I was going to write today's blog on goal-setting: we need measurable, written goals that we keep close at hand for reference. But that's enough said. There are plenty of experts and a lot of information out there.
So, instead I will share my New Year’s Resolution. I affirm: I am my own best friend. I want to be kind to myself, take breaks, stop the incessant inner critic, spend less time on “shoulds,” and more time doing what I love. I'm getting the hang of it, as evidenced by the fact I didn’t force myself to write blog posts during the holidays. As a result of the break, I really wanted to write again today. Here’s the backstory.
A few years ago a friend suggested that rather than creating a superstar holiday season, I aim for a “B+” at Christmas. Over the years I had felt responsible for everyone's happy holidays, except my own! I bought the idea best expressed by this year’s Walmart ads, "Mom, You Own This Season." Thanks to the Washington Post's Briget Shulte’s for her commentary, "For women, it’s the most stressful time of the year," which I highly recommend for recovering perfectionists.
Since an above average Christmas last year was a relief, I decided to aim even lower this year. Here's how:
- I usually direct a family photo shoot, but this year I asked family members to take pictures of themselves (will post the e-card here if I ever get it done).
- Rather than going to parties (or, God forbid, hosting one), on Christmas Eve we shared the Christmas story and then I read a book in front of the fire (OK, I was also a little under the weather but this still counts).
- Decorating tips: skip the candles in the windows (they fall over or the bulbs burn out), unpack only 1/2 the decorations, and don't nag family members to trim the tree (guilty pleasure: I paid someone well-spent money to do it for me*).
- I bought a 2013 Christmas ornament with a place for a photo of the family and never got around to inserting one. Instead, I just hung the ornament with the promotional picture of models on the tree (this is my favorite because it would have been totally unacceptable to the old me*).
- The adults in our family morphed to a Secret Santa – one gift instead of six.
- We ordered out and watched, not one but two, episodes of Breaking Bad on New Year’s Eve. We switched the channels to catch the last 5 minutes of what looked like “The Freezing Cold Nightmare on Broadway” – saw the ball drop, then hailed 2014 by turning out the lights.
It was pretty great flunking the holidays and whatever holiday you celebrate, you can too! I had a wonderful time with family and friends, enjoyed fewer gifts, and sent less wrapping paper to land fills (future goal: none!) I feel rested and ready for the New Year.
*For budding entrepreneurs, there is a business in holiday decorating.