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How To Make This Holiday Season Different

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." ~ George Eliot

Do your holidays seem to be less than what you’d like them to be? Sometimes in our pursuit of the perfect holiday season, we push our pocketbooks and ourselves to the max. Then we discover we do not like who we have become in the process. And at the same time don’t seem to be able to make the transition to a simpler and probably happier way.

If the holiday season is NOT one of your favorite times, the first thing to do is identify what you DO NOT want this year. Each of us feels differently, but some things you may not want are: the stress, the constant “busyness”, the loneliness, the spending of money you don’t have, being with family, not being with family, or the extra work of entertaining and shopping. The second thing to consider is what DO you want? A vacation, time to rest, time with God, time with family? Then list 6-7 priorities and stick to them! These are the things you absolutely do want. These are the things you feel will bring joy back into your holiday season. I call this your MAP (My Absolute Priorities). Look at this MAP on a daily basis.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Take care of yourself.
    Self-care is basic to maintaining inner peace. Block out times in your planner for YOU. Put them in ink.
  2. Just say “No!”
    If you can’t afford the trip to see the family — don’t go. Spend an hour with them on the phone instead. If you can’t make all the parties without feeling exhausted, don’t go. Save yourself, so you can say “Yes” to those things you really want to do.
  3. Drop the guilt.
    Give yourself the ultimate holiday gift - give up guilt. If you don’t want to spend the holidays with your family - don’t. If you don’t want to attend a function — don’t. Do what you need to do for yourself. If you don’t have the money to buy gifts, - don’t.
  4. Set boundaries.
    Don’t allow others to make demands on you. They can suggest, request, advise, and recommend, but not one demand.
  5. Stop sending cards.
    Extend love and smiles to those you meet everyday. Turn each day into a holiday. You may want to send an email-card to those special ones at holiday time. The cost is zero and it is very easy.
  6. Do send cards.
    Or phone, rather than purchasing gifts. It’s the thought that counts. Saves money, time, stress, and shopping.
  7. Give up the blues.
    If loneliness and depression seem to plague your holiday season — make other plans this year. Take a trip to a place, where you’ll be distracted. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Ask another single person or family to share the holidays with you. Practice gratitude. Do whatever it takes to get out of the rut! The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.
  8. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
    When unpleasant situations occur, ask yourself, “What is the big picture here? In the big scheme of things is this really a big deal?” Shift your attitude. Rent the video “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
  9. Maintain a sense of humor.
    A Harvard study discovered there were three things that contributed to a long-lived and meaningful life. One of these was a sense of humor. What steps are you taking to avoid chronic seriousness?
  10. Remember the true Spirit of the holidays.
    Love, joy, togetherness, gratefulness, forgiveness. Life is a gift — a gift of love.

Copyright 2000, Judy Irving

Need Last Minute Holiday Gifts?? Visit to purchase "Living Courageously in a Changing World, $8.95 or Relationships: The Heart of the Journey (CD) for $14.95.

What's Happening? The next "Setting Started as a Coach" begins on January 6 for the FREE introductory class followed on January 13- February 3 for the 4-week teleclass. This class is for new coaches. The class meets at 8 pm Eastern.The cost is $139.

You may register at or call Judy at 877-455-4646.

January "Staying On Track" the one hour teleclass that meets in January on the 9 (one week later than usual) at 8pm Eastern/5 pacific. The topic is "Setting Intentions & Commitments for 2003". How do you want 2003 to be different from 2002? What were the gifts of 2002? What intention did you have for 2002? Did it happen? Were you committed to it? Did you have a vision, and take action on that vision? Was there a plan? Now is the time to create a strategy for 2003. Please join this class to set you intention for progress, prosperity and peace in the New Year. Cost is $25.

Register at or call Judy at 702-240-1866 or outside Nevada at 877-455-4646.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Who hires a coach? People who want to reach goals, make changes, solve problems and see possibilities.Those who know they want more in their lives than they are currently experiencing. A coach is a success partner, an advisor, and at times a cheerleader. A coach will hold you accountable so that you can realize and be all that you are meant to be.

For a 30-minute collaborative interview coaching session — email

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