Several weeks ago I set my intentions for the holiday season. My goal was to stay as mindful and stress free as possible, sticking to my priorities and protecting time for activities that induced joy.
Part of that process was asking my family to articulate their own priorities – special foods they would like to have, friends they’d like to see, activities they’d like to fit in over the winter break.
The intention-setting exercise paid off. We had one of our best holiday seasons ever, filled with quality time with family and friends sharing food, laughter, and gratitude. Clarity of priorities and expectations translated into a calmer, happier holiday experience, even in the midst of difficult news headlines.
My one oversight was not clarifying my work intentions for December, or, more specifically, how to intentionally take a break from work. Though I did publish a holiday piece on my Huffington Post site, I forgot to share it with my blog subscribers. My apologies! (You can read it here if you missed it.)
When I asked my husband to look over this piece, he reminded me that I worked more in December than I give myself credit for. I brought my accounting up to date, cleaned out my old files, made several photography and book sales, added signed books to my shop page, and even established a new LLC (stay tuned for more on that exciting development in my next post!).
But I chose family time over social media engagement, trading connection with my readers for connection with my kids on their school break. It’s a choice I’ll make again next December, but with a little more pre-planning.
In fact, pre-planning is one of my goals for 2017. As I’ve become more wired to prioritize the present moment, often taking the view that “stuff will happen when it’s supposed to happen,” my punctuality has gone even further down the tubes from an already low starting point.
My motto for the coming year is to Show Up Early.
Wow. Writing that “out loud” was actually scary given the accountability that going public entails. So be it!
I’ve been trying to arrive early to appointments for the past few weeks, hoping to hit the ground running in 2017. After a life-long habit of being late, I’m still at the bottom of the learning curve. Like any new life skill—meditation, exercise, changing your eating routine—early takes practice. Now that I’ve set the intention, however, I’m on my way.
More planning, more scheduling, more mindful business management, and putting aside the “only when I’m inspired” mindset that has dominated my creative work habits will be the foundation of my Show Up Early implementation plan.
So today, on December 30, 2016, please receive my Happy New Year’s wishes a couple of days early!
Thank you for the unbounded support and encouragement you’ve provided me over the course of a very big year, from the launch of Blooming into Mindfulness to photography sales to the many invitations I’ve received to speak at events. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store!
Wishing you peace, safety, and love as the curtain closes on 2016 and we retrain our sights on the fresh opportunity of a new year.
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