If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.
– Ram Dass
In the US, November is a time for family — we go to them, they come to us, or maybe everyone just gets to the table at the same time. Later this month, I’ll be traveling over the river and through the woods, to spend a few days with my nearest and dearest.
As holidays approach, my anxiety level sometimes shoots up. Yours, too? Stress increases as home and family obligations pile on top of regular work. Emotions run high. Expectations and hopes can call for one scenario, while life delivers another.
I suggest we take this opportunity to think about goals for the coming holiday season. It works like goal setting in your business:
- Get clear about everything you’d like.
- Determine what’s essential and what’s optional.
- Focus on the essential.
While a golden turducken deep fried in peanut oil would maybe be awesome (would it?), the essential goal is a dinner to gather and delight the people closest to us.
In family life as in business, there are distractions and irritations pretty much every day. There are also opportunities to get closer to our heart’s desire. Practice keeping your focus on what matters most, and letting the small stuff swim by.
Begin with this planning exercise:
- Write down everything you’d like during the the holidays this year.
- Then highlight what’s really required to make it a celebration that pleases you.
- Schedule those things.
- Make a regular review of your list to make sure you get the things that really matter.
Some of the other things, those “non-required” things, will come your way, too, almost without effort. But you don’t have to stress about them because they aren’t your big priorities. Save your focused attention for the essentials.
The way you plan your business will be the way you plan your life. Now is an excellent time to practice.
What’s essential to your happy holidays?