Annually around this time, we often become reflective on the year that has passed and feel gratitude for the joy that the holidays bring.
2016 has been a great year and I am immensely grateful that you choose to receive this message on a weekly basis.
As we move into holiday mode, there are a few practices that are part of my life that I’d like to share with you. These are rituals I have for concluding one year and moving forward into the next. Please feel free to adopt any that may serve you.
1. Read something that feels good!
Every year between Christmas and New Years, I read The Alchemist. I read this book because it’s the story of your life and your legend. It reminds me to be curious, committed, and adventurous. Although the book is a work of fiction, there are many great lessons about how to live a rich and full life and embrace every experience that comes your way.
2. Look back and review your year!
I sit with a new notebook and I journal about all of my accomplishments for the year. It’s a look back at the things that have happened, the successes I need to remind myself of. At the end of the year, you may have a tendency to be looking forward, and feeling like you didn’t accomplish all you aspired to in the current year. When I do this exercise, I look at my calendar and remind myself of all I’ve achieved during this last precious year of life.
Some highlights in 2016 were publishing my book, learning to run 5K, speaking to students at my high school, raising over $10,000 to help two different women, increasing the size of my business again, adding new people to our team and retaining some of the best talent out there (Cassy and Rishi, you guys are amazing).
These are just quick things that come to mind, this exercise is intended to be far more comprehensive. You can get as granular as you want about your progress and I suggest you do because…. when you pause and reflect and see how much you have really done in the past year, you build confidence and faith in your abilities.
3. Send snail mail!
I send cards. Some are holiday cards, others are gratitude cards. It’s a time of reflecting on the people who matter and letting them know that they matter. This past year, I lost a very very dear friend of mine. The world lost a bright light and I will forever miss his friendship. Don’t risk losing people you care about without them knowing how much you care. Tell people they matter every single chance you get.
4. Eat, drink and be merry!
I eat good food and drink my favorite wine. It’s a week of indulgence for me where chocolate for breakfast with a side of bacon is okay, and so is a bottle of Artemis in the middle of the afternoon with friends. Savor the moments with people you love, use the good china, eat your favorite things, taste your food while you’re eating it and be grateful that you are alive and able to do this.
5. Be Generous
I embrace generosity fully. I look at the person who is standing outside at the grocery store collecting money for the Salvation Army in the eye, smile and give money. Scott Stratten’s Christmas giveaway is something I follow every year and find someone to buy a couple gifts for. If you haven’t seen what he does, check out UnMarketing on Facebook. I can tell you, it feels ridiculously good to help someone in need have a joyful Christmas.
The holidays are not a happy time for everyone. If you’re someone who is blessed enough to be happy, able and around people you love, try and spread that love through kindness at every chance you get.
From my heart to yours, I’d like to wish you the happiest of holidays, a Merry Christmas and all the best for the upcoming year.