Are The Holidays Any Different?
I personally love this time of year (except for the weather!). I love getting together with family and friends, reflecting on how blessed I am and being grateful for everything I have and everything I am. This year, though, because I am a vegan now, I really thought about some of the rituals that we participate in – and how those rituals can ultimately knock us off track of our goals.
I’m not going to front… having heaps and heaps of food in front of me made it extremely hard to stick to my guns and resolve to follow the lifestyle changes I’m making. I’m proud of myself that I didn’t eat any meat; but I still overate and felt tired, sluggish and a little disappointed in myself after Thanksgiving. That was definitely one of those times where I lost control of my intentions and didn’t use my willpower to stay the course.
But its a great lesson learned. Ultimately, holidays are days that we’ve made special in our minds, but they’re not any different than any other day. There’s still 24 hours in it, and once those 24 hours are gone, we can’t get them back.
When You Fail To Plan…
I hate to say it, but I failed to plan how I’d use my time, which meant that I didn’t use it well at all. I had a vague idea of what I’d like to have accomplished with the time I had surrounding Thanksgiving, but I didn’t sit down and plan out how I’d use that time.
The strategy I plan to follow for Christmas is:
- map out the actual amount of time I’ll have over Christmas
- make a list of the tasks that I need to get done: shopping, writing, cleaning, cooking, visiting others, etc
- schedule my time, activities and rest period
- keep my schedule handy, so I’m not tempted to overeat, oversleep, and likewise waste time that I should be utilizing
The plan is pretty simple. The difficulty comes from making yourself stick to the schedule you’ve set.
Just like any other time, keep the vision of how you want things to be after the holidays: the body you are working to have (if you have weight loss goals/lifestyle changes); the budget you’re adhering to (so you won’t overspend); or any other goals that you need to work on during the holidays.
I feel much better about the likelihood of surviving Christmas with my goals intact. How about you? How will you implement these simple steps to make sure Christmas doesn’t derail your goals?
We still have 6 weeks left in 2010. Are there goals or intentions for this year that haven’t come into fruition for you? If so, its never too late to start, and if you can’t complete the goal in 2010, if you start now, you’ll be well on your way to completion in 2011.
I have been remiss in my duties as Motivation Maven – how could I have neglected to feature Madam CJ Walker??
She serves as a fountain of inspiration for countless African American female entrepreneurs, myself included. If you have not encountered her inspiring story, let me introduce her to you.
- Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867 in Delta, Louisiana. Her parents Owen and Minerva Breedlove, both ex-slaves, were sharecroppers who lived on the Burney plantation. She had 5 siblings. Her mother died first, possibly due to a cholera outbreak in 1872 (when she was 5). Her father remarried and died shortly afterward when she was 7.
- Sarah moved in with her older sister, Louvenia, and brother-in-law, Willie Powell. She later said she married Moses McWilliams when she was 14 years old to escape Powell’s abuse. Three years later her daughter, Lelia (called A’Leila) McWilliams, was born.
- When Sarah was 20, her husband was murdered by a white lynch mob. Shortly afterward she moved to St. Louis where three of her brothers were barbers. For 20 years she did backbreaking work as a washerwoman in Vicksburg and St. Louis. While working as a laundry woman, she was able to save money, educate A’Lelia, and join the National Association of Colored Women in the 1880s. In 1894 Sarah married a man named John Davis. That marriage ended around 1903. In January 1906 she married a newspaper sales agent, Charles Joseph Walker. After her marriage she began using the name Madam CJ Walker. They divorced in 1910.
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I’m not a ‘religious’ person but I definitely believe that gratitude is an integral part of a goal-oriented person’s day. Not only do you give thanks for what you’re going to get, but you appreciate what you already have by stopping to say ‘thank you’.
In that moment of thanks, you connect with God or the Universe (depending on your beliefs) and allow your mindset to shift to one of abundance and bliss. In that moment of thanks, only happiness and bliss exists. How can we not want to experience that, over and over again?
Flip The Way You Look At Things
”If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” ~ Frank A. Clark
You may be sitting there shaking your head, saying, “That’s all well and good, Anilia. But I have a stack of bills so high they’re falling off the table. I don’t know where the money’s going to come from to pay them. My car’s on it’s last leg, my boss hates me and I haven’t had a date in 3 years.”
If that’s similar to your life, then yeah, you have a lot that’s weighing on you.
But you have a lot to be grateful for.
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