I don’t need to tell you that this is a stressful time of year – crowded malls, Christmas music on loop, and getting in the last morsels of the year before we start all over again.
But beyond the shopping, headaches and travel, there might also be another source of anxiety on your mind…depending on what kind of person you are.
Maybe you’ve noticed it too, but it seems that depending on how ambitious you are or how serious you are about your goals, at this time of year, everyone falls mainly into two categories at the beginning of December:
- Person 1 will focus on the holidays and family but also use this busy time as an excuse for why she has let her dreams and goals shift to the back burner. She just doesn’t have the time.
- Person 2 isn’t slowing down. This kind of person aims to get it all in and not only achieve most of what’s on his resolution list, but also may push himself so far that he “doesn’t have the time” to find the perfect gifts. By January 1st he has many of his goals achieved and is ready to amp up his performance in 2017.
You may be thinking that you really wish you could be like Person 2, but you may want to think twice.
Sure, Person 1 seems to be making excuses, giving up and giving in. This could inevitably stall momentum at a great time of year for doing business. If you have a product or service, this is the best time to advertise your stuff as gift ideas or as ways to start off the new year just right. And even if you don’t work for yourself or in sales, you could always do just a tad more than the guy beside you so you grab the boss’s attention at the holiday party for promotion considerations ASAP for next year.
But, this is also supposed to be the time of year for reflection and connection. To push past or rush the holiday season like Person 2, would be to miss the whole point of our cleverly designed yearly cycle. We (well, our ancestors), designed our year to have a beginning and an end, with certain celebrations strategically placed because we crave ups and downs, endings and beginnings.
To rush past the ending would be a waste of the whole year. It’d be like watching the new Gilmore Girls series and just stopping at “summer”! [Note: No spoilers, but seriously, get past “Summer” because Rory has a big moment in “Fall”].
Person 2, however, does have the right idea in some ways – using December to achieve what you promised yourself last January – that’s part of having integrity and loving yourself.
But there needs to be balance. I don’t usually use this vague word but here I think we get it. Our two portraits are extremes but very present this time of year. It’s our job to see which qualities we have in ourselves and make a point of taking a page out of both books.
It’s also integral to success in the future that we take the time now to reflect on what’s been achieved up to this point. Regroup. Celebrate. Acknowledge your support system. And use the reflection (not the stress and the pushing yourself to the limits all month long) to inspire your January 2017.
Let me say that again: use the reflection on 2016 as the fuel to your fire in 2017. Rushing to complete your goals now is possible, but not essential to your success next year. You’ll be more successful if you can acknowledge what you learned in the past year and be grateful for your wins, as well as the people around you.
Sure, there may be some other sub-categories of these two types: I for one can be more like a crazy Person 2 on steroids because not only do I try to overachieve in my career and goals, but I also try to find the perfect gifts thanks to my A-type personality. This usually causes a bit of overwhelm at this time of year.
So a couple years ago, when I noticed this cray-cray behaviour in myself, I committed to having my shopping done before December 1st. I’ve fallen only a little short this year with two people left on my list, but that’s what the Internet is for. The rest of the time I’ll be focusing on my goals, reflecting and celebrating with “special” eggnogg.
Like all things, it’s about finding a balance and knowing your priorities. It’s sometimes very hard to do it all and get it all in BUT do try these 5 main tips for a more enjoyable and successful holiday season:
- Don’t blame the holidays or your relatives for your unwillingness to find time. It’s like I always say, ‘Beyoncé has the same amount of hours in the day as everyone else.’
- Buy gifts online to save time. I have some recommendations if you’re curious. Click Here.
- Buy thoughtful gifts to thank all the people around you that enrich your life and keep you going.
- Reflect on 2016 and use the positives to light you up for the upcoming year.
- Draw up your priorities for 2017 based on what you think you were lacking this year. Don’t beat yourself up, just promise yourself to get ‘er done next year.
And don’t worry! I’ve still left plenty of time for new clients this month so you don’t have to go it alone. December is a great time to get started – we can reflect together and plan out your success for the new year together with a solid and strong 2017 success strategy.
Never hesitate to get in touch! Email me your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out more at ashewoodward.com.
And for added inspiration when creating your 2017 goals, be sure to have this guide handy!
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