How are you feeling right now?
If your family celebrates Thanksgiving, you might be feeling a little stuffed and sleepy, and that's okay! Winter is a time for rest and relaxation... we just need to make room for it, in the middle of all the holiday shopping - cookie baking - eggnog sipping craziness!
In Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 1: How to Start the Season with Comfort and Joy, we created our vision of a blissful holiday season;
with Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 2: How to Make It Meaningful, we identified the people with whom we choose to celebrate;
and in Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 3: How to Be Happy While It's Happening, we sorted through the activities that will build our bliss-factor and released the sense of obligation and requirement that all too often permeates the season.
I think we deserve a round of applause.
Okay, now it is time to pull it all together. It's time to make a plan.
Does my saying that make you feel a little queasy? The concept of planning affects each person differently.
For some of us, a plan provides a foundation of order and statement of intent from which miracles can happen.
For others, planning feels restricting and smothering. Take a moment to connect with your body and emotions. However you feel, just accept it.
Don't worry, I haven't forgotten my promise to make this easy and fun. In this step, I am going to offer two options. Choose whichever feels good to you. Let's get started!
Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 4: Make a Plan that Makes It Real.
Option 1: Use Your Calendar. One of those big wall calendars is perfect for this. (You can use the calendar function on your smart phone if you like, but it might not be quite as much fun.)
♥ Gather your supplies... your vision, your lists of people and activities and some magic markers.
♥ Read through your vision, then close your eyes and breathe into it. Connect with your holiday spirit.
♥ Take your two lists and match your holiday people with your holiday activities. What do you want to do with whom?
♥ Look at your calendar. Place the date-specific events first. Do you have tickets for a live performance of the Nutcracker on a specific date? Do you attend religious services? Pop those on the calendar first.
♥ Now look it over. Do you still have a lot of white space? Remember, in our last step, we made our "Can Do List" short and sweet. There should be plenty of room left for more activities. Gradually add events to the calendar, one at a time, keeping an eye on its overall appearance.
♥ Are you done? Do you still have some empty space? Keep it. Color a pretty picture, or put a sticker on it. Fill up that box with any symbol that will make you smile and remind you to take a day off.
♥ If you just can't put down the magic marker, add a couple quotes from your vision statement around the border. Something to remind you of the commitment you are making to yourself this holiday season.
♥ Doesn't that look beautiful? Now, hang it back on the wall. Admire all the pretty colors and all the pretty empty space. Check it each day, to keep you connected with your bliss. Enjoy!
Option 2: Create a Holiday Vision Board. Here is an approach for the crafty among us. If you are more of a "go with the flow" kind of person, this option will support your vision without boxing you in!
♥ Gather your supplies: Your vision statement, along with your lists of people and activities; a large sheet of poster board, magic markers, holiday-themed magazines, glue and any craft supplies (ribbons, sequins, glitter, etc.) that will stick to cardboard with glue.
♥ Since you are choosing the unstructured path, I won't drown you with guidance. The goal is to make a visual representation of your holiday season. The planner in me still wants to invite you to start by matching people, activities and specific dates, where appropriate. Write them on scraps of colored paper and attach them to your board... perhaps in chronological order?
♥ Okay, I'm done. You are now free to fill your board with whatever words or images that will evoke a feeling of bliss. You can use photos of your loved ones, phrases from your vision statement, pages from a magazine, snippets of poetry, ribbons and glitter. It's your vision, you decide!
Wishing you big, gluey globs of glitter and a blissful holiday season!
Meg Brown is a Certified Professional Coach, former corporate executive and mother to two teenaged sons. Meg specializes in coaching passionate parents and professionals who seek to make the most of their midlife journey at www.ElevateYourLifeCoaching.com. Contact her today, your first coaching session is Free!