Here we are, once again: the year-end sprint. A winning strategy to slay this season will help you not only survive, but make the most of the time you have to focus on everything for which you’re grateful, make memories, and strengthen the relationships in your life that you value most.
Here are eight things to keep in mind and cross off your list with the holiday crunch shifting into high gear:
1. BEGIN WITH YOUR BUDGET IN MIND – Set limits for holiday gifts, entertaining, decorations and activities and stick to them so that you are not facing a blue January when the bills come rolling in.
2. TAKE INVENTORY – Make a list of the people in your life whom you need to thank with a greeting card or something of monetary value, such as a gift card or present:
d. Service providers
3. SHOW SOME HEART – Not all gifts need to cost you big bucks. If you have baking skills, consider giving homemade cookies in a decorative tin. A dear friend once delivered to me homemade Irish cream in a beautiful glass decanter with a fancy, sparkling bottle top. It was one of the most thoughtful, glitzy and delicious gifts that I have ever received, and my family has the bottle now to refill ourselves and fondly remember the gift.
4. PEN YOUR THANKS – Take the time right now to write out personalized notes of gratitude related to 2021, and make sure they’re delivered by year-end.
The best gift that you can give those whom you appreciate is to speak your truth about the difference they have made in your life. If Covid taught us anything, it’s the importance of our relationships and our loved ones. Make this a priority and give the ultimate gift of connection…a genuine, kind word.
5. DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE – Shopping this year is proving to be tricky, to say the least, with the supply chain being tested to the limit. Get out to your favorite local businesses—sooner rather than later—with shortages likely and finish your online shopping right away to allow for shipping time.
And a word to the wise: Get a few back-up gifts, such as bottles of cheer, boxes of fine chocolates, hand cream or other grab-and-go gifts for that last-minute someone who accidentally misses making your list or surprises you with a present.
6. BEAT THE RUSH AT THE POST OFFICE – Mail holiday cards and gifts with extra time to colleagues and loved ones, knowing that shipments will become slower and more costly the longer you wait, and many people leave town during the last week of December.
7. SCHEDULE SWEAT SESSIONS TO REDUCE HOLIDAY SEASON ANGST – We all can get anxious when we’ve heard Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” on the music channel one too many times. Anticipate that feeling now and plan times to work out. Who could be your walking buddy during the last couple weeks of December? Is there a favorite cardio class that you love but tends to book up fast? A sweat strategy could not be more important than during the season of caloric indulgence, high expectations, financial pressures, and stacked commitments.
8. BLOCK TIME TO SMILE OR YOU MAY FALL VICTIM TO YOUR TASKLIST – Schedule days to:
a. Prepare for the big days
b. Enjoy time with loved ones
c. Carry out a fun tradition, such as a New Year’s celebration with friends
d. Sit with your journal and a cup of hot cider to really be thoughtful about your lessons learned from 2021, resolutions for 2022, and commitments that could positively impact your life well-beyond the near-term
This high-speed holiday train is not stopping! Make the most of the remaining days of this year to enjoy the ride.
Leigh Ann Errico