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Let Yourself Off the Hook this Holiday Season

Thank you to everyone who responded to my Thanksgiving post. I received a flurry of “I feel the same way!” and “Me, toos.” It seems I struck a cord, and for that I am once again grateful to get to do what I do, because part of it is stretching myself to articulate the uncomfortable and messy stuff we all go through as entrepreneurs.

I do hope those in the US enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Now, as we move our attention to the full-on holiday season, I am going to be bold and ask:

This year, will you let yourself off the hook for the holiday season?

Will you go easy and do your best to avoid putting pressure on yourself to do the holiday a certain way and/or have your house look and your cooking be “just so”?

SO much is going on, and a lot of it is fun and festive and feels good!

But then there is the to-do list that goes on for days, cards to address and send, presents to buy, wrap and send or hide, meals to prepare and cook, and packing for travel and trips. It goes on and on.

After noticing how I felt getting ready for the holidays several years ago, I implemented a policy for myself. I call it “No Adding.” By that I mean that I plan out the month of my parties, errands, deadlines, travel – everything – and then make the mental decision to not add anything else.

A few years ago during the week before Christmas, a colleague told me that he had just scheduled a regular check-up with his doctor. I was incredulous, wondering, “Unless you are sick, why would you do that?!? You could just as easily have the check-up in January.”

Since all the holiday prep and celebrations go on top of the usual day-to-day busy of work, life and family, I avoid adding other stuff that can wait until January. Or, if it’s an opportunity to go have fun, I’ll assess if I need to not do something else or whether I want to carve some extra time out for “nothing time.”

With everything, I want it to be a conscious choice, so if you really, really want to go, by all means go!

Just do so with the honest assessment that you have perhaps now overscheduled yourself. You may need to cut back on another activity and / or may need to add some rest and rejuvenation time into your schedule.

If we were all to let go of the “deadline” aspect of the holidays and with it the pressure to be perfectly prepared, we’d all have a hell of a lot more fun.

We’d be more in the moment, and truly enjoying time with family and friends – which is the whole point!

So will you do it? Will you let yourself off the hook? Drop me a note and let me know!

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