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Tip #1: Customize the Holiday Season to Fit Your Unique “Why”

When we sit back and reflect on what is meaningful for us during the holidays, we can create a holiday experience that fits who we are and what we want out of life, not what tradition tells us we have to do.

You are in the car in bumper to bumper traffic, a snow storm has just started, the kids are fighting in the backseat, and you’re already 15 minutes late for the holiday dinner at your in-law’s house. You look at yourself in the rearview mirror and sigh, wondering if you can just turn around and hide under your blankets eating chocolate until the holiday season is over.

Does this feeling or experience feel familiar?  While the songs and commercials might say otherwise, the holiday season can be a very stressful time. There are gifts to buy and wrap, people to visit, meals to cook and clean up from, and parties to attend. It can be all too easy to get caught up in the stress, say bah hum bug, and forget why you participate in these events in the first place.

Holiday Season Tip #1: Uncover Your “Why”

Understanding and remembering your “why”, is the most important place to start to ensure you have a holiday that is truly meaningful and enjoyable for you and your loved ones.

The first principle we share in The Bridging Principles™, is the principle of Intention. No matter what we are doing, or what others are doing, there is an intention behind it.

Do you know what your “why” is for why you participate in holiday festivities?

Is it because of obligation, or is it because you really miss spending time with your cousins? Is it that you want your kids to have that special time with their grandparents? Or do you have an office holiday party doesn’t sound that appealing, but you know someone will be there that it’s important for you to connect with to get to the next level in your company?

It is essential to consider your intent before you commit to any holiday plans.

Your “why” should guide you in making decisions about what activities you will or will not participate in. When we reflect on what is meaningful for us, we can create a holiday experience that fits who we are and what we want out of life, not what tradition tells us we have to do.

Here are some questions to guide you in making sure the holiday events you sign up for really match who you are and what you most desire from the season’s festivities: 

  • What personal meaning do these holidays have for you?
  • What are your most positive memories of this time? Why are these good memories?
  • What do you want to get out of this holiday season? Why?
  • What are you hoping to experience? Why?
  • What would make this holiday season meaningful for you? Why?
  • What do you NOT want to experience this holiday season? Why?

When you answer these questions, notice if there are any themes or patterns in your answers. Do they point to a deeper intention you have for your life or for this holiday season?

See if you can write a single sentence that summarizes your intention for this holiday season based upon your answers above.

Now that you know your “why”, consider what events you have already been invited to, or thought about potentially hosting. Ask yourself these follow-up questions:

  • Will the events you are being invited to or are considering hosting create meaning in your life?
  • Will they help you fulfill a deeper intention you have for yourself and/or your family, or are you only doing this because you feel like you “have” to?

If your answer is that you feel like you are “obligated” to attend or host, and you have no other deeper reason for participating, maybe it’s time to reconsider whether this event is truly necessary or could be done differently in a way that matches your intentions.

Consider if you can make your own holiday traditions that match up with your intentions for this holiday season, and for your life.

It really is okay to say no to Grandma sometimes if that trip home will really just exhaust you and block you from doing other things that are important.

If you have immediate family you need to consider, ask them these same questions. They will help your whole family to make intentional decisions about what will be most enjoyable for you all, instead of just following tradition because “that’s always the way it’s been done”.

The Bridging Principles is a blog about doing business and life differently to create better results for all. Click here to subscribe for free. To pre-order a copy of the book “The Bridging Principles: Building Bridges for Business,” coming out soon, click here. To arrange for training in The Bridging Principles for your company, email

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