Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Rebecca Moses.
What makes a successful year’s end?
Some of us will immediately begin to consider our careers and accomplishments. Many will first think of family and friends, and the memories we have created.
Others will enjoy planning the holiday with lists of gifts to please their loved ones and menus for feasts and parties.
Each of these is a valid and powerful way of evaluating the end of the year and the months ahead.
There’s so much to organize as we move into the holiday season. There are career goals to achieve, budgets to balance, and gifts to purchase or make. Many of us will be traveling while others will be preparing our homes to welcome guests.
And, once together for the holidays, we have new concerns of communication and relationships with family and friends, taking care of ourselves, and giving back to others.
If you’re feeling a little lost already, there’s no need to worry. In this article, we’re giving you some of our best tips to manage the stress the end of the year can offer and come out on the other side thriving.
Most of our planning for the end of the year begins with work. When it comes to career goals, we want to do our best and accomplish all of our assignments and projects. Especially as we imagine the new year bringing in new opportunities.
Nonetheless, ending your year on a high note requires honest evaluation. It’s important to consider your skills and capacities. It’s also useful to look back at how your goals have progressed. This evaluation will inform your goals going forward.
Some goals have personal criteria for evaluation. Others have certain criteria such as testing or performance reviews.
Common career goals include:
Evaluating your goals needs to be an honest process since honesty is necessary for improvement. When evaluating your performance, there are a few things to consider:
There are many reasons that people fall behind on their goals, and few actually indicate failure. Most of the time, people fall behind because they didn’t prioritize or allocate enough time toward the goal. It could also be the effect of inefficient methods or a lack of structure.
When it comes to goal-setting, prioritization is a multi-faceted process. Some goals will move along just fine with weekly check-ups or informal scheduling. However, if you do find yourself behind, it’s likely that your goal requires more rigid scheduling and more time allocated to it.
In order to not to be overwhelmed, break larger goals down into smaller goals and deadlines. Then, prioritize and organize these smaller goals.
As you come to the end of the year, you may start to feel that you’re running out of time. Once the holiday season takes hold, time often becomes more scarce, and you may feel more stressed. While this is completely understandable, it doesn’t exactly lead to careful work.
In some cases, it’s important to push on with these goals through the end of the year, such as a strict or time-sensitive deadline. In other cases, it could be more worthwhile to wait for the calm after the holidays. The busy winter season might make it harder for you to focus.
Keep in mind, though, that there are no good times unless you make them, and one season is always leading into the busy hustle and bustle of another. If there is something that you need to do, such as a big career project, career change, or work-life commitment, make the plans to set yourself up with the appropriate support to do what you need to do, regardless of the season.
We often finish the year with a sense of busy, even fervent, momentum. We can actually use this momentum while going into the next year. Productive people start planning their next goal even as they finish their first. Doing this, they are effectively channeling their sense of accomplishment into the next project.
Winter holidays can make for an exhausting season, and you may not come back feeling as rested as you might like. Many people slow down in the new year, rather than starting on the right foot.
However, if you have already started planning the next year’s goals, you’ll have a plan right from the get-go.
Whether you’re in the middle of something or have just ended a project at work, it can be hard to pull away from the workplace for the holidays. Keep in mind that this separation is good for your mental health.
If you are leaving something unfinished:
The holidays are an overwhelming time of the year that asks us to navigate the demands of friends and family while balancing work and home lives. Even as we enjoy ourselves, we must remain mindful of some of the more difficult aspects of life, such as budgeting and managing our time.
We can’t plan for everything and there are always unforeseen complications. Nonetheless, the best way to prepare for the holidays is to think them through.
Taking some time now to strategize will save you from difficult decisions in the pressure of holiday crunch time. This includes:
The holiday season makes many demands on our finances, as it tempts us to indulge, sometimes more than we should.
Begin with making a budget. This number should be in addition to your usual monthly bills and shouldn’t leave you short on your normal expenditures and finances.
Allocate your budget. Once you have assigned a number to what you are able to spend throughout the holiday season, it’s a good idea to make your budget more specific, partitioning it with the type of spending you will be doing.
Some categories might include:
No one wants to have to count every receipt and pinch every penny during the holidays. Nonetheless, remaining mindful of your budget will help you make choices that alleviate holiday stress as well as long-term financial repercussions from the jolly season.
One of the surest ways to stay on budget is to be prepared. Preparations help to eliminate the need for unforeseen purchases while allowing for a more thoughtful gift-list that helps you to avoid impulse purchases.
This requires a decent amount of time management. The holidays can easily sneak up on us before we really know it. Ultimately, though, it’s worthwhile to set aside from time to plan your holidays with gifts lists, a calendar, and even menus for important meals and parties.
Everyone’s holiday budget allocations will look a little different depending on where and how they plan to spend the holidays.
Someone who does a lot of hosting and throwing parties throughout the holidays will probably prioritize their food and decoration budget above others. Many, however, will be spending the holidays away from home and will therefore allocate more of their budget toward travel expenses.
Ideally, your budget will include all your expenses. Consider the cost of travel, shopping, food, and even the smaller items that add up, such as greeting cards and shipping fees. You might also make an allocation in your budget for any charitable donations that you’re planning.
You might also consider talking to family about doing a name exchange among the adults for Christmas gifts. Propose having a drawing for gift-giving.
Research Black Friday deals beforehand at sites such as BlackFriday.com. This will help you choose which deals are worthwhile. This will help you stay ahead of the crowd and make sure you can reserve what you want at the price you would like, or at least get a head start.
Grocery Shopping – Most people consider the best grocery shopping opportunities to be when the store is the least crowded. Of course, the closer to the holidays you get, the more crowded the stores will seem to be at all times.
One sure way to avoid a busy grocery store is not to go on Saturday. Instead, if you have the opportunity to go early or midday during a weekday, then you should take it. This is because the majority of people will be busy with their workday hours, leaving the aisles wide open for you.
If, however, you also work at these times, then the best times to avoid the crows while grocery shopping are very early in the morning or late at night. Being early will mean that you can get the freshest produce and baked goods. This is an advantage over late-night shoppers who might find the produce and aisles depleted.
Wednesdays are the best days to save money, as new deals generally start on Wednesday, while old deals often remain in place until the end of the day. This gives you the best of both worlds.
Brick and Mortar Shopping – You’ll get the best deals, and a limited crowd if you go shopping on a Thursday. This is because the stores are preparing for the weekends and putting out markdowns and deals.
The biggest time to shop for deals for the holidays is right around the corner from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day.
Additionally, if you’re in the market for big-ticket markdowns, go shopping on December 21st through the 24th. The stores will be madhouses, but most retailers will offer steep discounts to try to get their larger merchandise, such as furniture, televisions, and jewelry, out the door.
November 1-11 – Right after Halloween, many online retailers begin the season with offering specials. Be warned though, these are often the pricing of their normal weekly specials rebranded for the holidays. Nonetheless, you can find discounts of around 20-30 percent off.
November 28-30 – Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the year, but the main focus tends to be getting people into the brick-and-mortar store. Not all online retailers offer Black Friday deals. Still, you can get some good buys from larger online retailers, such as Amazon.com, which offers well-priced lightning deals throughout the weekend.
December 1 – Cyber Monday is the best day for online shopping. And it’s not just the technology companies either. All sorts of brands, from high-end to discount, are getting in on cyber sales with big online markdowns.
Concerned With Privacy?
Make sure to make your purchases on a website with a secure payment system. You can also look into the website terms to see their customer privacy statements.
Private browsing is another way of keeping your browser from storing cookies that generate ads.
Many individuals opt for using third-party payment systems, such as Paypal, which hides your credit card information from retailers.
Checklist for Safe Online Shopping
Avoid scams by making sure that the site is secure with HTTPS in the URL, as well as padlock symbol.
There can be a lot of pressure regarding what you get your friends and family for the holidays. Not only do gifts seem to indicate care for a person, but they’re also taken as a sign of how well you know the person.
The truth is, some people are more clever when it comes to giving gifts than others. On top of that different people have different gifting styles, some are playful with fun or entertaining gifts, while others are more literal with more practical gifts. If you have a distinct gifting style, lean into it and stay genuine.
If you don’t know enough about the hobby to know what they’ll need for the next step, it’s better to ask them than make assumptions or spend money on something they don’t need, won’t use, or already have. Asking creates a welcome opportunity for them to share something they care about with you, and it will help to make sure that you get them something that will take their hobby up a notch.
Just because you love hosting and entertaining during the holidays doesn’t mean that you have to pretend it’s less work than it is. There’s probably a lot that you don’t love about it, such as how stressful it can be when you’re getting the home ready for guests.
The holidays are already a busy season, and on top of that, entertaining requires us to have a clean home, equal parts cozy and tidy, with enough decorations to get everybody into the holiday spirit.
How exactly do you get your home glistening and ready in the least amount of time. Start with decluttering, move on to cleaning, and end with decorating.
Patience and calm will go a long way toward making your holiday traveling less stressful. Particularly in cases where you don’t have any control over what happens, such as flying.
The decision to drive or fly depends on a number of factors and personal preferences. Distance is probably the biggest deciding factor, as most will prefer to fly if the driving road trip would be longer than eight hours driving time. However, there are a few considerations that help to tip the scales either way.
Anxiety – Busy airports and tight flight schedules often cause a lot of anxiety. Driving, on the other hand, offers flexibility that can calm anxiety during the heavy winter travel season.
Some of the biggest flight anxiety comes from catching a tight connection. Plan your connections carefully, making sure that you have plenty of time and won’t have to run through the concourse.
Passengers and Storage – When flying, adding another passenger is the cost of adding a whole additional round-trip ticket. Adding another passenger in the car, however, is mostly free, since you’re already taking the trip.
Driving also allows you to bring as much as you can fit in your car along with you, in addition to easier traveling with animals. This is also a factor if you are traveling with Christmas gifts.
Timeframe – Driving can take a lot longer than flying. Those with a limited number of days off will most likely opt for flying since it allows them more time to spend with their loved ones before having to get back to work.
Cost – Depending on your fuel efficiency and whether or not you will have to stay the night in a hotel on your way, driving can often be less expensive during the holiday season than flying.
Avoid the crowds and bad weather while driving by:
The holiday season is among the most expensive times to fly. Nonetheless, the cost of air travel depends on your timeframe and location.
Costs to factor in when flying:
Driving costs depend on your gas mileage and the distance that you’re driving:
For many, the stress of traveling, figuring out gifts, time away from work, budgeting, and meals during the holidays are nothing when compared to the interpersonal stress that a family holiday can trigger.
Having a good time during the holiday depends on your being able to handle yourself well. Not only that, but families respond to social modeling, meaning that if you handle yourself with grace, it may very well rub off on those around you.
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to use self-discipline in your interactions. When practicing emotional intelligence, you can stop yourself from reacting emotionally to teasing and hurtful comments. If you respond with something hurtful, you could escalate the situation. However, if you have a calmer and more honest response you can help the room stay more civil.
Think through the reasons others might be acting the way they are. We all make compromises and concessions during the holidays. If someone is acting in an annoying way, you might be able to identify some of the reasons they feel the need to act this way.
Is it attention-seeking behavior because they miss you and are attempting to get the most out of your visit? If so, try spending some dedicated time with them and see if it alleviates things.
Are they feeling aloof or overwhelmed and therefore acting snappish? Try offering them a quiet space where they can retreat to if need be.
Is someone picking fights because they might feel insecure of something? Try offering them quiet and unassuming support and see if they can settle down.
Breathing techniques can help to dull our stress responses, making it easier to enjoy the situations we find ourselves in. Sometimes this can mean going into a quiet room to meditate. Other times it can mean catching yourself when your feeling anxious or are having racing thoughts. Instead, start breathing deeply through your nose.
Remember to breathe through your nose to a steady count and inflate the lungs through the stomach. For better relaxation, take long exhales.
Laughter can be instant stress relief. It also helps to dissolve tension in a crowded room, and it can easily help to break the ice in an awkward or uncomfortable gathering.
Keep in mind the bigger picture of why you’re there. The holidays give us time to express gratitude, celebrate love and joy, sacrifices, and beauty in the world. They are family holidays because they give us the opportunity to spend time with our loved ones.
Keep your tone positive, and think of the good things. You are there to honor good health, warm affinity between family members, and other great achievements. If you think this way, others will follow your example.
Add some much-needed free time and downtime into the holiday schedule. This can mean taking a morning to yourself. Or scheduling some time to spend alone in between two other activities. Or schedule all your activities on one day of the weekend, and leave the other free for decompressing.
Also, know your own limits. Some people can socialize for hours without feeling fatigued. Others, however, need more alone time after stimulating situations. Know your own limits so that you can take time for yourself without feeling resentful or overwhelmed.
Sometimes family holidays are toxic situations that can cause lasting emotional and interpersonal harm. If the prospect of the holiday is too much or too difficult to plan, it might be healthier to stay home for the holidays.
Instead, talk to the family members that you have a strong relationship with and set up times that you will be able to see them at another time of the year.
The holidays can be a time of low emotions as well as happy emotions. Many feel seasonal depression and it’s common to even feel a sense of holiday depression for various reasons. The best thing you can do about this is to support and take care of yourself. After all, if you feel good and are enjoying your time, you’ll have a better chance of helping others in your family to feel good as well.
Mindfulness and meditation allow you to carve out a space for getting in touch with what you’re feeling and recognizing your emotions with breathing and positive meditation. This is best practiced during alone time throughout the holidays.
If you can’t find the time to get away and meditate in the middle of a day of festivities (and you should if you really need it!), try practicing mindfulness both in the morning and at night before sleeping.
The holiday season is easy to write-off as a time of irregular activity when we blow off our usual diets and fitness routines. This is often done in the expectation that next year, we’ll start January right with a new fitness and dieting regimen.
However, inactivity, particularly for those who are used to regular gym visits, as well as eating heavier food and more sugar than you’re used to, could easily be one of the culprits behind why you’re feeling so bad.
In most cases, the best way to take care of yourself throughout the busy holiday season is to remain consistent with the healthy routines that you’ve come to rely on throughout the rest of the year, although with a modified twist.
The holidays make a good case for no-gym workouts, particularly if you are traveling away from home for part of the season. While you may not have all of your usual equipment, there are many things you can do with a little space for calisthenics and strength training.
You can accomplish your cardio needs without wasting any time with a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) thirty minute workout or other home workout. Or take a walk or jog around the neighborhood, take a yoga class, do some mall walking while people watching, or take the family ice skating. After all, getting out and moving will do you some good.
One of the curses of the holidays is that the decadent meals aren’t often limited to their special feast-days of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holiday season is often celebrated with a series of frequent heavy meals, as well as family restaurant experiences.
The pressure of the occasion can often bid us to forget our nutritional care. However, we would probably feel better if we didn’t go overboard during the holiday season.
Drink in Moderation Throughout the Holidays
The holidays are also a time of year associated with drinking and merry-making. Intoxication is an inviting idea, since it can be used for social lubricant, to make us feel better and allow easier conversation.
However, drinking past your limit can also make all these things more difficult, while allowing problems to escalate. Knowing your limits when it comes to alcohol and intoxication, as well as knowing when to say no to more, is one way of taking care of yourself.
Whether you’re staying home or traveling, make sure to pamper yourself with the things that make you feel good. Pack some face masks, or treat yourself to some time alone with your music and some noise-canceling headphones. Don’t wait to be gifted a spa visit, but book your own massage. Plan some time to spend on your hobbies and outlets.
As you declutter your home for the holidays, set aside some items to donate:
Volunteer your time and skills:
To incorporate volunteering into your holiday plans, you can even organize a group volunteering effort.
As you go into the next year, it’s important to find a way to take care of yourself while keeping up your momentum. The holidays offer a powerful opportunity of taking stock of what you’ve done, as well as what you plan to do in the future.
Now, going into the new year is a time to start working toward the plans and goals that you want to accomplish.
LINK SOURCE: https://groomandstyle.com/end-of-year-guide-gifts-feasts-final-projects/?msID=cc27be16-7b83-4590-a615-d783a4f974ed
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