he holidays are a beast! Anyone else feeling the dread as we head into this very busy time of the year?
Well, never fear. I've got your back!
The biggest thing I see people run into, is a wish list a mile long, and FOMO real bad!
Here's the deal. We all spend money this time of year. AND EVERY BUSINESS KNOWS IT. So there is going to be some really cool stuff. Things to buy, services to use, events to attend, and specials and sales! So if you go into this part of the year without a plan, it'll be a lot like going to the grocery store hungry. (Come on, we've all done it!)
So here are my best tips for surviving without the guilt come January!
Do you have any idea what's most important this year? Do you? Start with your values. Do you value family time? Do you value peace (and does your family provide that?!)? Do you value down-time or party-time or a happy medium? If you need help, simply google values, and look for lists of options.
Pick a value for the year! Pick one. Which one speaks louder than any other? Which one should be the priority when making plans, choices and decisions?
And then put that sucker somewhere visible! Sticky note on your laptop, or mirror. Wallpaper on your phone. Somewhere where you can remember that no matter what comes at you this year, this is the value you prioritize above all others.
I know, a horrible six-letter word. But let's face it. Even the wealthy have to budget. (Just look at lottery winners who go broke!)
It doesn't have to be a bad thing. Give yourself an idea of how much you're willing to spend and then PRIORITIZE that spending. Would you prefer to give? How about gifting? What about experiences?(come on, Mexico resort!)
And then get crafty. And I won't dive into it, but there are plenty of bloggers out there who can give you ideas to stretch a dollar. And in reality, do our family and friends really want more junk in their house? No. So budget yourself.
EAT THE JUNK!
Now, I've been on a health kick for a year, and I just wrote that. But I mean it! I fully intend on some cookies, some fudge and some hot cider. I just plan to be sparing with it, and also incredibly picky. Random stranger fudge that's been sitting out for 3 days at reception...um no! Fresh family recipe fudge from a local bakery, heck ya!
Figure out where you are. If you're where I'm at and losing or maintaining weight, great, make a plan that fits for your needs but is flexible enough to allow for a surprise caramel apple! If you're not concerned about a thing, by all means indulge. But compare it with your values. If money is a value, don't splurge on expensive treats. If enjoying but not going overboard is the key for you, prioritize and pick only the best of the best!
Find one of many holiday/winter bucket lists, and pick your top few goals! And schedule one a week for the season. Don't overschedule, or you won't have flexibility for last minute invites or activities (or illness). If there's more you'd like to do or accomplish, by all means make a flexible list to work on in those random moments of "Hey! We have a free Saturday afternoon, what should we do?!" (Do those even really exist?)
Pick the top few, and be happy with that. Prioritize your absolute favorite, and then shut off social media (or ignore it!).
And don't forget the chores. We all have them. Decorating, making cookies, sending holiday cards. Buying stamps. There are so many. And instead of leaving them all for the last minute, what would happen if you broke each of those tasks into their separate steps (Get pics, order cards, make mail list, buy stamps, prepare cards, mail cards) and scheduled those out across the weeks so you could do one a week and/or bundle your trips! Think about it. What if you went for card stamps on December 3rd and since you knew it was coming and PLANNED FOR IT you could also deliver all gifts that need to be mailed at that same time?! How cool would that be?!
Take Time for Yourself
Schedule it if you have to, but make sure you have some evenings with tea and the Christmas Lights. Give yourself that kid-free Saturday (get a babysitter, ASAP!) to shop freely. Have a holiday date with your partner/spouse that isn't a work holiday party or those pictures with your pet-baby. Whatever it is in your world that you enjoy!