Holiday Help: Planning for a Good Time

This week, as we head into the busy holiday season, I want to invite you to think about what brings you joy.  What do you love to do during this time of year?  Who do you love to spend time with?  When the end of the season comes, what do you wish you had done more of?

In the spirit of creating intentional memories that make you feel good, here are five things to remember:

  1. Schedule your time now.  Before you commit to dinners, parties, or any holiday event, think about what you most want to do and put it in your calendar first.  Are there certain friends or family members you’d really like to see?  Is there a special place you’d like to visit?  What will make your holiday memorable and satisfying?
  2. Shop with your heart.  This year, make shopping fun by looking for simple, heartfelt items that offer a daily message of love.  You might find a mug with an inspiring quote for your sister, a beautiful bud vase for a co-worker’s desk, or a pen for the writer in your life who loves to keep a daily journal.  It’s one of the reasons I love to give Louise Hay’s affirmation calendar to family, friends, and the people who support me.  It’s a gift that delivers good thoughts every single day.
  3. Give space to the things that bring you joy.  Don’t cram into your schedule the things you love to do.  If decorating the house or yard makes you happy, schedule a full day on the weekend and keep it sacred.  If you love to bake while listening to your favorite music, pick an afternoon, shut off the phone and computer, and have some uninterrupted fun!  Too often we save the activities that personally please us to the last minute.  Then they end up feeling like chores instead of nurturing activities.  Give yourself room to breathe in the experience .
  4. Track your pleasure.  Use this festive time of year to launch a new habit – adding pleasure to your life every day.  For the last year I’ve been keeping a pleasure journal that tracks the things, big and small, that make me feel good.  Whether it’s taking the time to paint my nails, enjoying a bath in the middle of the day, cuddling with my husband and cat, or dancing to my favorite music, I use this journal to remind me of how important pleasure is in my life.  Tracking your pleasure will encourage you to make it a priority.
  5. Remember to love yourself more.  Use holiday decorating to remind you to be gentle and loving with yourself.  Write little notes on windows and mirrors (dry-eraser markers work like a charm!).  Deliver fun messages to yourself by programming your computer or smart phone throughout the day (I use an app called TellMeLater on my iphone). This year I’m also using Self-Care Cards as placeholders on our tables, and Grace Cards as decorations on our tree.

We only get a limited number of holiday seasons in one lifetime.  Let’s do what it takes to make them matter!

Take Action Challenge

Choose at least one of the ideas above and use it this week.  You deserve more joy in your life…

This week’s video was so inspiring it had me singing and dancing within minutes.  It’s the new anthem for Eve Ensler’s, a movement designed to stop violence against women around the world.  It’s called Break the Chain and you can find it here.  (Please, please pass it on!)



ToTwoTOo 16th December 2012 11:20 am, a movement designed to stop violence against women around the world. It’s called Break the Chain

You better love loving and you better behave
You better love loving and you better behave
Woman in chains, woman in chains

Go on and END the time of my life. Not such a good time, baby doll. Not such a good time, baby girl. Worth ending. Worth ending.

Hopelessly weighed down by your eyes of steel
(the cage you've built in my mind)
I feel deep in your heart there are wounds time can't heal
(the damage is steep - the furthest thing ever - from sweet sweet sweet)

It's a world gone crazy
Gone crazy

So free her, so free her, so free her
So free her, so free her (the sun and the moon)
So free (the wind and the rain) her, so free her
So free her, so free her, so free her, so free her
So free her, so free her (the sun and the moon)
So free (the wind and the rain) her, so free her

Good luck with your movement.


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Author Information

Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including, Take Time for Your LifeLife MakeoversStand Up for Your LifeThe Unmistakable Touch of GraceThe Art of Extreme Self Care, You Can Create an Exceptional Life with Louise Hay, and her new book, Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife.

Books from Cheryl Richardson

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