7 Ways To Wreck Your Holiday Season

When will you say it? Will it be when you find yourself furiously shopping for gifts two days before you plan to give them? Maybe the words will come when you haven't gotten anything done at work for the past week. Perhaps your defining moment will come as you recognize that in all the giving to others during the holiday you have taken zero time for yourself. You know the words I mean... "Next year things are going to be different!"

To keep your holiday season from being lost in a blur of activity, stress, and lack of personal renewal, watch for these 7 signs that something needs to change.

At Work

You expect coworkers to have the same level of focus.

Between holiday parties, gift buying, and just our overall change in mood, people are not as attentive at work. Don't get frustrated when your email isn't answered as quickly, or information doesn't get to you as efficiently. Spend a little extra time talking with your direct reports about what you expect them to accomplish before the break. Ask them what they can realistically get done to help them stay focused on outcomes during this distracted time.

You don't use this time to show genuine appreciation to those with whom you work.

People are much more open to people expressing gratitude to one another now. Reflect on specific reasons why they make your workday or work more positive or productive, and share your thanks with them in an appropriate manner. It's a perfect time to build those stronger relationships that are essential in today's work environment.

You fail to get a head start on 2017.

Unless you are in the retail industry, it's easy to let this slower period lull you into cleaning up your email inbox, working on end-of-year reports, and similar maintenance type tasks. Meanwhile, thoughts about improvement for 2017 are lost to indulging in fruitcake and nuts. Why not use some of your extra mental energy to begin planning for 2017? If you work with a team of people, start discussions now about new actions to be taken in 2017. That way, everyone starts 2017 focused and ready to make it the most successful year ever.

At Home

You try to pack everything into a few days.

Time with family and friends are a highlight during the holidays, but they seem to all come at one time. To reduce your stress, and spread the holiday cheer over more days, consider moving some events earlier or later in the season. The first couple weeks in January are a perfect time to get together since schedules are not yet back in full swing.

You overwhelm yourself with thoughts of giving gifts.

Remember this research proven fact: Over time, people value experiences more than material items. Plan a trip to the movies, a meal out with a friend, or some simple experience they would enjoy. And reflecting back to my previous point-don't try to cram it into an already overloaded schedule. Give them something to look forward to after the holidays. They now get to experience the joy of the gift twice.. once when given and once when actually used.

You take no time for yourself.

Plan now for the "gifts" to yourself over the holidays. It might be calling a friend you've been wanting to spend time with and getting together. Schedule a round of golf or plan time for engaging with a hobby or interest. Put it on your calendar and refuse to give it up unless there's an emergency. If getting away from home isn't an option, watch a marathon of your favorite movies or binge watch some TV shows-alone or with a few carefully selected individuals. These moments are about YOUR renewal and well-being-not theirs.

You fail to realize just how precious this time really is.

This year I turned 50 and as I reflected on my half-century of life, I kept saying, “Where has the time gone?” With that in mind (and heart), I enter this holiday season longing to embrace every moment with all I have. Whether it's a hug from a family member or a call from someone wishing me a "Merry Christmas," I don't want to take anything for granted... and wreck my memories of the 2016 holiday season.

  What steps will you take to ensure that you don't wreck this holiday season? 

Jones LoflinComment