part in the classic tradition of New Year’s Resolution, you may understand the sheer weight you feel settle on your shoulders on the first of January. We often get caught up in the moment, imagining what would look best on our Resolution Resume. If you have been caught up in this before, you may be familiar with a sense of competition that sounds a bit like this…
“My resolution is to drink less coffee this year”
“My resolution is to join a gym, stop eating carbs, and start volunteering”
“My resolution is to do all of those things and I am going to solve world hunger and achieve world peace”
When we create a sense of competition about a very personal goal, we become disillusioned about what is accomplishable.
If you want to feel great on January 1st and every month after, find one small process goal to accomplish each day. When you decide what that is, write a letter to your future self about your goal and how you want to feel about it in 6-week’s time. Let present you hold future you accountable!
Give yourself authorization to recover.
You work hard. You work very hard. As you reach the end of the year your body, mind and soul need a bit of a recovery period. Recovery entails actively helping your body gain strength and fill your energy reservoir.
Everyone will have a different way to recover, the key is granting yourself authorization to recover. If you are unable to grant yourself authorization to recover you will never fully be in a place to perform at your best. Granting yourself authorization is simple. You start with a note card, sticky note or the back of a business card.
Start your note with:
“I grant myself authorization to recover this holiday season.”
Follow it with a few personalized recovery statements:
“I grant myself authorization to turn my phone off each day after 5PM”
“I grant myself authorization to eat one extra sweet each day from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day”
Personalize the message and don’t overload yourself. The goal is that you find what works for you. When you return to work see what your employees think of the idea, maybe it is something you could use in your team.
Have you ever been handed a gift on Christmas Day (or your birthday) and felt extremely excited to see it wrapped in a box from your favorite store? In this scenario, expectations have been created by the box and these expectations are shattered if the box doesn’t meet the expectations.
Is there a conversation with family, your boss, or your team that could help you have realistic expectations over the holidays? If you need a few ideas where to start here is a short list to give you a mental spark:
- Are we going to give gifts this year?
- How often would you like your team to check emails between Christmas and New Year?
- Should the in-laws spend 7-days with us or could they spend 3-days?
- Can I realistically read two novels and a season of my favorite show when my kids are home on break?
Everyone will have their own list of expectations, if you can manage yours it will lead to more open discussion and a more fulfilling holiday season.