Less that two weeks before we flip the calendar over into the new year.
How do you want 2019 to feel?
We get to decide how we feel.
Revolutionary, I know.
For the last decade plus I have been choosing a word of the year. Those words have helped me feel the way I want to feel and to practice a different way of being in the world.
Words I have chosen over the years:
That last one was so freakin hard (Enneagram One here), that I ended up changing it to Lighthearted (also so freaking hard see Enneagram One).
I also have feelings that guide my life:
In choosing these words and feelings I want in my life, it doesn’t mean I am not also experiencing a range of feelings good and bad. That’s real life.
But by choosing to have a touchstone intention for the year, I feel THAT feeling more often. Perhaps because I am focusing on it. Perhaps because the universe is giving me what I asked for.
All I know is that since starting this practice I have felt so much more intentional in my life. Like paying attention to the details of how I want to feel gives me the prompt to check in with myself frequently about how I am actually feeling. That in turn helps guide me back to what I’d like to feel more often and make life choices to support those feelings.
If you’d like to be intentional with your feelings in 2019 there are many ways to do that:
there’s too many things to do (shopping, presents, cooking, travel)
there are too many parties (and I suck at parties)
there are too many obligations (two birthdays, two holiday meals, presents, all.the.things),
Then there’s the stories I tell myself about the holidays and family and the comparison monster comes to visit hard. Especially on Christmas Eve when I start seeing other people posting on social media about their families’ huge extended family celebrations and mountains of gifts.
This year I decided to do December differently: Welcome to De-stress December.
As part of our NOvember challenge we were to write out our fantasy holiday scenario: who is there, what we’re eating, where we are, who is cooking, what we’re smelling, tasting, touching – the works. Then to make one of those fantasies come true for ourselves.
I’m happy to report that is exactly what I did and it was the best Thanksgiving in years.
This got me thinking, why not do that for the December holidays as well?
And since I have my December stories, why not orchestrate the entire month?
That’s how I am de-stressing December.
Step One: Write out every single thing you want to do, the things you feel like you have to do and all the things you’ve already said yes to doing and wish you could get out of.
Try not to get a cramp in your hand. It’s going to be a lot.
I wrote down all my work related stuff: new client meetings, Girls on the Run training, on going client sessions, traveling to LA for a work meeting, speaking on a panel at a women’s conference, shooting a TV segment for self-care in the new year.
Then I wrote down all the stuff I want to do: let my kid decorate my house, wrap everything in twinkle lights because they make me so happy, nog (aka eat candy cane Joe Joes whilst sipping vegan nog) every day, outdoor ice skating, Mary Poppins Returns movie, grandparent lunch for the girl’s birthday, holiday event at school, husband’s birthday, brother and his kids visiting, neighborhood Christmas progressive dinner, hikes on Christmas eve and Christmas day, ordering Thai food on Christmas eve, ordering Chinese food for Christmas day, seeing my parents, seeing his parents.
Step Two: Make a list of who you want to see before now and the end of the year. Make a list of all the people you’d rather see in January when there is less pressure to see every person on the planet. Keep in mind we all still have friends and family in the new year.
In fact, every person I’ve suggested moving a social thing to January has given me an enthusiastic wholehearted yes! Who knew?
Step Three: Decide where you’d like to be in December and make it happen (if possible). If you’d love to be in Paris, but haven’t gotten your plane tickets yet, that might not happen (this year). You can save for next year and spend the year planning what you’d like to do.
If you wish you could be with family and that is not happening for whatever reason, know you aren’t alone this time of year feeling sad. I am sending you really big hugs because sometimes the holidays suck.
If you’d really like to stay home, you can make that happen. Again, you have to let yourself want what you want and make those wishes public.
One of my least favorite parts of the holidays growing up is that so much of it was spent cramped up in the car in uncomfortable dress up clothes sitting in traffic between each stop to see extended family. We barely had time to eat and hang out with our cousins before we were on to the next brief stop.
I decided that wouldn’t be my daughter’s holiday memory. Instead we invite everyone to come to our house (turns out they don’t want to sit in traffic either) and we order delicious take out. No traffic, no one is stuck in the kitchen when they’d rather be reading a book and then we get ourselves outside for a neighborhood walk to see the lights and up to the foothills for an easy day hike.
We schedule holiday time with extended family on days where there is less traffic. Not everyone’s ideal, but it works for us.
This was a conversation that happened WELL BEFORE December. It was uncomfortable and we had it anyway.
We decided what we thought would work for us and tried to make that happen. We compromised with our loved ones and we’ve been making it work.
Start with a MONTHLY calendar view. This is important because those squares are only one by one inch.
Why does this matter?
If I am trying to de-stress my December I can’t have endless space to write all my to-dos on a day.
I need limits.
My limits are one by one square inches of a monthly calendar. I put each thing I want to do in December in its place. I had to move somethings to other days because the one by one inch square got full.
That’s my limit: one by one inch square.
Perhaps you are super human and can have more than a one by one inch square.
I know myself well. I need lots of down time and space between activities and entire days without social events. Or I am grumpy, resentful and usually downed by a virus.
Once I started seeing my December calendar fill up beyond my capacity to still be a good person I decided I need to start delegating stuff to others, cutting out some stuff and moving social and “winter” stuff to January.
I can’t stress this part enough.
We can’t do it all in December and feel the way we want to feel.
Step Five: Decide how you want this month to feel and maybe more importantly how you want feel at the new year.
My word of 2018 is Satiate. That is a pretty freaking good indicator of how I was feeling at the end of last year – all into nuance.
Well, 2018 was way bigger, brighter, bolder, grander and humbling than satiated nuance. It was more drinking from a fire hose than a champagne flute.
That being said, I want to feel stable, healthy and even keel at the turn of the new year.
So I have to decide what’s going to get me there. Knowing myself, it’s not endless partying, staying up late, socializing or otherwise pushing myself.
Step Six: Edit, edit, edit
Go through your calendar and see what you can consolidate, reschedule or bow out of. Be ruthless.
This is how the business trip to LA became a same day trip. This is how the Grandparent lunch turned into soup and sandwiches at home following a matinee showing of Mary Poppins Returns. This is how my December kid got a (tentative) January birthday party with friends. This is how I am going ice skating in January. This is how I’m socializing with local girlfriends in January (and already dreaming of a Galentine’s brunch).
This is how I have no less than five days on my calendar with the word REST on them.
2018 has been a really rough year: more cancer in our family, lots of ups and downs of parenting, so many deferred maintenance project finally taken care of, the 24 hour news cycle dumpster fire that just keeps getting worse every day…
Thankfully there is good news too…. 2018 has also been full of new connections, new opportunities, new growth both personally and professionally, new people to work with, new speaking engagements, new collaborations and new adventures.
So one thing I learned in 2018 is the power in the YES: getting a chance to do something I’ve never been done before and saying yes knowing I’ll figure it out later.
Guys, this is nothing short of miraculous. I have a lifetime of waiting until I know the answer before jumping in. Ok, I really vacillate between the two – hiding and running full speed ahead.
The year of YES has had some unintended consequences: feeling ungrounded, feeling constantly behind, feeling unsure, feeling frazzled, feeling stretched too thin.
That last one — stretched too thin — I hate. It makes my life feel overwhelming and I respond by being a grouch. Feeling like I am on the brink of burnout.
Uh, isn’t that one of the things I help my clients with?
So that brings me to you I am writing to you today.
My wonderful friend and client, Kachet – from The Kachet Life – also had a very YES 2018.
We figured we aren’t the only people struggling with saying no when we need to so we can say yes when we want to. We created a little challenge to help end the overwhelm.
This November Kachet and I are inviting all of our friends and family to join us in saying no when we need to so we can say yes when we want to.
So here’s the deal: Join us by clicking the photo above or the link below
It is a 6 week online Self-Care 101 course. We will learn about the four quadrants of self-care, practice my most life-changing self-care mindset and write new self-care plans while having support and accountability of a group so we can actually make these plans happen.
Why is this class called Deferred Maintenance?
So many people put off self-care that it reminded me of how so many people put off taking care of their house. Over time the house starts to show signs that it isn’t being well cared for and so do we. This class is a kick start into getting your personal maintenance back on track.
When does enrollment end for Deferred Maintenance?
Class starts June 20th. Enrollment ends June 19th.
You’ll want to sign up before Memorial Day, May 28th in order to get your 30 minute BONUS one-on-one session with me with your early pricing of $347.
After June 2nd price goes up to $399.
Do I get personalized support + access to you?
Yes! I will be asking for feedback every week via email and in our secret Facebook group. You are encouraged to ask questions and to get help where you need it.
What does the class cost?
Before Memorial Day – May 28th – class is just $347 (plus you get a BONUS 30 minute private one-on-one phone session with me)
After June 2nd, the price goes up to $399.
I’m not a parent – is this class still for me?
Yes! This class idea came to me while I was teaching a self-care class to preschool parents, but ANYONE who has a habit of putting off what they know they need to do in terms of self-care are welcome.
What if I enroll and it’s not a fit?
You have until June 27th to request a refund. All you have to do is show that you’ve completed all the work for week one.
What if I have to miss a class or I live in a different time zone? Not to worry! All sessions are being recorded and all your questions will be addressed. You will get to ask questions before the call via email or in our secret Facebook group.
What if I am an introvert?
Me too! All classes are recorded online, so no one has to leave their house.
What if this sounds good except for the part about other people?
Now is the time to invest in yourself and self-care.
Why? Because we don’t know how much time we have left before a major life event happens. Divorce, death of a loved one, losing a job, a significant health setback or diagnosis, or an accident can happen at any time.
Are you mentally, physically and emotionally ready to handle things that come your way?
Self-care is what got me through the toughest years of my life while growing my business and raising a toddler. I was able to grow stronger through the grief and sadness because I practiced 100% Guilt-Free Self-Care.
For many, self-care becomes deferred maintenance. We put off what needs to be done for a variety of reasons. The result is the same:
We cause damage to our lives in the long run by not taking care of ourselves now.
3 Biggest Myths About Self-Care
and Why Putting It Off Can Shorten Your Life
Myth #1: Self-care is frivolous, expensive and optional.
Self-care is the intentional actions we take in order to thrive in our lives. Taking care of our body, mind, and spirit now can improve the quality of your life now and in the future.
Self-care isn’t just manicures, massages and mama’s weekend getaways.
Self-care is, but not limited to:
Sleeping + rest.
Moving your body.
Quieting your mind.
Maintaining your physical environment.
Maintaining your relationships with others.
Establishing a loving + supportive relationship with yourself.
Being a lifelong learner.
Being part of something bigger than yourself.
Connecting with others.
Doing what you need to do in order to thrive, not just survive.
Mindset is free and quite honestly has been the biggest part of my own self-care practice.
Myth #2: Sleep isn’t that important. I can get by on less. Or I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
Research shows that lack of sleep can lead to loss of productivity, lack of mental clarity, accidents at work + on the road and some studies suggest a shortened lifespan. So if you aren’t sleeping 7-9 hours on the regular you might be headed down a dangerous road.
Myth #2: I don’t have time to exercise/ I hate exercise.
Research shows exercise can be done anywhere and takes less time than you think. With a new mindset exercise can become effortless.
Plus exercise helps you sleep, protects from long term degenerative disease and also helps you live longer.
Myth #3: I know what to do, I’ll just make it happen on my own.
The fact is most people need support and accountability to accomplish their goals. Few people can do it on their own. If that’s you – hooray! If you are like most people, you know what to do, but you just can’t get yourself to do what needs to be done.
I can help with that. I am creating a community of people just like you who want to feel better because they are taking self-care seriously. Together we’ll write a plan, dig into your personal obstacles, call you out when we need to and cheer you on as you accomplish your goals.
What are you waiting for? Enrollment for Deferred Maintenance is open now.
A class for those of us who are always putting self-care off.
In this 6 week class we will focus on self-care 101. Each week we will focus on a different area of self-care, make a plan and hold each other accountable.
This class is perfect for:
Parents who have put self-care on the back burner because of kids.
Women who work for themselves (and never seem to stop)
People who put everyone else’s needs in front of their own.This class will be on-line so you can be anywhere in the world.
The sessions will be recorded and sent after each class.
$347 until 6/1/18
Sign up before Memorial Day at you get a 30 minute BONUS one-on-one session with me
I teach 100% guilt-free self-care to busy women who want to drop the story that self-care is selfish and start feeling powerful and strong as the leader in their own life. All without them feeling overwhelmed or breaking the bank.