30 Dec It’s All About the Fun!
I really enjoyed Christmas this year! For the last several years the holidays have been a stressful blur for me so I was really looking forward to this year as I took some time off to be with my family while my girls are out of school. I was talking with a friend last year lamenting about how it was already Christmas and I hadn’t done a lot of the things I wanted to do to celebrate the holidays. She told me that she makes a list every year of what she wants to do to really enjoy the holidays. I thought it was a fantastic idea! Once you have it on paper you can refer back to it as the momentum of the holidays kicks in and make sure you are focusing on the things that matter most to you.
I tried it this year and was thrilled with the results. I started thinking about it at the beginning of September. As soon as I felt the season change I thought back about the spring and summer and all the special moments and fun experiences I’d had with my husband and our girls. I made a list of everything I had done “right.” It is a very important element of goal setting that you give yourself credit for success. Always start with what you did right or what you are happy about. Then ask yourself what could have been better or what do you wish you had done differently.
Some of the things I did right were: we spent every moment possible at the beach, we had picnics and went swimming with our family and friends, we went for ice cream every chance we got, both girls had fun birthday parties even in the midst of a family emergency which kept me out of town and left very little time to prepare. My husband and I made it a priority to spend time alone together which was great for our relationship. I made the effort to spend time visiting my best girlfriends which nourished me in away nothing else could.
Probably the biggest thing for me personally was shift in focus. For so long I have worked so hard “keeping it together.” I make my to do lists and try to stay on top of everything – do well at work, keep a tidy house, keep up social commitments, make sure we eat healthy, get some exercise, get the kids to bed on time. I would wake up and it was turbos on until bedtime. This spring and summer I decided to shift my focus to fun. I made fun a priority for the first time – maybe in my entire life. If it came down to a choice between doing another load of wash, picking up the house or going outside to blow bubbles I chose the bubbles. I realized the world didn’t come to an end if I left the toys on the floor for a couple of hours and going to the beach for the afternoon was a blast for all of us. The more I relaxed and lightened up the better the girls behaved and a plain old Tuesday afternoon became an opportunity for a special moment and memory. It was wonderful!
The fun element was my priority when making my list for fall and the holidays this year. I ended up with 31 things ranging from visiting the pumpkin patch, going to the tree farm again to pick out our Christmas tree, baking homemade gifts (which I have never had time to do before,) drinking homemade hot chocolate, visiting Santa and driving around to see the Christmas lights in our pajamas.
I also put some personal goals on there like run the Turkey Trot and Color Vibe 5k’s, volunteer at my girls’ school and host another collage workshop. I’m happy to report as of today I’ve done 21 of them.
The remaining ones are more personal and professional in nature. The fun ones are complete except for ice skating because I am still trying to decide if I am willing to risk broken bones or a concussion for a holiday memory.
All in all I’ve realized that thinking ahead and creating the list gives me a guideline to go by but also the freedom to be flexible and the clarity to know that fun is the priority even if we don’t get to everything on the list!
Mission Complete! Here’s to a happy, healthy and FUN holiday season!