Getting Ready for Christmas

Going to a big family dinner? Spending a quiet day at home? Traveling across the country? Gathering with local single friends? No matter how you plan to spend Christmas, a little preparation will help make it better.

Before you get caught up in the holiday rush, stop and think about your priorities. What is most important this month? How will you show that in what you do? What is key and what is just nice if it works? Is this the year to simply post an Advent calendar for daily family use or the year that the whole family is coming to your house and you want to be ready to welcome them with a festive environment? Will you be traveling, so packing is a priority, or hosting, so meal planning is key? Will you be skipping the gifts and holiday shopping this year and simply resting in the gift of a Savior? Make a list (if you have several things) or post a visual reminder for yourself (if you want to really focus on one or two things) to help you stay on track.

Once you have that down, make a plan. Think about what it will take to fulfill your priority. If giving is key, make your Christmas list. If hosting is your jam, jot down some meal plans. If travel is on the calendar, nail down the timing, reservations, and packing list. If a quiet holiday is for you, prepare for the time of rest. Set yourself up for success rather than hoping everything will work out somehow. Brainstorm enough to be confident you have covered the big stuff.

Finally, block time in your calendar to work your plan. Mark out the path this month so that you know when you need to do what. It may not happen each time, but you will have placeholders and reminders to help you along the way. Adjust as needed and keep walking.

Once you’ve covered your bases, you can relax and enjoy the holiday season!

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Sometimes we come to a place where we look at a project or a goal or an assignment and think that it seems a little too much — perhaps impossible. It’s tempting to give up before even trying. You may be like Scarlett and decide to tackle it tomorrow…and tomorrow never comes. Maybe the sky will fall before the deadline, and then it won’t be an issue. One can always hope, right?

Just like it is impossible to swallow an elephant whole, we can’t tackle big things overnight. BUT — it can be done over time in pieces.

  • Break it down. What are the “bite-sized” parts of the whole project? What are little goals that will get you to the big goal? Making an action plan doesn’t just map a path to the end, it also helps break the big into lots of littles.Once you know the little pieces, you can simply look at the one step you need to take, just like chewing one bite. It works.
  • Start somewhere. I use this trick for myself a lot. Just taking one step toward the goal can break the cloud of feeling overwhelmed. That step in the right direction creates a tiny bit of momentum that puts you on the right track, even though it’s at the very beginning of that track. Now you’re ready to keep going!
  • Stick to it. It’s so tempting to want the easy solution, but there isn’t always a quick fix. Sometimes we simply need to keep chewing.If you know the path, know the steps, know you are on the right track, keep walking. It may be a long walk, but your faithfulness and hard work will pay off.

Bon appetit!