It’s THAT weekend – the weekend after Thanksgiving and the weekend where your neighbors are vying for the most holiday lights, the earliest and the best on the block. It’s THAT weekend that starts with Black Friday, which actually happens on Thursday, but you don’t notice because you are in a turkey-induced tryptophan haze. It’s a weekend with Small Business Saturday and Doorbuster Sunday, followed by Cyber Monday, Tuesday, and ONLY “X” number of days to get your holiday shopping completed. But what is this really? It’s decision time.
How you feel going into the holidays is completely within your control – and it starts with a decision.
How do you want to feel going through the holidays? Hectic, frazzled, and completed stressed out? Or would you rather choose feelings of control, appreciation, joy, and contentment? Well, good news, this is up to you.
We often buy into the hectic mix of the holiday “hustle and bustle,” and you can hustle your bustle all you want, but let’s take some control over this so that it feels better.
There comes a time where you have to decide whether it’s worth turning the page, or closing the book.
With the holidays come many things that disrupt our everyday flow and events- it's no wonder so many people are stressed out! Holiday parties, shopping, crafting, decorating, baking, cooking, card-writing, get-togethers, potlucks, and the list goes on. These add-on activities aren’t just here and there, they are everywhere, non-stop. Throw in the pressures of keeping up with the Jones’ light show, spending more money within a month than you spend all year, and the fact that every car advertiser makes you want to believe that you should have a shiny new luxury car with a big red bow sitting on your snowy driveway, and it can make for an overwhelming bunch of emotions- and chaos. But there is GOOD news!
In the midst of chaos, stillness resides in you.
How you think about the holidays, especially right now, at the onset, can shift your entire experience over the next month plus.
Layout a game plan. Going into the holidays with the big picture in mind and specific goals and objectives can greatly minimize feelings of stress and being overwhelmed. How do you want to feel is the most important question that you can ask, because from that we can lay out goals to achieve these feelings. It's much easier than saying, "I'm not." Instead you get to say "I'm choosing contentment and I'm doing that by doing this."
Budget everything. Budget your time, your gifts, and seasonal foods. Your thoughts determine how you will feel, so if you don’t want to feel overwhelmed by excess everything, decide not to be. Decide how this season is going to be for you. Take back your power and control.
If you don’t want to come out of the holidays 10 pounds heavier, thousands of dollars poorer, and sapped of all of your energy, there is a point where something has to give.
Decide now what can be minimized or left out. Do you have to mail Christmas cards to everyone you’ve ever known? Or maybe you just send to a few of your dearest family members or friends that you won’t be seeing.
Do you have to have the most impressive holiday lights? Or maybe just a few festive lights will suffice?
Do you need to buy everyone at the office a gift? How about baking a tray of cookies for the office?
Some things may be important to invest time in and others, not so much. Decide that no matter what you choose to fit into your schedule that you are doing so because you see the value in that activity. There are no victims of circumstance, there are only victims of poor choices. Choose wisely and with intent and purpose to feel empowered and in control of how you are going to feel about the outcome of these holidays.
This should be a time of joy, happiness, and peace on earth. All of these are within your power to have and achieve. The circumstances around you will keep on churning. The chaos will keep whirling, but your inner peace is just one thought away – and it starts with “I choose….”
Happiness is a choice that at times requires effort. Where will your efforts reside this holiday season? Be miserable, or motivated. Everything always begins with a choice. Make it yours.
Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about. Do you want it? Then fight for it. Obstacles are put in our way to see if it’s really worth fighting for – and sometimes we create our own obstacles.
Have you ever wanted something so bad, but you just didn’t know how to go about getting it? You took some action. You started down the path, the best way that you could figure out, but then something happened – you just stopped.
Sometimes it’s a slow fizzle and other times it’s just a full-fledged, hard stop – but the important piece to keep in mind here is that there was something much deeper that caused what you wanted not to happen – and that was your thinking.
That seems really harsh, but everything that you desire starts and stops in your mind.
There are five steps to getting what you want.
Commit today to take the steps that you need to achieve the success that you desire. #makeithappen #yougotthis Now let's get focused, obliterate doubt and fear, and start achieving! Focus, my dears! You got this!
Do you remember what Saturday mornings were like as a kid? For some, it wasn’t so long ago, and for others of us, it was a bit ago. I remember getting up, hair a mess, maybe pouring a bowl of cereal and plopping down in front of some cartoons. By the time my mom got up to say, “Hey, go out and play,” I was fueled and awakened through humor.” She certainly didn’t have to kick me out the door. I was ready!
Going out to play, whether getting on my bike and riding pretty much all day, or riding over to a friend’s house, knocking on the door, “Can Vicki play?” was a typical Saturday morning scene. Playing all day was all that was on the agenda. Yes, food at some point was thrown in there, but it certainly didn’t rate that high, it was more of a necessary evil in the middle of playtime.
Fast forward to where we are in life and think about what Saturdays mean to you, and if you have a non-traditional Saturday/Sunday days off schedule, think about this as your off time. What has Saturday become?
Well, if you have kids, it may be a myriad of soccer practices or running here and there from various events and activities. Without kids, you may have so much to get done that you can’t during the work week, so your Saturday becomes a massive chore list.
Think about the Saturday kid illustration that I provided. Cereal, cartoons, and uninhibited playtime. How many of us would love to have the freedom to just be a kid again and not have to worry about the report that’s due on Monday, cleaning out the gutters, and doing the laundry?
Guess what? All of those things existed as a kid, and we did them, but we just didn’t allow our worry to destroy our playtime mindset. It seems like we still have the same ability to have Saturday playtime, but we need to relearn to how to live like this.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because stop playing.
So how do we get back to our inner child, despite our responsibilities doing this “adulting” thing? We re-engineer our thinking and rediscover the power that we have to shift our thoughts, feelings, and outlook on life.
Albert Einstein said, “ Play is the highest form of research.” And it is true! When we play, we invigorate our creativity, we re-energize, and we embrace our authentic self – the playful child who loves life.
Let’s look at my Saturday kid recipe for a successful Saturday.
1) I grabbed a bowl of cereal. Hey – that’s what we did! Could have been a better choice, but fueling up was just a natural thing to do – we just knew that you fuel up after rejuvenating the body with sleep. So this becomes the first step of retraining your mind – nourish your body.
Make sure that you don’t just grab anything (like I did with cereal) for ease and convenience, make a conscious effort to realize that in order to enjoy life, the moment, and playtime, you need to be well-nourished. Fuel up, consciously.
2) I watched cartoons. This is a seemingly mindless activity, sitting in front of the television, but it worked. We started our day with humor! Wouldn’t you feel better starting your day laughing instead of worrying about deadlines and all of the junk you have to get done? That’s what we did as a kid, and it’s the same recipe for success today.
However you get it, the funny column in the paper, YouTube funny spoofs or comedian videos, or the classic – cartoons (hey, you may actually begin to find Sponge Bob funny!), introduce humor into the start of your Saturday. Look, this is your play day. Even if you have a list of chores to accomplish, beginning with humor will shift your perspective and you will see your entire day in a new light.
3) My mom told me to go out to play. It wasn’t like I needed to be told, but it was this prompting that made me move away from the television and get moving! So our third element is movement, exercise, and fun. However you move, choose something that you enjoy, but do it and do it like you did as a kid, with everything you have in you. And you may have to be the one telling yourself, “Hey! Go out and play.” Make it your command. It’s expected of the Saturday child, so why not for you?
Add imagination and dreaming to the mix, just as you did as a kid. You weren’t just riding your bike, you were a mighty explorer! Allow your mind to dream and come alive. I’m telling you, that business proposal or work project will benefit from your allowing your mind and body to take on the Saturday success recipe.
All we need to know about how to live a successful life, we lived as children playing. The Saturday morning experience brings us to a balanced state because it creates alignment of our mind, body, energy, and our emotions.
When we start our day with fueling our bodies with nourishment, our mind with laughter, and exert our energy in play and discovery, we are unstoppable. We set ourselves up to take on anything. If you could be Superman or Wonder Woman in your mind as a kid, you certainly can be now - but you need to stop thinking that you are too busy to enjoy life – as you did then.
That chore list becomes so much easier when you are aligned. Remember, the gutters still had to be cleaned out and the leaves raked, and you made a game out of it – and when it was done? Playtime.
Reward yourself. Playtime is not superfluous. You knew it as a child, naturally, because you were closer to your inner truth as a child. A puppy or a kitten even know this. Playing is training for adulthood, but somehow we forget how to play.
So this week, regain the principles of the Saturday mindset. Nourish your body, fill your heart with laughter, and get out and move and play. Relearn to live again. Shift will happen!
Have you ever tried to pull one over on your parent, your best friend, or your boss? You know, you didn’t think that they would understand or that they would be judgmental, so instead you choose to tell a lie. Sometimes these are big, huge, hairy, bold-faced lies, and other times they are, what we commonly refer to as, little white lies. Keep in mind that half a truth is often a great lie and the truth is like the sun.
Imagine walking outside of a dimly lit building on a particularly sunny day and think about just how intense the sun feels on your eyes. You can’t help but squint and wince as the brightness is almost painful to absorb through your senses. It’s a pretty intense feeling, right? Okay, hold that thought!
Our bodies are meant to be whole. When we cut ourselves, our blood cells rush to the wound to quickly start coagulating the blood and begin the healing process of making the wound disappear. Typically, within a week or so, you are good as new. Our mind is just as resilient – yet we understand so little about just how, on the inside, under the surface, our consciousness within our mind is trying to communicate and initiate wholeness and healing.
When we lie, whether to someone else, or to ourselves, this triggers an internal default to correction, because like entering data into a form that doesn’t belong, it’s an error and it cannot be computed correctly. It’s similar to our walking out into the sun and wincing. The brightness of the truth can be almost painful when we see it with our internal eye. When we see it in our external world It can be blinding – and that’s uncomfortable. Truth is like the sun; you can shut it out for a time, but it’s not going away. It still exists.
Fortunately, the truth may hurt for a little while, but a lie perpetuates endless pain, because of what happens when we lie within our subconscious. There is nothing about a little white lie that is innocent because it has the same effect as a big, hairy, audacious lie within.
We manifest what we cannot control. This is why criminal investigators say that eventually a criminal that has gotten away with a lie will slip up. Our truth will always come out. It’s the same as our blood, automatically rushing to the wound. You are automatically trying to self-correct by manifested action, comments, or involuntary facial expressions or movements. This is how your mother could always tell when you were lying! Your body was tattling on you. And you thought she had magical mom powers!
Lying to yourself, truly cannot be accomplished, and so this is an area that must be reckoned with. You may think you are getting away with it, but I’m telling you, it’s going to come out! This is also true when someone makes a statement about you, a situation, or life in general that isn’t particularly true, but guess what? Your auditory system or visual system took note of that. We are so darned efficient!
Our subconscious stores away untruths all the time. They don’t fit anywhere, because they are not true to our truth, or to universal truths. This is why it is incredibly important to dislodge untruths that are stored away and re-engineering your thinking – re-writing the sentences in your thoughts so that they serve you better and support your truth. When we do this, we can make progress toward our goals and be free from limited or destructive thinking.
A client of mine made a statement, “I’m not improving financially.” After some inquiry we realized the lie that he was telling himself was limiting his creativity and ability to free himself to make more money. His truth was that he has consistently improved his financial situation, year after year, but he’s not where he’d like to be, YET! Just this subtle shift in what he told himself was the key for him to unlock his ability to move forward.
We often get stuck on the wrong thoughts. The sentence in our brain is wrong, driving a negative feeling. These limit our actions because we get stuck in a spin cycle and we limit our own actions.
While stuck in spin, my client only could see his 9-5 job on repeat, never getting ahead. He saw, “I’m going to need to replace this job with another income source, but I don’t know how to get there” – and therefore he was stuck – not sure how to get out.
The state of your life is a direct reflection of a state of your mind – Dr. Wayne Dyer
As we begin to illuminate our inner truth, the path to our success is also illuminated. For my client, just realizing that dissatisfaction with a current state does not define him, rather it serves as a driver to set goals and an action plan.
Your path to the truth starts with a simple question: Is it true? This is a yes or no question with no qualifiers or explanations. Yes or no. Can you say this, without a doubt is true?
In my client’s example, is it true that you are not improving financially? At first, he said yes. Without a doubt he also believed this to be true. So, I asked, “Are you in the same place you were 5 years ago, or are you better?”
Me: “Do you have a roof over your head and enough food?”
Him: “Yes, but I’m living paycheck to paycheck.”
Me: “So in reality, it’s not a true statement that you are not improving financially, because you stated that you are doing better than you were, which is progress. The truth seems to be that you are living paycheck to paycheck and that is no okay with you. Is this correct?”
Me: “So how does it feel when you tell yourself that I’m not improving financially?”
Him: “Not good. I feel terrible.”
Me: “Then let’s go with the statement that you felt was truer. That you have continually improved your financial situation year after year and that you want to achieve a level of financial freedom to not live paycheck to paycheck. Now we can develop goals to get you there.”
Him: “That is perfect. And I feel like I can do it this way. I just couldn’t see my way out of it before.”
Me: "That’s because you were stuck on the fact that you make a certain amount per hour at your current job. You started focusing on your current state and the lie you were telling yourself, so the path was dark. How can you get somewhere when you tell yourself that you can’t or that you are a failure? 'I’m not improving financially.' I am statements are powerful and when it conflicts with your inner truth, your default mechanism is saying, 'Send out feeling like crud, because this statement isn’t true.' Once we let in the truth, we now can see that we have a way to resolve this and feel much better in the process."
It can be difficult to peel back the layers of the onion, and yes, it can bring you to tears, but the truth will set you free. It all starts with breaking down the boundaries in your thinking, and is the path to finally living the life of your dreams. And that begins with a choice to uncover your hidden truths. Start now.
Begin by asking yourself what you want. Follow that up with what's holding you back? Start asking for the truth and allow honesty and humility in. If pain or dissatisfaction exist, there is a hidden truth. Let's find it. Let's get you to your successful mindset!
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.