Every year we vow to simplify our holidays. Starting with Thanksgiving, there are extra social and organizational responsibilities that require executive function skills. The best way to do this is by prioritizing. That can be difficult because everything seems important and meaningful. Focus on what matters most by using these strategies to help you decide what is most important to you and your family. Use these steps to follow through with your priorities.
Manage your expectations.
During the month of November we are overwhelmed with holiday shopping, invitations, holiday meals, cookie exchanges and gifts to purchase. Without pausing, immediately we think we must do all of this. If we are intentional, we can decide rather than react to the incoming information and activities. Gather your thoughts and your family to start planning what is really important. Managing our expectations means we can create the schedule and create calm for ourselves.
Choose your top three choices.
What do you and your family find most meaningful throughout the holidays? That could be seeing family, going to religious services, seeing holiday lights, or staying in to watch a holiday movie. Write these down and put a check next to each as family share their thoughts. Order your priorities from most to least important, and ask your family members to do the same.
Determine your “no” proposition.
Decide on what your “no’s” are and what to say to decline. It can be a simple statement that your calendar is already full. Being prepared to say no makes this easier to be true to your priorities.
It’s easier to make decisions with good self-care.
Good rest, hydration, exercise and nutrition all make life better all year long. This is especially true during the holidays. There are going to be evenings where you are up late or days where you miss getting outside to walk, however get back to your routines.
If things go rogue…
Variety and spontaneity are important too! Use a check in with your family to be sure your impulsivity centers on priorities. Your family will help you stay on track.
These steps can be the process for your family to prioritize every year. Setting and maintaining holiday priorities will make you and your family happier this holiday season!