Five tips for slowing down December

What if you could linger in special moments all month long? What if you could feel rejuvenated by this season, and ready for the new year when it arrives?

Those were the desires expressed by friends and clients I spoke to recently. I wanted to know what would make their December great, and overwhelmingly I heard that they were bracing for the month. It would be festive and bright with not enough time to appreciate it.

Let's change that.

Let's fill this December with the perfect amount of everything you love.


Five Tips for Slowing Down December

1)  Look at your calendar.

Open up your calendar right now, and look at December as a whole. In your favorite color, highlight or star what you are most happy to be doing. Lunch with an old friend, or Christmas tree shopping with the family.

If you see days without anything to look forward to, make an appointment with yourself in that special color. Even a 15-minute coffee break.

When the appointment comes around, remind yourself:  "This is for me."

Here's why:  My color of choice is green, and though I use it all year long I labeled it "Birthday" on my Mac's iCalendar. When I see an activity in green it feels like a gift I'm giving myself.

That is our aim here -- giving you a gift every day of this month. Seeing your favorite color all over your calendar will hopefully feel that way.


2)  Turn your 60-day challenge into a 30-day plan.

Last month I started a 60-day challenge to make the most of the remainder of the year.

Welcome to the halfway point. 30 days is still a lot of time to make positive change.

If you started the 60-day challenge in November, now is the time to review your progress. If you're plugging along, keep plugging. If your goal is taking longer than expected, choose a smaller goal within that larger one to achieve this month, and push the rest to a specified date in January to consider again.

If you want to get in on the challenge now, choose one thing you'll do in December that is meaningful to you. Making good choices at mealtimes. Smiling at everyone you pass. Writing five heartfelt notes to loved ones you haven't seen in a while. Taking your camera with you everywhere you go.

You get the idea.

Here's why:  When things get busy, we usually schedule all the have-to-do's first. Then there's barely room for anything else. With these first two steps we're making sure your stuff gets consideration from the beginning, AND that it's manageable and enjoyable.


3)  Remember your old friend, January.

Could you pare down your commitments to make more room in December? Yes. You already know that.

What will truly help is recognizing you have more time than you feel like you do.

January is right around the corner and just as good a month as any for celebration. In fact, imagine how much more you'll savor time with loved ones if you schedule your annual gift swap for January 11 instead of in-between two other commitments now.

That goes double for to-do's. I know a few people who send Happy New Year cards, and it's such a pleasant surprise to receive them.

Here's why:  It can feel like everything has to happen before December 31, but it just isn't true. Changing that mindset could be the most worthwhile action you take to enjoy this month.


4)  Put this song on repeat.

Choose a phrase that will remind you why you're dipping into savings, and driving two states away this month.

Now add a little tune so you can sing the phrase in your mind. Maybe "I love my family." or "This is the most wonderful time of the year." (personal favorite)

When you hum those words to yourself picture the faces of your loved ones. Imagine the feeling you want to feel when you arrive at their homes.

Repeat it again as you share moments together. Repeat it again while you seal envelopes and wrap gifts.

Here's why:  December has a way of quickly turning from won't-it-be-great to just-get-through. This reminder is for if you lose your way.


5) Join me on Tuesday, December 17 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

On December 17, I will host a 60-minute call to build your 2013 Highlights Reel.

During that time, you'll have a chance to reflect on how far you have come this year. You'll receive a worksheet in advance to guide you through our activity, and a recording of the call to refer back to whenever you need it. (If you're not able to join us on that date and time, signing up gives you the recording and worksheet to be used at your leisure.)

Here's why:  You are a check-everything-off-your-list kind of person, but December doesn't lend itself for that reflective time. Reviewing the whole year would be great to do, but it might not happen without some help.

This call will give you that sense of accomplishment, so January feels like a clean slate.

Show up, invite a good friend to join us, and I'll handle the rest.

Click here to sign up.


Wishing you a magical December!