What Do You Love About the Holidays? Focus on That

love about the holidays

Today’s big idea is that you can really up your enjoyment of the holidays by getting really clear on what it is about them that you love. Then try to focus on those things–and letting everything else recede in to the background. 

(And if that “forget the rest” idea sounds hard to do, go back and listen to yesterday’s episode which helps you take an objective look at what’s on your metaphorical holiday plate and figure out a strategy for taking care of those pieces that you don’t enjoy, or aren’t important, or both.)

You’re reading the transcript of an episode of the How to Be a Better Person podcast. If you’d rather listen, click the play button below.

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So at this juncture, it’s really helpful to take a moment to remember what the holidays are all about

And to be clear, there are so very  many holidays that happen in December and January, I am absolutely not only talking about Christmas. 

I want you to ponder what this time of year is about on a deeper level. First, these are the final few weeks of the year. We’re all feeling the passage of time. Throw in the fact that we’re still knee deep in the pandemic, and rounding the corner into our second full year of living with Covid, and reckoning with the passage of time is hovering over everything like smog over LA.  

Add to that the many holidays that are happening, which at their root all share a call to focus on something that’s bigger than our daily to-do list. They’re about connecting with our loved ones and our communities – think about all the emphasis on volunteering and fundraising that’s going on. For many of us, they’re also an invitation to connect to a higher power, whether that’s via a formal religion, nature, or a more general concept of spirit or divinity. 

From a nature standpoint, this is also the darkest time of the year

At least in this hemisphere. And the darkness represents going within, spending time in a more intuitive realm, and nurturing ourselves.

And from a cultural standpoint, the holidays are a time to gather with other people, learn how to give and receive in meaningful ways, focus on celebrating what we’re thankful for, and participate in rituals – whether it’s lighting the menorah, getting a tree, or volunteering in a soup kitchen. 

So what piece of the holidays are most important to you? What do you love about them? What do you want to take this particular point in time as an invitation to do? 

Daily Tiny Assignment

Your tiny assignment today is to write yourself a list of the things you love about this time of year. And you can absolutely look back on your priority-making matrix–particularly quadrant 1–to help you round out this list. 

This list of things you love is also your priority list for the next few weeks. 

Why is it important to know what you want to focus on during this particular time of year? Well, it helps you not pay attention to things that don’t really do it for you, or that distract you from what’s important, or that suck your energy instead of replenishing it. 

And knowing that you’re focusing on what really matters to you helps you experience what my yoga teacher calls effortless effort. It’s where you lose the drama and the resistance and the striving and can just show up and do what needs doing and don’t do the things that don’t need doing. 

Anytime you’re wondering — should I do this thing? Do I have to do this thing? Am I doing enough to recognize the holiday? Or, when will these holidays be over I’m over it! Pull out your list of things you love. Let them guide you in your decision about what you say yes to and what you say hell no to.  

I really hope you’ll come back tomorrow

When I’m interviewing Amy E. Smith, a communications expert who specializes in all things self-worth and confidence and boundaries, about how not to let your family drive you nuts this holiday season. She’s awesome, and so is her advice, so don’t miss it!

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