Let’s be honest.  This time of year is hectic and you may be overwhelmed by responsibilities!

Travel – Shopping – Cooking – Cleaning – Perfect Gifts – More guests in your home

I get it.  A lot is going on, and the expectations of the season seem to grow each year.  Why do we let ourselves get sucked into this whirlwind of responsibilities?

THINGS THAT SUCK US IN

  • My family always made a huge deal of the holidays, and it wasn’t done right unless everyone was completely exhausted and broke at the beginning of the new year.
  • As a kid, we didn’t have much, and now that I’m more financially successful, I want to make up for the lack I felt as a child by celebrating BIG!
  • It feels like I’m a scrooge if we don’t decorate the house, invite people over, overeat, over drink, overspend and overdo.
  • There’s a little bit of break in the 9-5 hustle, so it seems like a great time to spend more time with family, friends, but I don’t do well with unstructured time.

Your story could be one of these or any number of others.  None of these are bad or wrong unless you let that reason be a source of Overwhelm instead of Opportunity.

CREATING OVERWHELM

  • Trying to control others into acting and behaving as you’d like.
  • Setting a budget for extra expenses doesn’t even hit your radar.
  • The list of “to buys” is longer this year than last.
  • You’ve got every weekend booked between now and year-end with no downtime.
  • The word ‘Celebrate’ conjures nightmares of endless preparation, dishwashing, and exhaustion.

CREATING OPPORTUNITY

  • You look for unexpected ways to give (food drive, toys, and books for kiddos in need, participating in your house of worship’s services and traditions).
  • We are extending unexpected invitations to meet for coffee instead of throwing a party.
  • One specific gift instead of 5 random, last-minute purchases has more meaning.
  • Allow space for gratefulness. Write down three things each day that you’re grateful for.
  • Create space in your calendar (daily, if possible) to reflect on the amazing opportunities you have each day.

REST, RELATIONSHIPS AND REJUVENATION – GIFT OF MARGIN

The practice of self-care includes margin in our daily lives to reflect on and consider how we impact those around us.  By giving yourself this gift of time to reflect and consider what serves you and those around you most, you’ll be calmer and make better decisions.

HOW TO FIND MORE MARGIN

  • Get six and a half to 8 hours of sleep every night. Seems counter-intuitive
  • Turn off the tech by 10 PM
  • Read something encouraging before you sleep (ditch the doom and gloom newsfeed)
  • Eliminate household chores that aren’t necessary.
  • Skip every other week of yard work, or just cut but don’t trim and blow.
  • Do things that give you energy – if that’s cooking, do it. If that’s organizing, do that.
  • Only attend events where you’re passionate. Otherwise, just donate and stay home.

Getting clear on what current responsibilities are non-negotiable and what are can help you decide where to focus your attention and what you can let slide.  Michael Hyatt has a great podcast on this subject if you need more. How to Create More Margin in your Personal Life.

CHALLENGE:

Pick one item above to do within the next week.  Then pat yourself on the back and do another.  Before long, focus will be a friend, and you can have the time and energy to do all the things you love.