No, it can’t be. It’s Christmas eve, and you are still at the office? How did the time fly by so quickly?
Listen, I know what it’s like. I used to be an 80 hour a week consultant. Catching up on the eve of Christmas was not uncommon in my industry.
But here’s the thing… I didn’t have to leave the industry to figure out how to make it better.
There are 8 expectations that are going to weigh on you as we all approach year end together. Here’s what they are. Your only job over the next 60 days is to be mindful of each of these, and be the person you would be most proud of.
Career Expectations: Your staff will want vacation time. You’ll be racing the clock to achieve year end results. Year end retreats and planning retreats and holiday parties will be in abundance. The flurry of the holiday season could create a flurry in your mind. Be hyper-organized, and prioritize. But most importantly, be kind to everyone you work with… no matter how stressed you become.
Financial Expectations: Bonus time, savings time, and also the most expensive time of the year. Do you have a plan for your finances? If not, now’s the time to think about it. Set out a budget for how much you will give away as gifts this holiday season, how much you will put into savings, and how much you will spend on yourself. Remember, it really is the thought that counts.
Familial Expectations: Emotions will be on high, and your whole family will want a piece of you - your immediate family, your extended family, your friends, and of course your pets. As the expectations begin to mount, be conscious of how much you can handle. It is better to advise people of your limitations and stress points when you’re calm than to have an explosive emotional outburst on them in the heat of the moment.
Social Expectations: Year end is the time for giving. And as if giving to your family, your friends, your colleagues and your savings isn’t enough, pile on top of that the expectations of giving to charity, leading charitable causes, and fundraising for charitable events. Leadership at this time of year is of great importance. If you can handle it, handle it with grace. If you can’t, it is ok to take the year off. You have my permission.
Physical Expectations: Because the leftover Halloween candies didn’t quite do you in, you’ll be faced with Thanksgiving, Holiday parties, and of course, the holidays themselves. On top of that, your vitamin D will be diminished and your exercise schedule may feel overly flexible. Set an intention for yourself this year-end. Set it before you have to set a new years resolution. Eat only that which you are willing to metabolize.
Environment Expectations: House decorations anyone? Not to worry. I’ve got the easy fix for this time of year. First, if all the pressure of year end is really doing you in, it may be time to bring in reinforcements. If your true passion in life is not about keeping your home tidy, and putting up decorations, outsource it. If it’s what you love to do, then combine it with another of the 8 expectations to ease things up. Family decorating time anybody?
Mental Expectations: What will you learn this year end? How will you stretch your mind? At the end of a long stressful day, your best option before heading to bed is to pick up a book and read. The best preparation for a good night’s sleep is, in fact, avoiding light of all kind - TVs, computers, tablets, etc. Shut them down, turn the lights low, and stretch your mind instead of your social network.
Spiritual Expectations: Year end is, by definition, a spiritual time of year. It is the time of year you are most called upon to be kind, be compassionate, and be giving of yourself. Somehow, this will be lost on many of us in the next couple of months. If you do one thing, and one thing only after reading this blog, please do this:
- Identify your 3 highest values. The values you carry most dear.
- Write them down in your notebook or mobile device, in a place you can refer to them daily.
- Live consistently with those values each and every day.
- At the end of each day, count your blessings. Literally. Find 3-5 things that happened for which you can be grateful. Write them down.
I wish you all a beautiful end to 2016. Remember to learn lots, live well, and be kind to one another.