WAS YOUR DECEMBER filled with stress and running around? Did you hit the ground running for the new year or are you playing catch up after the holidays? Would you like to avoid the catch up and figure out a way to enjoy the holidays next year while starting next year with a bang in your business? Ok….1st lesson…be willing to do things differently than you have up to this point. Let me share with you a small change I made several years ago, that has had a huge impact on my life and my business.
Right before Christmas while everyone was stressed out and running around doing the last minute things, I was busy working on my business plans for the new year. Why is this relevant to success in business and how is it accomplished?
First, it’s important to recognize that most in society follow along with what everyone else is doing. Christmas shopping on a weekend, and leaving shopping until days before Christmas, would be examples. We DO have a choice though…to follow along the stress path everyone else seems to be taking, or, to write our own rules.
Several years ago, I set a new goal to reduce the busy-ness and stress of the holidays. I wanted to enjoy the season, and eliminate the stress. I set a date of Dec. 1st to have all my shopping, wrapping and decorating done. I also had all the food and cooking planned out for the holidays early in Dec., and charted in my schedule so I know when I am cooking what – and most of it is done in advance and frozen so that during the holidays, I am not spending the entire time in the kitchen, I am spending it with the people I love. I can’t tell you what a difference this has made. Everything done by Dec. 1st means I never stand in shopping lines, fight traffic, get stressed out, run out of time, or feel like I am missing those precious moments. It also spreads out the “spending”, instead of having it all in Dec. which would be helpful for many. It is a small change that has made a massive difference in my life.
Another big benefit is being able to get into the creative and inspired spot in your mind, which you can’t do if you are stressed out. There are specific things in life that allow us to do this….it’s different for everyone. Some of the things I find most relaxing that allow me to maximize this state of mind are things like, being near water – the beach, or our pool, on a boat, campfires, fireplaces, and beautiful twinkling lights at Christmas. I also decorate my entire yard with little white solar lights in the summer months. The solars are at all different heights, some low, some high, some in trees, etc. They come on at different times during dusk and it is magical as they reflect on the water in the pool. It is also a time of reflection I give myself every night. It’s these type of things when you are just staring at the water, the fire or the lights that allow us to be calm, relaxed, reflect, create, and draw on inspiration. If we are not allowing ourselves to do this during Christmas, and we are running around stressed out, we miss a huge opportunity.
With everything done early, it allows me to use my time in December to focus on my business plans for the next year. I am able to use my time to create, dream, focus, and take action steps that I would never have time for if I was running through a mall. As a matter of fact, I usually have most of the shopping done by mid Nov., by buying things throughout the year as I see them, and tuck them away for Christmas. This means I am only out for about one afternoon just prior to Dec. 1st to finish things off.
I wrote this post in Dec, sitting in front of the fireplace, with the gorgeous decor of the lights on the mantle, the stockings of those I love hung, the Christmas tree all lit up, and my little dog snuggling to get as close to my side as possible. Notice these are all “feel good” experiences which affect our state of mind. It translates into feeling happy, inspired, excited, on purpose, grateful, etc., and this state of mind is a perfect breeding ground for creativity, inspiration and planning for the new year ahead. This state of mind allows me to work ahead and put things in place that kick start the new year in a powerful way. I had work done that normally wouldn’t even be “thought” about until the 2nd wk of Jan, and by the time catch up would be done, and time carved out to get at it, it would be the end of Jan. What a waste of a month that would be! It reduces your chances of meeting your goals by a month!
The environment we surround ourselves with is so important. When we are surrounded with an environment which makes us feel great, we perform better. If I were running around like a crazy person, as I see many people doing, there would be no room for creativity, inspiration or planning for the year to come. It would be a time of just surviving and getting through what is going on. This surviving mindset gives us a negative state of mind, and nothing good can be accomplished. This is partially why people will repeat their same results year after year, wishing things would get better, but never understanding why they are not, and don’t know how to take control in their lives.
It is often the simplest ideas that can have the biggest impact in our lives and in our businesses. I challenge you to implement this simple strategy over this next year, and observe the difference in makes in your life, and how it allows you to relax, reflect and create for the following year in your business.
As posted on: http://bizcatalyst360.com/entrepreneurial-lessons-from-my-christmas-schedule/_
Debbie Ruston has been an entrepreneur and trainer since 1986. She works with individuals, and groups interested in developing their entrepreneurial leadership mindset. Was this article of value to you? Feel free to share it on your social networks and with your contacts, join in the discussion below, and FOLLOW her on the top right corner of this page.
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Debbie Ruston - Entrepreneur - International Trainer, Visionary Leader