With our holiday season reaching its high point this weekend, I hope wonderful get-togethers are ahead for you and your loved ones.
Almost behind us is the hustle and bustle of this year’s holiday season. All that crazy shopping, mailing packages to loved ones, attending holiday parties, maybe hosting one, possibly attending a party at your children’s school. It’s what makes the holiday season what it is. Yes?
After you enjoy all your holiday get-togethers, you may start thinking: What comes after the holidays? What’s on the horizon for me next year? Should I look into a new career? Take a relationship to the next level? Take some self-development courses? Figure out a way to work less while making more money? Maybe launch a little business of your own on the side? Or the most famous New Year’s Resolution of all, Lose Weight! All kinds of choices you get to make soon!
Whatever you do, consider this simple formula to avoid overdoing yourself in your new effort. Think of using the colors of the holiday season to create balance in your new year: Green for your *giving* activities and red for the *receiving* activities in your life. This may appeal more to the 65% of those of us who are visual learners who remember more when we can see what we are learning vs only hear it.
Next, when asking yourself ‘What should I focus on first?’ think of the Christmas poinsettia as a guide because the first color on it is Green! So, think, first, of what to you can give before thinking about what you want to receive.
Or, you may prefer to follow the other line of thinking from Stephen Covey’s habits of highly effective people, Begin with the End in Mind. For example, ‘To receive a paycheck, I’ll need to – first – give my skills in the form of service to my employer and its customers’ or ‘To receive love, I should start by giving love’ which matches ‘To have a friend, first, be one’, or ‘Knowing how much I appreciate receiving help when I need it, commit to keeping a watchful eye out for people who need help that I can give help to them.’
In all these situations, remember that, by giving, you will receive – at a minimum – that heartwarming feeling anyone receives from any ‘giving’ effort.
If you are thinking, ‘Heck, I give way more than I receive’, ask yourself: When you are ‘giving’ (working), what are some of the ‘reds’ that you receiving from your giving efforts that you may not notice easily? How about simply feeling grateful you have a job vs not having one? And appreciating those crazy friends of yours at work that make your job a joy vs a boring job.
If you are a stay-at-home parent, think of all the countless, priceless heart-warming, precious moments of parenting as ‘red memories.’ For entrepreneurs, there’s the working ‘half-days’ (12 hrs a day) that will, hopefully, generate far more income over time than continually going to that same old job day after day, decade after decade.
And, above all, please remember to simply be thankful for what you can do (that many can’t) such as walk, talk, see, think, drive.
And, as we all know, with any kind of work comes the need to rest and re-energize. So, for that, I recommend you consider one of Mother Teresa’s words of wisdom, “Work, Rest, and PRAY” and an almost idential one from Dr. Jack Groppel, well-known sports physician, who suggests: “Work, Rest, and PLAY!”
In closing, stop and think about your life now and ask yourself: “What are the *green* opportunities in my life and what are the hidden *red rewards* I may enjoy from them?”
And, last question: “How can I give in a way that what I do not only generates *red* moments for me, but they also make our world a better world?”
In closing, as you celebrate with family and friends this upcoming weekend and begin the new year, look for ways to give by simply ‘thinking of all’ whenever you make a choice and let the rich red receiving moments rain upon you!
Best wishes for creating a happy and balanced new year! May it be your best year ever!