Simplified Saturdays: Holidays Part 1 - What's Your Priority?

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So the holidays are almost here and you're breaking out in a cold sweat already.  

What to do? Simplify!  

How? I'll tell you! 

In this first of 8 holiday posts, let's talk about priorities.  I want you to pull out a piece of paper right now.  Got it?  Ok. 

Now, I want you to write down the three most important things to you during this holiday season, adding 3 bullet points after each one. 

If you are stuck, here are a few ideas:

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Gifts
  4. Food
  5. Faith
  6. Free time
  7. Entertaining
  8. Attending parties
  9. Children
  10. Giving
  11. Charity
  12. Decorating
  13. Baking
  14. Creating

And I'm sure there are many more.  

Now that you have your three, I want you to write your "whys" under each.  Namely, what you enjoy about each of your priorities.  For example:

Entertaining:

  • Seeing friends
  • Getting to try new recipes
  • Decorating the house

Now do that for your remaining two priorities and see if a theme develops.  Maybe it's seeing friends and family.  Maybe it's embracing your inner Martha Stewart by decorating or your inner Julia Child by whipping up fabulous meals.  If something shows up a few times in your 9 bullet points, that's your theme, your priority.

Now that you have your main priority, I want you to write it on a post it note and stick it on your bathroom mirror where you will see it every day until January 1.  

This is the filter through which all of your holiday decisions will be made.  

If your priority is cooking and someone invites you to a party on the day you were going to bake cookies, you decline the party.  If your priority is family and the office Christmas party falls on the same day as your kid's play, you decline the office party.  Make sense?  You don't need to offer an elaborate excuse, just say "thank you, but I already have plans".   

Start practicing this now, and by the end of December you will have spent time on what you enjoy most.  Simple.