4 Steps to More Enjoyable, Less Stressful Holidays (Part 3)

4 Steps to More Enjoyable, Less Stressful Holidays (Part 3)

This is PART 3 of a 4-PART article written with you in mind and designed to help minimize the stresses associated with over packed, overdone holidays so you have time for self-care, enjoy your time with family and friends and create the holiday season that best fits you and yours.

In Part 1, I discussed the importance of getting clear on what you WANT your holidays to look like and be like.  And, just as important – what you DON’T WANT.  And, I gave you a simple process for developing your vision.  In Part 2, we began working on a plan to turn our vision into reality.  In this part, we’ll continue working through the steps to create that plan.

Step 2 – Create Your Plan (Continued from Part 2)

Next to each holiday goal, write down all the steps YOU will need to take to accomplish this goal.  Include an estimate of the time it will take you to accomplish each step toward each goal.  Determine your budget for each item.

You will follow this process for EVERY item on your “Looking Forward To It” list

Yes, this IS time consuming and yet a very valuable investment in stress reduction later!

Here is what a list/plan might look like for one of the items on your “Looking Forward To It” list.

Host Thanksgiving Dinner

Task Time Budget
Determine time of dinner 5 min $0
Invite guests 30-45 min $0
Finalize guest list 15-30 min $0
Inventory dinnerware 2 hr $0
Shop for supplies 2 hr $100 – $150
Shop for groceries 1.5-2 hr $250
Bake 4 hr $0
Cook ahead sides 2 hr $0
Clean/straighten house 4 hr $0
Set tables/chairs 1-2 hr $0
Cook Turkey 5 hr $0

Step 3 – Schedule Your Actions

Looking at your goals’ list, schedule when you can do what.  Remember, you are planning to have a holiday you can enjoy.  Make the time to accomplish these goals a priority by putting them on your calendar.  If you find yourself overbooked go back to Step 1 and rethink your priorities!  If your activities require help from others, be honest about this.  Ask if they would be willing to participate.  Be clear about what you are asking them to do, how much time will be involved and when you need them.  Make sure they are available and reliable before you go any further.  If you have an expectation that your sister will be on time to help you prepare dinner and yet you know she is chronically a half hour late expecting her to be on time sets you and her up for disappointment!  Love people where they are and be realistic in your expectations.

IMPORTANT:  Make sure you schedule time on your calendar to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

In the final installment of this article, we’ll focus on working your plan, setting boundaries, and taking care of your self.

Read Part 4