An Intentional Holiday Season

You’ve all heard about the power of intention.  There is a lot of misconception about this process.  People tend to burden it with ‘being free of attachments, an ever-peaceful state and meditation.’  Not that those are bad things! But it can be just as useful in our adrenalin filled workplaces, being choked with stress and having grand ambitions. 

Intention is as simple as it sounds.  What is the desired outcome of the action you are taking?  Whether it is walking into a meeting, having a potential emotional discussion with a partner or ushering in the holiday season.   There is a lot of pressure to enjoy the holidays.  Allow yourself to step back and determine for yourself just what kind of holiday you’d like to enjoy.

There are a lot of components to the holidays – regardless of how you are observing them.  So, give yourself permission to take some time to yourself and jot some ideas on the back of a napkin about what you want to enter 2017 with in terms of 2016 holiday memories.  This won’t take but 15 minutes max- so order up that Grande one-pump mocha, with whipped cream, and relax :)

For the purposes of illustration – I’m going to list some opposites, but recognize there are many points across this continuum that you can choose.

  • Schedule density:  few commitments - packed to the gills
  • Festivities:  quiet introspection – bustling boisterous boondoggles (I had to put that in for alliteration’s sake)
  • Social interactions: lots of groups of friends – one on one time
  • Giving: white elephant (soon to be in the trash) – select specific created memories
  • Decorating:  Glitter is my favorite color – natural greens and few candles
  • Free time: pack in every outdoor adventure possible – quiet time reading and baking
  • Observance: see friends and family to celebrate – reflect on origins of the season
  • Rest and recovery:  Sleep in on the weekends – Take extra time for self-care each day
  • Workplace: steady as she goes – take advantage of people out and plow through

I’m sure there are rewarding traditions for each of you that require a time investment that are worthy, but I invite you to review all you have planned and ask yourself- ‘am I really looking forward to this? Or is it just habit and expectation fueling this plan?’

After naming your desires in each of the bulleted areas and a few more- what do you find looking back at you?  Name this intention.  For myself- I’m looking forward to quality time in whatever form it presents itself and getting out in nature.   I love the pink aluminum trees (really!) and my Oregon Noble Firs, but this year it all seems a bit much and I’m ready for smaller gatherings, specialized meals and quiet time.  

All this reflection adds up into what I’ll talk about next time:  What do I want more of? What do I want less of? In 2017

Have a great week- Happy Leading!