Sunday, November 23, 2008

Make it the Kind of Christmas YOU Want

Feel free to reprint this article on making the kind of Christmas YOU want to have. Please include byline and links.

Are You a Victim of Your Own Christmas?
by Susan Dunn, M.A., The EQ Coach

This article is currently appearing HERE.

We’re coming down to the wire. How’s it feeling to you? This is a time when you can process what you'll do differently next year, or a time when you can pause and remember what worked and didn't work last year ... and change what you're doing. Either way it works.

So, how is it feeling to you right now?

Why do I ask that? Well, whatever you’re celebrating, and whatever your religious orientation, Christmas is a celebration, a celebration that for many has a spiritual basis to it. That is, it’s supposed to be merry, at the least, and meaningful at the most. What’s it for you this year?

There may not be much you can do to put on the brakes now, but note how you’re feeling so you can see how it’s working for you. This has to be tested against the purpose of this celebration, which is personal to each of us, but surely it isn’t to be exhausted, stressed, hateful, resentful, materialistic, imprudent, overwhelmed, obligatory, or “just going through the motions.” If you’re feeling “the thrill is gone,” it’s time to get mindful. Don’t be the victim of your own holiday.

Remember, it’s all about choice. Intentionality is the EQ competency for the holidays. What do you intend? How do your intend to feel? What do you intend to accomplish?

If you feel like you want to stop the world and get off, take note. When Christmas is over, please process for next year.

Ask yourself:

1. What worked and what didn’t? In other words, what makes you feel good. Feeling good can be pleasure, joy, but also the feeling of a job well done.

2. What did I do out of obligation, or to keep up with the Joneses that needs to be let go next year?

3. Did I feel the way I wanted to? If not, what will I do differently next year?

4. Take each element and analyze it - - did you really enjoy it, or were you just going through the paces? Was it “because we’ve always done it this way”?

5. Is there some tradition that’s outworn its welcome? If so, you can eliminate it. Kiss it goodbye, remembering it fondly, but let it go.

6. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or uncle or aunt, there are children around. What kind of example are you setting? If you yell at your kid because you’re stressed out over Christmas, ho ho ho?

7. How materialistic were your gifts? How much did you bust your budget? Were you satisfied with how much you spent, or did you feel guilty, and it caused fights with your spouse? You can choose to change this next year.

8. Did you spend time the way you wanted to? Did you spend time with the people you wanted to be with? Whether or not its family, you have a choice.

9. Did you actually have time to enjoy each thing - the smells, the touches, the sights, the sounds? Or were you like a hamster on his wheel? One of my clients says she takes one night off to just sit in front of the Christmas tree looking at the lights and listening to her favorite Christmas music. (Seems like it would be nice to work in more than ONE night for that ...)

10. What part of the negatives was due to your attitude rather than external events or circumstances? Controlling your mood and emotions with emotional intelligence can add tremendously to your life, not just at Christmas time.

The best gift in life is to be able to learn from your experiences and this is a great time to apply this -- either backward, or going forward. If you don’t like what’s going on, don’t be a victim of your own circumstances or attitude. Change one or both!

About the Author

Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach,, . Individual coaching, business programs, Internet courses, and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your health, wealth and happiness. EQ Alive! #1 rated coach certification program, training worldwide. It’s simple, affordable, fast and has no residency requirement. Email for more information, and for fr** EQ ezine.

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