With the holidays a week away, I find myself remembering the importance of reflection this time of year.
The year is coming to a close. The days are cooler and shorter.
Our bodies naturally want to be cozy and relaxed.
Yet the retail world wants us to amp up our spending and drive all over town frantic.
So what would gratitude and reflection look like from now until 2020?
1. Stop Shopping
If you haven’t already finished, finish now. End the spending momentum.
That “one last thing” will not make the occasion perfect.
2. Return items
It is not too early to return items.
If you got carried away (or received things you don’t want), try to repair some damage now.
Bonus: return lines are shorter before the holidays.
3. Write down memories
Write down your favorite past and present holiday memories. Ask your family members to do the same. Their answers might surprise you.
This always helps me realize that the joy is not in the gifts alone.
4. Write down accomplishments and lessons learned
Write down (and celebrate) goals you met, as well as things that didn’t go well. Realize that getting better requires acknowledging failures.
Start brainstorming goals for the new year. Not resolutions, but goals.
Think about December of 2020 and ask yourself, “What do I want to have accomplished by that time?”
5. Write down gratitude
I used to think lying in bed and listing things in my head was sufficient for a gratitude list.
But something changes when we write things down. They feel more permanent, and the gratitude feels more genuine.
Sometimes the week leading up to a holiday feels out of control. We feel like we are being pulled by a force instead of leading.
Let’s get back in control.
Let’s use these last two weeks of the year to finish strong.
Let’s stop spending, start reflecting, and finish the year full of new goals and gratitude.