The Leadership Survival Guide to Holiday Happiness: 7 Steps To Success, Satisfaction, and Serenity

Susan S Freeman Blog

1280px-Watching_Sunset_Salar_de_Uyuni_Bolivia_Luca_Galuzzi_2006This month’s column addresses honoring yourself.   What better time to develop awareness than during the most hectic time of the year—the holiday season?  It’s a time when we come together in celebration, reflecting on what’s most important.  While this time creates and evokes special memories, it can also be a time of increased stress.  Moreover, at work there is a real-time crunch to meet goals, to take final actions to produce year-end results.  We are committed to a strong finish—to “wrap things up.” How to manage and lead right now?

There is a secret to enjoying this time–even in the face of all the external busy-ness that takes place during the holiday season.  Learning to direct your internal experience becomes even more important.  When you do, you’ll discover that satisfaction and joy—no matter what is going on around you.

How Do You Do This?

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  1. Create a centered presence for you to connect within. Close your eyes, take deep inhalations through your nose, bringing breath in from the abdomen area, allowing the exhalation to be longer than the inhalation with each breath.  Practice this slow, relaxed pace for at least five minutes.  Now you are ready.
  2. Create a mental map of your year.   Take an inventory of those things that gave you the most satisfaction during the year.   Was it an initiative? A new relationship?  Mending a damaged or fragile relationship?
  3. What were the qualities that you brought to the above? Pay attention to how you were feeling and how you feel now as you reflect. Connect to feeling rather than thinking about it.
  4. What are your priorities for the last month of the year? What is the one thing that if you did it, would produce a worthwhile result?
  5. What have you been avoiding? Be honest with yourself.  What have you gained?  What have you lost?  Is there an action that if you took it this month, would complete the year more positively than otherwise? Perhaps it’s an apology, a conversation to clear the air, or an acknowledgement of someone who has helped you during the year.  Write a handwritten note or card of thanks.  Make that call.
  6. Design an intention. What is your one intention for this final month of the year?  State it in the positive and present tense, as if you already have it (because you do).  Getting clear about this sets the stage for it to be rooted in your subconscious mind—where 90% of thinking is rooted.
  7. Write down your plan of three’s: What to change, keep doing, stop doing, and start doing?  Commit to a time frame and get into action!

[/well] Honoring oneself may seem like a low priority on the holiday “to-do” list.  I invite you to move it up to the top of your list.  When you do, you’ll experience a truly remarkable holiday season, and give others the most precious gift of all.

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